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jmrentis

Neck And Truss Rod Question

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Well I will be cutting out my neck here soon and I am going to make it a thicker than usual neck, which I prefer and it will have a v profile some what. So in having a thicker neck would adjusting the depth of the truss rod be a good idea?

So I know most everyone will say no, and I should just route it for under the fretboard, but I just am very curious if the position will affect the control of bow in the neck. Basically I'm thinking partly of leverage, having the support all the way on the far side of anything will make it more difficult to do it's job, right?

So like I said my neck will be thicker, not drastically thicker but more than most necks. And being that it's thicker it just makes me wonder. I will have an angled headstock, so the nut adjustment wouldn't be a big problem, although if I did route it deeper I could lose quite a bit of strength in the headstock because the hole for the truss adjustment would need to be deeper. I have some extra of my middle laminate wood left that would fit the truss channel if I wanted to make a cap for it, if I decided to route the truss rod deeper than usual.

Ok, and another aspect of this, if the truss rod was angled at all would that cause a problem? And by angled I mean if you were looking at the fretboard straight on, if say the area by the nut was close to the surface and the other end of the truss rod by the heel was pushed further back into the neck, like towards the heel itself. I would tend to think that the neck wouldn't bow evenly if you did that, but I read a post here where the guy was trying to plane down a one piece maple neck so he could add a fretboard, but he had to get far enough down to get the truss rod out of the neck to be able to route it flat right under the fretboard. Anyways he said as he was trying to get it out he noticed that the truss rod was angled like I mentioned where the area around the nut was shallow and the around the heel it was deeper. Is that done on purpose, or was it a screw up? What problems would it cause? Any benefits?

So there are my questions. I know I will probably end up doing it normally, as in under the fretboard, I don't really want to do a skunk stripe installation, as that seems far more difficult, but I guess if it made a big difference with anything I would attempt that route instead. I'm thinking of doing the normal way and using a pair of carbon fiber rods for added stability, basically I really want this neck to work out for me, and not have any issues with relief. Sorry about the novel I just wanted to explain myself as clearly as possible, if anyone can comment,please do. Later. J

Here's basically what sparked my question:Truss Rod the truss rod they sell is thinner than most so the truss channel will be less deep. So seeing that it is thinner and my neck is thicker I just got curious. Thanks for reading this book of a post. Later.

PS: I am using a two way truss rod.

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If you're using, say, a hot rod, leave it alone, has plenty of adjustment as is. I doubt your neck's going to be hugely out of line with the bigger necks on the market, and the truss rods on those are generally placed in the same place as on smaller necks.

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The Stew Mac Hot Rod would work great also for you, since your going with a thicker neck. You shouldn't angle the truss slot it's not going to help anything. Just cut the slot the correct depth and width for your truss rod. The only advantage that the Allied truss has is that it only takes a 3/8" deep slot and not the deeper 7/16" slot that the Stew Mac does. It's really a matter of preference, and I've had great results with both. If your planning on making a thin neck, then you'd be better off with a Allied(LMI) type rod. Otherwise, making a normal sized neck or thicker (like your doing) you can use the Hot Rod from Stew Mac with no problem. What you really need to do is calculate how thin you can make your neck and make sure you don't go thinner than that. Everyone agrees that you need at least 1/8" wood between bottom of truss slot and back of neck, anything less than that will be risky. Then figure out your fingerboard width, which in most cases is 1/4". Then just add your truss slot depth (7/16" for Stew Mac) and you'll have your measurment on how thin you can go.

1/8" + 1/4" + 7/16" = 13/16" (.8125)

That is good for a normal neck thickness, but if your going for a thin neck like Ibanez Wizard, then your probably going to have major problems since they are sometimes as thin as .735" at the 1st fret area.

So what am I trying to say here? Only that you should know what thickness your wanting before you cut the first piece of wood.

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Thanks for the responses. I just started to think that the depth might increase stability and make adjustments to the neck easier, but I understand how it doesn't really matter, especially because the difference between my thicker neck and most neck will be minimal, a few mms at most.

I was thinking starting at 21.5mm at the first fret and that= .8464. But I have not fully decided yet. The fretboard is 1/4". I believe the some of old ibanez necks were as big as was 21mm. And many consider that a bigger neck, well at least compared to the ones they make today at 17-19mm or so. I'm going to look around and see if I want it bigger than that or not. I love playing necks like my accoustic, so I need to find the thickness of that and see how much of a difference I would want for an electric neck.

