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Rick Andrews and other experts answers guitar repair questions
For almost one year, guitar luther Rick Andrews answered your guitar repair questions. After recieving over 500 questions we put together the most popular questions and answers. Today, we are involving other great guitar builders and will continue to expand this area in the future. This section will no longer be interactive but you should find most of your guitar building and repair questions have already been answered in this section.

Special Note!
We are now stocking and selling electric guitar kits. By establishing a working relationship with two manufacturing plants we now offer many electric guitar kits. Some of the styles include the Telecaster, Stratocaster, Explorer, Flying V, Les Paul, PRS, and the Warlock. More will be added every couple months. If you are looking to find an inexpensive alternative to purchasing a new guitar you might want to consider a guitar kit from your friends at EvO:R.

  •  See the guitar Kits Here



  •  Truss rod Question 1

    Hi Rick, I was wondering if you could help me out with some truss rod info. I own a Maton EM225C electro acoustic that is really quite a stunning guitar, though the action is a bit to high for my liking. The truss rod access is set into the block inside the body where the neck is gluedand is a simple square bolt at the end. Can you tell me which way the truss is supposed to be turned to tighten (and straighten) the neck & I suspect it is in a clockwise fashion but I dont want to try it in case I'm wrong and do some damage. Any assistance you could offer me with regard to this would be greatly appreciated. Cheers,
    Chris Fuller.
    North Perth
    Western Australia.


  •  Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.

    Chris, You are exactly right. The rod will tighten when turned clockwide but first as always when you adjust any truss rod, loosen all strings which will take the opposite string tension off the neck. This makes the rod much easier to tighten and keep it from stripping or breaking. Adjust it slightly then return the strings. Do this a tiny bit at a time for how ever many times it takes until you get it where you want it.
    Guitar Rick- Andrews Guitars

  •  Truss Rod Question 2

    I am curious about how "loose" or "tight" one should expect a truss rod adjustment to be. I have a flat top acoustic that I am trying to lower the action on and when I try to slightly adjust the truss rod (clockwise) it feels as though I am simply unscrewing a bolt that has been free up - no resistance at all. Do I have a problem ?? :) :)........... David Lemon
  •  Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.

    David, Be careful adjusting truss rods. Always completely loosen the tension on the strings first. Many rods have been broken inside the neck because of tightening it while the string tension is on the neck in tune. That causes a whoping amount of resistance and makes it much harder to turn and many times breaks at the threads of the rod. Then you got real problems. It sounds like someone has already broke the rod.
  • Did you purchase the guitar used or new?
  • What is the brand guitar and model?
    Some guitars are coming with a double action rod and some may turn backwards from what you would expect to tighten the tension. I would sugest turning the adjustment counter clockwise until you feel something start to tighten and watch the fretboard to see whether it curves up or down about midway down the fretboard. If it does nothing in either direction then it is either stripped the threads or broken.

    There is one other possibility. Sometimes a neck will have a crazy tendency to bow up in the middle which is very unusual. 99% of the time they will bow down because of the string tension pulling the bow in that direction. Of course you tighten the rod to offset that and make it hump back up closer to the strings. I have built one or two guitars in the past that actually did this and the truss rod was laying inside loose and it still humped up. That is when I put a good bit more tension on the strings tuned way high to over tension the neck and you can clamp it downward in the midway of the frertboard. That will cause it to try to warp back the other way but you will have to leave it for several days and keep it warm while doing that. Some guys use heat bars. I do not use them. Too much heat will cause the glue to turn loose the fretboard from the neck.

    That is how we take them aprt anyway by heating the glue and softening. If all else fails, you can take the fretboard off the neck, check the rod, and if it is OK then re-flat the neckwood and glue the fretboard back on. You can glue it back while holding it in the oposite slight curve so that when the glue dries and cures out say 24 hours or so, then it will go back to flat position. In other words you glue it in a curve shape to offset the original curve.

    Sometimes people glue and clamp them together in the original building phase and clamp it in a slight curve which can cause this to happen. Now days manufacturers build guitars so factory fast at high volume output and they install the two way rods so they can build them sloppy and get away with it. A two way rod allows you to adjust it properly regardless of which way the wood warps or curves. This allows them to build them cheaper and much quicker without proper alignment.

    This is one of the biggies that makes the hand made custom guitars so much better. Attention to all the details that makes a guitar mo better comes with taking the time to do it carefully and properly. The difference in handmade custom high end guitars and normal store bought mass production guitars is incredible. It's like the voklkswagen compared to a rolls royce. Anyway I hope this answered your question in enough detail to get you where you want it to be.
    Rick Andrews, Andrews Guitar


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