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who makes their own truss rods?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by wilser, Sep 13, 2005.

  1. Truss rods are getting expensive as number of instruments increases ...looking for a cheaper alternative ...who makes their own?
  2. Tdog


    May 18, 2004
    I've made truss rods before. The trade off is time vs. $$$$. Ask yourself if the $20 bucks or so for a truss rod is worth the time it takes to cut the metal and cut the threads, then tap the blocks.....and that's if you have the necessary metal working equipment. The steel and brass are cheap. You can probably make a dozen or so double expanders out of a 24ft steel rod for under $10-$15 in materials (depending on where you get your metal. But, you could make some very high-tech rods using titanium.....(just a thought). It all depends on what your time is worth.

    You can always buy in bulk or get an account with AllParts. If you are using enough rods, you can easily cut your cost per unit in half this way.
  3. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    I have them made for me too my specs.
  4. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I wish somebody made a size in-between 18" and 24" I like making medium and short scale basses and I end up having to use 18" truss rods.....t
  5. A9X


    Dec 27, 2003
    Sinny, Oztraya
    Interesting you bring this up, as it's an issue I'm having with getting a shortscale BO neck built. It appears to me that 18" ones are too short and the 24" are too long, unless I go for a 24 fret neck which is close enough to a Fender 20 fret 34" in length. However, that won't then fit the body I have.

    Anyone know some who'll make them?
  6. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    LMI will make them to any size I think??
  7. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have used 18" ones in several of my 30" and 32" basses. I center them in the neck. So far no problems but I would like bigger ones.....t
  8. I build my own from off the shelf parts and only have to thread one part. I use a design adapted from Dave Pushic's design he has published on the MIMF. My TR is beefier and uses a larger upper bar. This design is a single action dual rod style.

    Then I have my dual action single rod design that I've made. That's coupled with my gearbox adjustment deal that I came up with. Sadly, Pilotjones discovered that Burns has been doing that since the early 60's so I'm not the first. Dammit!

    To make my design, you have to have access to a mig or simple wirefeed welder but the parts cost a total of about $4 and it takes literally 30 minutes or less to make one.
  9. hmmm, Cliff/Hambone/Tdog, care to share your methods? I'm familiar with what is discussed in 'guitarmaking' by cumpiano/natelson and the stuff on the martin koch book. Looking for something different, though.
  10. Cliff Bordwell

    Cliff Bordwell Commercial User

    Jan 6, 2004
    USA , Orlando , Florida
    Owner of CB BASSES
    Mine are basically an improved LMI dual action.
  11. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    That's just what David King does.
  12. I'll post a drawing and parts list of mine because I don't have one done to photograph right now.
  13. while we wait for hambone's diagram and info, has anybody tried those '2 way' truss rods Grizzly Industrial is selling? they are about half the LMI ones.
  14. Here's a layout of the dual rod, single action that I make...

  15. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    I always make my own. The pincipal is like Ham's, with some variations.
    Mine are just a 5mm round bar on top of an M5 threaded bar, joined in one end by a weld joint. Instead of Ham's stripped and welded nut, I make a block with two holes. The lower is straight through, the upper is half thru. The treaded part goes thru the lower hole and the upper is pushed into the upper hole. It's kept together with the puller nut, which is very similar to Ham's.
  16. Sub's version would probably be more suitable than mine for headstock adjustment designs. Mine has a little too much mass on the business end for that. But my neck design doesn't incorporate headstock adjustment so my look is different.
  17. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    a friend of mine who used to be head luthier at Warrior makes his out of high carbon steel and they are only 1/4" allowing for a very thin neck. I am in the process of making some myself... I used one in a fifteen string bass that i made and it is working like a dream.
  18. Care to elaborate on the "best" way that Gibson does it? I don't recall Gibson being a force in the bass market for some years now. And doesn't StewMac have a $25 minimum order?
  19. Only ONE?!! :eek: :confused: How 'bout a pic?
  20. yes, I'm curious about this too.