Basically I don't believe I need to worry about the thickness for the truss rod, because the thinnest I go will still be far thicker than I would need as a minimum for the truss rod. But that is a good point, I can't imagine how bad it would be to run into that problem, and possibly have your truss rod bust through the back of the neck, or even sand right into the truss channel while shaping.

I've planned on using the hod rod, it sounds relatively easy to install, compared to some, and I haven't really heard any horror stories about it. Plus like it mentions, the allied one is thinner and having a thicker neck it probably would be harder on the truss rod, so the thicker one(the hot rod) is better for me. As I said it will be the 2 way. But it just made me think about those questions I asked. But in using a couple carbon rods and a nice big 2 way truss rod, I'm sure I'll be fine. Thanks again guys for the advice, and I'll let you guys know how it goes when I get there, I tend to take a lot of pics, so I'll post them in my thread when the time comes. Later. J

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Yep, pretty much. My necks are generally between 20 and 22mm at the nut (overall depth, including fboard), and I wouldn't call any of them 'huge'. They all have an asymmetrical carve (think SRV/Van Halen/Music Man necks) which makes them feel a bit 'smaller' than they really are, though.

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Yeah I really need to do some more testing on sizes, I don't know exactly what size will be big for me. I know that most necks I have played on are too small, and thats all the average necks from ibanez and fender. I am starting with my neck blank cut at 1 1/8" thick, and thats not including the fretboard, so that will leave me plenty of wood to see how fat I actually want it.

Again I need to do some measuring on my accoustic and maybe head down to the guitar shop and test out some guitars. And then go on the web and find out their thickness. If it's posted. Plus that extra thickness I'm leaving on the neck blank will enable me to make a nice solid volute, which I really want for looks and for strength.

Yeah I thought about the asymmetrical profile, but I think a symmetrical v would suit me better, and I should say it will be a soft V, but not quite a U. But being that I want a thicker neck I felt doing a profile like the asymmetrical, or V will make fretting easy like it would be on a thinner neck, while still giving my hand the support it needs. Well thanks for help guys and if anyone has any more thoughts on the subject please post them. Later. J

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In my opinion you are making a mistake putting the carbon fiber rods in there. The rods are only going to make it harder for the truss rod to do it's job. (It resists both forward and backward bows.) Combined with an already thick neck, you are going to end up with something you can't adjust. That's fine if it is exactly the relief (or lack thereof) that you want, but a disaster if you need to change it. There are plenty of thin-neck guitars in the world that are doing just fine without any carbon rods. Don't simply assume that it is going to make things better for you.

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Thank you for that link. I remember going through it a while back but I never realized it had the actual thickness of each, that helps a lot. I might have to really rethink the thickness, I really thought 21.5-22mm would be pretty thick, but they have some going up to an inch = 25.4mm.

Basically right now my design is most similar to the clapton. Mine would be a hair bigger in thickness, but as I said I'm beginning to think that the thickness I planned for will not be enough for what I want. Does anyone have a page to link to for accoustic neck thickness, or have any idea of what their personal accoustic neck is? I don't have a caliper yet, I did years back but I can't find it. Because I could start with that thickness and make a compromise between the fat electrics and an average accoustic neck.

Also I should mention that my neck laminate blank should be big enough for 2 full necks with angled headstocks, and another neck minus the headstock, to which I can add one via a scarf joint, which I want to learn how to do anyways.

So I can do a couple different thicknesses and profile to find what suits me best. All three necks are going to be bolt ons, and one of them might be a replacement for an ibanez I have, I don't really like the neck, it doesn't do well with truss adjustment, it tends to bow only in the top 5 frets, which seems weird to me, especially when you measure relief at the 7th fret, although I have heard 9th fret. I can get it perfectly straight, but a couple of the frets are high and it will get a slight buzz, so when I buy some long radius sanding blocks I will try to even it out a little, but never the less a nice 3 piece laminated neck with a pair of carbon fiber rods would be far better than the neck it came with, and it would be something I made, which I always get a kick out of.

Well thanks again Guitar Frenzy, and everyone. I must say I got a lot of info from your site, I have read through it a number of times, and I think that strat turned out very nice. Thanks for the help. Later. Jason

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In my opinion you are making a mistake putting the carbon fiber rods in there.  The rods are only going to make it harder for the truss rod to do it's job.  (It resists both forward and backward bows.)  Combined with an already thick neck, you are going to end up with something you can't adjust.  That's fine if it is exactly the relief (or lack thereof) that you want, but a disaster if you need to change it.  There are plenty of thin-neck guitars in the world that are doing just fine without any carbon rods.  Don't simply assume that it is going to make things better for you.

sorry...that is just not true.i have built them both ways and i would never hesitate to use carbon fibre rods again...in combination with a 2 way rod,they provide superior stability and plenty of adjustability...and are just an added bit of insurance

especially for alternative neck woods,such as cherry,which i used on a 3 piece neck,with the carbon fibre rods and the hotrod...and in over a year i have had no problems even through several sting guage and tuning changes...

they offer them for a reason

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I agree with your carbon fiber rod statement Wes. In fact I won't make a neck without them anymore. They really help keep the neck stable but you can still adjust the truss rod with no problem. If your neck is fretted properly, then a straight neck or slight relief is all you need anyway. Once you get it setup correctly, you don't want the neck to move. It helps keep the neck like you set it up, even with various climate changes. That's a big plus in my book.

