Jump to content

Entry for June 2018's Guitar Of The Month contest is open!
ENTER HERE!

mistermikev

looking for oversight... yeah it's me again...

Recommended Posts

11 hours ago, curtisa said:

I can't see that it'd be treated any different to selecting a truss rod for a guitar neck. In other words, the rods' effectiveness in providing additional support lessens the closer you get to the neck joint, where the thickness of the neck in combination with the timber in the heel mean that there is practically no pliability to be had at that point in the neck.

In the same way a guitar rod is typically shorter than the overall length of the neck, I'd select a rod that runs from the nut to junction of the neck and heel +/- 1 inch or so. Although if it ends up being longer it's not going to hurt anything (other than your wallet).

I've not had experience with the Stewmac Hot Rods, but I am aware that they generate their fair share of polarising opinions - some people are happy with them as-is, some people aren't so keen on the extra deep truss rod channel required to install them, some people have had issues with the quality of the rods.

ok now I need a recommendation because you have convinced me that perhaps I'm going in the wrong direction.  I was interested in them only because I really like extreme low action - to the point where considerable string vibration buzz is ok w me.  As a result... I have to micro adjust 2-3 times a year despite quality quarter sawn necks and such.  I understood that the dual beefy rods would be the best at keeping me stable... but now I want to know what you (and others if they are inclined) would suggest. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
7 hours ago, Prostheta said:

 

One of my favourite bucket list basses - the Warwick Infinity - has a MM and J. :thumb:

Our apparent politeness might be just the fact that social media groups has made the default of online interaction more hostile and less conversational. Everybody wants to be more right than the last guy kind of thing. Even though things like Facebook have hurt online forums, they have failed to provide a better way, worsened interaction and eroded the quality of free information exchange.

I second Andrew's comments about truss rods in that they should cover the most flexible length of the neck. I'd maybe disagree with the use of the word "support" in that it implies that truss rods provide reinforcement, whereas I view them as a device to add in control.

I'm not a fan of Hot Rods - as Andrew likely knows :lol: - for two reasons. Required depth as per most people's disagreements with them, but also that I have largely gone off using two-way rods in favour of more traditional (but more finicky) single-acting compression rods. Two-way rods are a separate part of the neck whilst compression rods are an integral part of it. I favour the idea that compression rods provide a balance of forces whilst two-way rods are an external force acting on the the neck (even though they're internal, you get what I mean). Overall, I've found that necks with compression rods seem to be more lively and better sounding. More of a tendency as opposed to being a hard and fast rule. The downsides being that they're extremely prone to needing constant adjustment as the neck moves in tandem with its environment, plus the hassle of making curved channels and manufacturing the rods themselves. On the other hand, you can customise their lengths to suit the application they will be working within, something that off-the-shelf rods don't often do.

To completely contradict myself, I do like Gotoh-style U-channel rods. That might be because I have a thing for high standard classic Japanese-made guitars and basses, many of which came/come with this style of rod. All of the Matsumoku instruments I have played over the years have these as has the best Yamaha gear. My number one guitar - an Ibanez - has a single-acting compression rod though.

I've totally wandered off topic as usual, however I think you might get some ideas out of my blather!

infinity - oh wow that is pretty.

I hear ya ala "oh no another internet thread spirals into fighting over whos right".  I would guestimate that it has more to do with the "throwing the turd over the fence" quality of internet convo.  Freq, without even trying, I read my words again and think dang - I am a jackwagon.  My typical sarcastic (playful) tone often comes off way worse when you don't have inflection to decrypt.  Then again I've def come across folks who were just lookin' for a fight.  All I can do is try to be less sarcastic and perhaps inject more warmth in my writing since I have zero control over others.  I have to say - so far this site - probably due to the mature and intelligent nature of the general population - has been nothing but kind to me.

afa truss rods... some good info there.  are the 'thinner' two way rods any better?  as I mentioned in prior post - I like a deadly combo of thin neck plus very low action - I have lots of gtrs that are classic style (I think anyway) the best of which is a classic fender style handmade neck that needs adjustment 2x a year.  That all has culminated in my desire to at least try a 2 way truss.

also length... the fretboard area is 23"... stew offers an 18 and a 24... I'm guessing that's common?  1) is 18 going to be trouble?  2) I'm guessing if I use 18 I really want it adjustable from the headstock then huh?

I love your wanderings... and TO EVERYONE HERE THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR ALL YOUR INFO.   I do really appreciate.  afa ibanez... I bought an sr805 that is from the late 80's and it'd def a fav. 

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, mistermikev said:

funny, I was thinking that given the feedback in here... perhaps folks were being polite and trying to hint that two j pickups and one mm looked funny. 

 

8 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Our apparent politeness might be just the fact that social media groups has made the default of online interaction more hostile and less conversational. Everybody wants to be more right than the last guy kind of thing. Even though things like Facebook have hurt online forums, they have failed to provide a better way, worsened interaction and eroded the quality of free information exchange.

