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mledbetter

One piece neck with a modern 2-way truss rod?

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I have looked all over and have searched this forum too and anytime I see an example of a one piece neck build - they go into the vintage truss rod, routing the curved channel, matching the curve on the skunk stripe.. I'm wondering why I couldn't do a one-piece neck and use a 2-way truss rod poking out of the butt end of the neck. Am I missing something? I've done the two-piece thing and would like to build a one-piece neck but I don't really care about being vintage correct and really don't want to build all of the specialty routing jigs :) I just want to make sure before I experiment that there isn't some structural or other reason that this is frowned upon. Thanks!

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What is your understanding of a one piece neck? Most of the time, even when there's no separate piece of wood for the fretboard, there's at least a second piece of wood to cover the truss rod channel route on the back of the neck, commonly called the "skunk stripe".

Could it be done for a 2 way rod? Yes, but the question is why: I can't see any advantage of making a neck that way.

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I'm also interested in this concept because I like the functionality of the 2 way rods and the ease of installation (no specialty curved jigs). MLED you're right in that every 1 piece neck build I've seen uses the traditional curved rod. Also, in looking at telecasters from various years and setups, some have the adjustment at the headstock and some at the heel. I did a quick calculation on using a 2 way rod on a one piece, rear mounted neck that I'll share.

You might be stuck with only being able to have the adjustment at the heel, because I think you'd be too low for the headstock because your trussrod channel starts from the rear of the neck. This isn't a problem for the traditional rod because it arcs up at each end, you just drill the hole in the headstock to meet the rod channel.

The stewmac 2 way hot rods are 11.1mm deep. I added another 4mm to the trussrod channel you would need to route as space for the 'skunk stripe', totalling 15.1mm deep channel.  A random telecaster spec I found online states a thickness at the 1st fret (thinnest point) of 21.8mm.   

21.8mm-15.1mm = 6.7mm of material from the fretboard down to the channel. Which seems like it would be enough material to be strong enough.

One question I have about the 2 way rods is whether they can be installed with the adjustment nut on top or bottom. The pics on stewmacs website has them all on the bottom (meaning the back of the neck) .

It does get slightly more complicated. The skunk stripe/trussrod channel on traditional truss rod fenders doesn't go all the way to the end of the heel. It stops before the end and a hole is drilled from the heel to meet the channel (just like the headstock end) and the rod is fed through. Because the 2 way rod is thicker, one would have to make the channel and stripe slightly longer. I was considering using a spoke nut rod so it could be adjusted without removing the neck, which seems tedious. But because the spoke has a larger diameter than the rod it is attached to, I would have no choice but to route all way to the heel. Then, like some fenders that have this rod type, route into the fretboard or neck pocket to expose the nut and allow space for adjustments.

Like to hear your thoughts on my thoughts!

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I have done this once wit no issue. I put the trussrod with the nut towards the fretboard. You adjust it the oposit way then you normaly would, it's upside down. I routed the skunkstripe not much longer then usual and drilled the rest both from the groove and from the front of the headstock. The nut sits a little deeper under the nut than a nut of a traditional rod, no problem. I tried to maintain the traditional look of the access hole, so it is angled, I messed it up so it is a little larger diameter, no filler. But I have seen it done by routing a flat access groove from the top. Maybe some Yamaha or Godin have it that way.

http://kmensik.rajce.idnes.cz/DIY_Tele/

 

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KMENSIK, thank you for posting this.  It looks like an awesome build. You decided to have the adjustment at the headstock. You say that you had to angle the access hole, is it difficult to get your allen wrench or whatever bit, to make good contact with the truss rod nut without slipping because of the angle?

I found another source on youtube of it being done

 

He doesn't mention depth, but he clearly routes the trussrod channel all the way to the end of the heel.

Edited by metallisomething

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Two-way rods inserted through the back tend to be problematic. Fender tried them and had to add in a reinforcing button into the rod under the 7th (9th?) fret inlay to stop them bursting out of the back.

There's no reason you can't do this, however I suspect that most people that go the route of making a one-piece neck tend to be doing so for reasons of it being Fender-ish. That is likely why you see the vintage-style rod far more often than not.

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20 hours ago, kmensik said:

I have done this once wit no issue. I put the trussrod with the nut towards the fretboard. You adjust it the oposit way then you normaly would, it's upside down. I routed the skunkstripe not much longer then usual and drilled the rest both from the groove and from the front of the headstock. The nut sits a little deeper under the nut than a nut of a traditional rod, no problem. I tried to maintain the traditional look of the access hole, so it is angled, I messed it up so it is a little larger diameter, no filler. But I have seen it done by routing a flat access groove from the top. Maybe some Yamaha or Godin have it that way.

http://kmensik.rajce.idnes.cz/DIY_Tele/

 

Great photos!

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Prostheta, I guess you mean a different kind of two way truss rod Fender used. It really had an anchor in the middle hidden under a fret mark. The principle is very different. http://www2.fender.com/experience/tech-talk/bi-flex-truss-rod/

A modern two way truss rod pushes against the neck pocket on one side and against the solid wood of the headstock on the other, so it can not really push the skunk-stripe out. I was much more worried of it breaking through the fretboard when making my RG wit a fairly thin and brittle zebrano fretboard. But again it works fine.

As for the adjustment hole, mine is about 8mm in diameter, I can access it comfortably with the shorter lug of the hex wrench for fine adjustments or with a long ball-ended hex wrench. 857c0fcf93f826d7c7785999e59ca639.jpg

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That's the one, yes. I discussed this briefly in the truss rods articles I am working on. The Biflex is sort of a "reversible compression rod" where it can work in tension as well as compression, if I am thinking correctly. I haven't much available space in my head to think this through at the moment to be fair....the thing that I think is important is when the rod is not a component of the neck. When they're not anchored in. Those physically bear against the wood and can drive out skunk stripes or wood from the neck/fingerboard if they're not done correctly. Compression rods work mostly against their own compression/tension so blow out less.

I'm sure you're more right than I am. Like I said....this week is not a good one for me thinking!

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