You don't have to have them though.

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Thanks Wes and Guitar Frenzy for that reassurance! I would never believe that not using them would be better anyways, but I'm glad someone set that straight. If you went by the theory that adjusting a neck would be hard or impossible when using carbon fiber or thick necks, or stiff woods, then you could say that basswood would be the ultimate neck wood, because it's so soft that you could easily adjust it with just a truss rod and not have to use carbon fiber. Having the truss adjustment be easy is not my worry, I'd rather have it so I don't need to use the truss rod except on occasion, rather than have it easy to adjust but have to make adjustments daily to weekly.

And like some people here, I would prefer my neck straight with no to little relief, rather than have a good amount of relief. And if I build my neck decently being straight shouldn't be a problem and all the carbon fiber rods should do is keep it straight and stiff. But as all people that use both have told me they are still perfectly adjustable, but they tend to not warp on their own, so adjustments are few and far in between. Which is great for string gauge changes and such, because adjusting a truss rod can be a delicate process,if you want perfection in playability.

Well thanks again, I will be using a 2 way hot rod and a pair of carbon fiber rods, on a 3 piece neck, hard maple/jatoba/hard maple with a cocobolo fretboard. So I don't think stability will be an issue for me, on top of the fact that it will be a few mms thicker than the average neck. I believe all of those woods are extremely stiff and stable, to the best of my knowledge, and add a nice volute and some SS frets(if I dare) and I should have a neck built perfectly for me, and it should last me a lifetime, and I should have 3 of them if I'm lucky enough to cut well on the bandsaw.

Thanks again guys, all your help has been much needed and appreciated. Anyone have a favorite place to get their CF rods? I figured just buying them at Stewmac when I buy my truss rod, also is any certain shape better? I know some places sell rectangular shape ones, and many places just sell square shaped ones, it seems that the rectangular ones would go further into the neck, and I'm not sure if thats a good thing or a bad thing, but I know that the CF is stronger than the wood, so I guess it would be better. Any thoughts? Later guys! J

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Well, I certainly am the minority opinion on that one. I agree that carbon fiber may be a good precaution on something like cherry. I still say it is completely unnecessary on hard maple and jatoba. While I am not necessarily convinced, given your positive experiences I may reconsider the carbon rods in a future project.

jmrentis, either way, I am sure your neck will come out great ... should be beautiful with those woods.

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I appreciate that Ryan!! I can understand you have had your own experiences and you do what you feel works best. I just have heard many people that use both CF rods and truss rods, and never have any problem doing adjustments and usually have to do many less adjustments. So for me this sounds like the best plan of action. Of course if I find out that it is not I will not hesitate to post it, but for what I have heard and seen this is the best way to go.

And as funny as it sounds I have heard of a number of people that complain about twists and warps on their hard maple necks, usually from factory production necks. And since most peeple have no issues adjusting with the CF rods I think it would be a wise choice to prevent any future problems.

Well thanks for the kinds words and advice. I will be sure to post the outcome for my neck when I get there, although it will be a little while from now. Thanks everyone for the help and any more opinions are welcome! Later. J

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I can't think of any reason to not use carbon fiber rods. Unless the xtra expense is an issue. They are not overly rigid, and still allow for adjustment. They just add a bit of extra stiifness without adding a huge amount of weight. If I am not mistaken Warmoth uses or at least sells steel rods(3/16" square stock) in place of carbon, and this doesn't seem to pose any problem either.

Peace,Rich

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The main reason carbon fiber rods are used instead of steel ones, are simply because they are light as a feather and won't add unjust weight to your neck. Don't let the weight fool you though, they are very strong and make the neck much more stable. Like fryovanni said, "I can't think of any reason to not use carbon fiber rods", we'll I can't either.. The advantages outweights the disadvantages (extra work, extra money) by a mile. I'm not saying that every neck has to have CF Rods, but why not add them anyway, it's just going to make it that much more stable in the long run.

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