As @Prostheta says, we're a friendly bunch around here. If it wasn't a nice place to hang out, I certainly wouldn't bother. Nobody is likely to get judgmental and I've had nothing but good advice about what *I* am trying to achieve. There's no "right" way to build a guitar, no rules as to what pickups you want to use. What you might get are questions to see if you've considered various things ("coaching" if you've ever trained in that sort of thing). Personally I just take joy in seeing the fruits of another person's imagination. :D

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
37 minutes ago, mistermikev said:

I like a deadly combo of thin neck plus very low action

I've seen a few people incorporate carbon fibre rods into their necks to add stiffness. Perhaps that might be something to consider 

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I had considered it... however figured it probably wouldn't be necc since warmoth doesn't do it on their 30 and 32 necks.  Also, this project is already probably more than I am capable of and graphite rods tend to be done at an angle... not sure I am up for the added challenge.  Perhaps just consider making the neck a bit beefier?  I don't know... I suppose another thing to consider is the weight added by those big beefy hot rods.  Perhaps the low profile one would be better.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Consider neck "reinforcement" or at least neck stiffness as a different aspect to what truss rods do, which is "control". You want the strings to pull the neck naturally into a bit of upward bow as that gives you action down the neck. Usually too much. The stiffer a neck is, the less upbow will occur. The truss rod acts against that natural upbow, allowing you control to balance off how much of it you want left in the neck, or how low you want your action. In my opinion, a neck that is too stiff is a PITA and are the most likely cases for dual acting rods so you can cause upbow rather than balance off against it. A well-designed neck should only need a rod that "acts" in one direction, but ultimately, having as many options in controlling your neck is a good thing.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Neck reinforcement doesn't need to be done a certain way, or angled. It just replaces wood with a stiffer and generally lighter material. Years and years ago a very highly respected luthier here on PG hollowed out the majority of a neck and replaced it entirely with carbon fibre tube reinforcement. Apparently, very bright and way too stiff.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks Prostheta.  The only examples I've seen have been tapering with the neck but good point - I suppose it doesn't have to. 

Prostheta / curtisa / norris: I hope I'm not being a pain, but could you recommend a dual action truss rod... if you had to pick one what would you go with?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Or if price is no issue, the Allied Lutherie ones.

Cheaper but still reliable - Allparts or WD Music (practically the same thing)

Even cheaper still, but use with caution - Ebay. I've had success with a few rods purchased from China, but I buy a few at a time and select the best from the bundle before installing it. In all likelihood the Allparts/WD Music variants probably come from the same source as the Ebay ones. All you're probably paying for is for Allparts/WD to do the sorting for you to pick out the better ones to sell on.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

gentlemen: thank you very much.  I will have to digest as I'm not sure what makes a good truss rod although the idea of a wood sheath seems fairly obvious and interesting although very expensive.

thank you both very much for your advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, curtisa said:

Or if price is no issue, the Allied Lutherie ones.

I was just getting ready to post the same thing and saw you beat me to it. These are my preferred rods but the price sure did go up when they started making them themselves....

https://alliedlutherie.com/collections/fretwire-trussrods/products/flexstrong-truss-rods

SR

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Allied are nice. Big money, but a nice touch. Not so sure about that wood sheath thing though. It sounds a bit like overvoodoo corksniffy bullshit to me. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

well... this guitar will have all bumble bee caps, carbon comp resistors, vintage fender pickguard screws... and pickup wire that was blessed by the pope so it would fit the theme - hehe.  Seems like it would fill any void with decent material tho.  Will it make me sound like srv (on bass perhaps, I dunno, was he any good on bass?)?  Probably not... but it seems like with anything really good you'll pay 75% more for .0001% more performance.  that said, and given this is my first build and will likely be riddled with mistakes (and possibly 22 rounds depending on how it goes)... I'll probably go with the cheaper recommendation in the end (barring possible lottery win b4 then).

Once I get some confidence, and build my next - I think I'd like to try the wood sheath ones.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 hours ago, Prostheta said:

Allied are nice. Big money, but a nice touch. Not so sure about that wood sheath thing though. It sounds a bit like overvoodoo corksniffy bullshit to me. 

All credit to them for machining such a thing. Completely unnecessary though

Quote

Wood Sheath upgrade - We are offering a wooden sleeve upgrade for any of our FlexStrong truss rods for those that are concerned that the heat shrink tubing that is used on most truss rods has a dampening effect that inhibits the transmission of sonic vibrations through the neck of the instrument.  The wood also completely fills the flat bottom slot leaving no room for rod rattle, especially if glued in by the sleeve, and is available in maple or mahogany to complement the woods most commonly used on necks.  

Oh... I stand... erm ... corrected? Nope, voodoo sonic vibrations :rolleyes:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I know....they really went all in with that one didn't they? Seriously....we're involved in a market that seems driven by who can weave the most woo. Why are people so paranoid that a bit of heatshrink will destroy the sound of an instrument, when nobody can demonstrate it as a real problem outside of their own obsessive disorders? I just can't do it, man.

That said, I agree. Nice trick of machining. Beyond that? It's all fine gauge aluminium millinery.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

so... I know this is going to be sorta 'meh' for you old pros but I can hardly contain myself right now.  I found a local source for black walnut... and not just black walnut but 14" wide black walnut. 

