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U-Channel truss rod questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by roberthabraken, Apr 1, 2009.

  1. I have a U-channel truss rod and I've got some questions about the installation of it:

    How should I route the channel? Completely square and open passing under the nut or stopping the channel before the end of the blank and drilling towards it for the adjustment nut?

    I made a quick sketch to explain what I mean:

    You can see the truss rod I have here:

    And another question: how do I prevent that the rod will buzz or rumble within it's aluminum channel? I am almost having nightmares of finishing the neck perfectly well, setting the bass up and discovering that on each strum the truss rod will mingle itself in the sound of my bass, ruining the whole instrument, basically.


    Ps.. one more thing, do you think I need graphite enforcement rods or is this too much for a 4 string hard maple neck and would it just kill some of the sustain?
  2. Bump. Anyone?
  3. lethargytartare


    Sep 7, 2004
    I wish I could help you on the installation question -- but no first hand experience. I'd check stewmac's help pages -- they often have detailed tutorials about the products they sell. and did you search both these forums and google for "how to install u-channel truss rod"?

    As for the rattling -- I vaguely recall seeing some discussion of that here in the luthier's section. Personally, I'd lightly stuff some material in the channel with the rod -- anything that won't bind against the metal. I'd probably cut a long strip of felt and wrap it around the rod in the channel -- there should be no way that could impair the operation of the rod. I WOULD be extra careful that no glue got onto it, thereby creating a sticky situation :)

    And be patient -- it's still business hours here in the US, so a lot of key folks probably haven't gotten on the boards yet today...

  4. Thank you for the advice and sorry... the clock changed this weekend and I have, honestly, no idea what time it is in the US... :meh:
  5. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    ok, so i use that rod for all my builds. put tape over the open side. and i sugguest routing all the way to the end. also, a nice touch to add is route to about 1 inch away from the head stock end, and then finish it off with a bull nose bit, a half round one. with the head plate veneer your going to put on, it will make an interesting circle of different woods. and yes, glue the rod in. use epoxy or somethin similar. but make sure the open side, with the tape, is down facing. and make sure you use tape, or the epoxy will get into the rod and freeze it up, making it useless.
  6. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    oh, and none of my rods have ever rattled, but if yours does, put a dab of caulking compound on it, smush it in, and turn the rod everyonce and a while, just while its setting. and graphite is a little much for a 4 string, so just the truss rod will do it
  7. Thanks! Very useful! I'll use the tape and try the compound, although my rod doesn't rattle, but I was afraid maybe it would over time.. but thanks again!
  8. Btw, do you have a pic of a truss rod access cavity you made vbass? I'm not sure what you mean by 'interesting circle of woods' and I thought maybe just to drill a hole through the veneer, nothing more..
  9. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
  10. Thanks. That clarifies it. I still think it would be 'stronger' to only drill a hole for the adjustment nut instead routing completely through. Or do you think it isn't?
  11. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    well, you can if you want, but it will be a hard bit of work to line up the hole perfectly with the center of the channel. and i think fender and other companys do this because they some times use a one peice neck/fingerboard.
  12. Yeah.. I guess it will be a very awful job to get it right. I'll think about it.. but I also like your round router bit idea alot, so probably I'll go with that..
  13. vbasscustom


    Sep 8, 2008
    yeah, it gives a cool swirl effect, especially if your using a very high contrast wood or veneer
  14. i haven't.. it's just hard rock maple /w figured maple, but it will be cool nonetheless :smug:
  15. I suspect that if you epoxy in your truss rod then you wont ever be able to replace it if it fails.

    I didnt think you need to glue those ones in - just a little silicone to hold it still?

    EDIT: I saw a video on youtube a while ago, where the builder routed a few mm deeper, then glued a thin shim over the top of the rod to keep it in.

    Thinking about this, I cant see what benefit this gives over using the fingerboard to keep it in. Anyone?
  16. I think if you'd ever going to put pressure on it, the silicone snaps and the u-channel is going to press against the fb. I can imagine that's not what you want. If you'd glue it in with epoxy, than it becomes an integral part of the neck, thus, when bending it, the whole neck bends. But that's just my theory.

    I guess that's the same, but I'm not sure.
  17. bass rocks

    bass rocks

    Nov 15, 2010
    where should you put the glue on the rod and where do you put the tape
  18. Put the masking tape over the open side, so the glue doesn't get in. Then, glue the sides and press it in. You should not glue the bottom of the U-channel.

    See this blog post of my build, check out the pics (you can navigate while hovering over the photo), they are very clear and explain the process into detail.


    Good luck!
  19. bass rocks

    bass rocks

    Nov 15, 2010
    just found out the trussrod i get will come with instructions but thanks
  20. headlikeahole

    headlikeahole Commercial User

    Oct 31, 2009
    Manchester, NH
    Owner: Zoov Custom Guitars

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