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Truss rod Question 1
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,
Rick Andrews Answers Your Question Below.
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.
Truss Rod Question 2
Guitar Rick- Andrews Guitars
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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