I don't think I got all that great of a deal on it... but then again I don't think I did 'bad'.  Got a neck of 8/4, also black walnut, for $23 tho... so that may make up for it a bit.  At the end of the day I'll be paying approx $50 per guitar blank for 1 piece walnut... so how'd I do?

anywho, kind of considering of NOT doing thinline now as the grain on this is really cool... I dunno.  be a shame to cover it up.

I've been dreaming on this build and working on my templates (pics below).  Used my idea of filling in with epoxy to generate some fairly tight neck pockets... see below.  again, for you guys probably 'meh' but for me... as tight as I'll ever get it. In fact too tight... should have used two pieces of tape to give myself a hair more gap.

 

DSCF2635.thumb.JPG.1ce9e22b87e3a3ca89dc22c8decb44af.JPG

got some cool figuring on an area too...DSCF2629.thumb.JPG.fcfc700f0c492f4a87eade992d12f302.JPGDSCF2631.thumb.JPG.7f8f15f3d69b221cd8e789f4ddccda8c.JPGDSCF2632.thumb.JPG.56722cb09d6a2ed06dc529109116934c.JPG

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thank you sir.  if I may ask a question?  what should I spread on the cut end of this board to preserve it while letting it acclimate to the location?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's somewhat difficult to discern from the photo, however it looks like the growth ring's radii are a little tight from it being an average sized tree rather than massive monster.

How dry is the wood? Straight in from "the source" or has it been sat indoors in your shop for a month or more? These two points may help you not fall foul of the board cupping on the bark side. The tighter the rings (smaller radius trunk) and the larger the difference between the inner and outer radii plus moisture content are critical. Black Walnut isn't the most stable of woods as it stands, so you need to stack the odds in your favour.

Does the wood feel cool the touch at room temperature? If you cut it, does the sawdust form clumps if you press it between your fingers? These are two bluffer's signs that the wood isn't yet as dry as it should be.

----

Ah, you posted on exactly that subject as I was asking....hahaha

Anything that impedes the flow of moisture. Paint or wax usually. Paint can be a crapshoot depending on how permeable it is, however it's cheap. Wax meant for the job is more costly, but great for preserving  yield on more expensive woods.

----

Meanwhile, as the wood is drying we can get to work on sorting you out when it comes to this whole epoxy thing....if you're resorting to that because you can't get a tight neck joint, well, we can fix that. :thumb: Nobody needs to resort to epoxy as an alternative to improving their woodwork chops!

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
38 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

It's somewhat difficult to discern from the photo, however it looks like the growth ring's radii are a little tight from it being an average sized tree rather than massive monster.

How dry is the wood? Straight in from "the source" or has it been sat indoors in your shop for a month or more? These two points may help you not fall foul of the board cupping on the bark side. The tighter the rings (smaller radius trunk) and the larger the difference between the inner and outer radii plus moisture content are critical. Black Walnut isn't the most stable of woods as it stands, so you need to stack the odds in your favour.

Does the wood feel cool the touch at room temperature? If you cut it, does the sawdust form clumps if you press it between your fingers? These are two bluffer's signs that the wood isn't yet as dry as it should be.

----

Ah, you posted on exactly that subject as I was asking....hahaha

Anything that impedes the flow of moisture. Paint or wax usually. Paint can be a crapshoot depending on how permeable it is, however it's cheap. Wax meant for the job is more costly, but great for preserving  yield on more expensive woods.

----

Meanwhile, as the wood is drying we can get to work on sorting you out when it comes to this whole epoxy thing....if you're resorting to that because you can't get a tight neck joint, well, we can fix that. :thumb: Nobody needs to resort to epoxy as an alternative to improving their woodwork chops!

thank you very much for chiming in.  Lotta good info there.  I'm not sure I undersand your first line other than that you have discerned that it wasn't a huge tree... my process was: "gee it looks pretty - lets make a guitar of it!"

afa dry: I know it was sitting at the place I bought it for at least 3-4weeks.  By how fast the pile moved I'm gonna guess they got it 2-5weeks before that.  It feels dry when I touch it... not 'cold' altho it isn't really resonant when you knock on it.  Not sure if that's just because it is so dense or because it is full of water.  For now - the two pieces are pretty much straight as an arrow

.  You've just answered my prayers with your info regarding sawdust and now I know exactly what I'll do next  - cut a corner and see what the dust looks like!  I bought this early in my process because I have read that you wanna let it sit in your "shop" (for me a garage!) for 6-12 weeks prior to doing anything.  If this is anything like letting my saltwater fish tank cycle... well lets just say I'll do my best to work on other things for at least another 3-4 weeks!

afa neck joint... well I know you can do it with straight edges screwed in next to the piece... but the sanding of the heel radius to make it match is an achilles heel (pardon the pun) for me.  I am aware that collets would have worked, however the epoxy method is just something I wanted to try... and I like to think it worked pretty good for first time (pics above).  It was surprisingly easy.  Surely my process could improve and frankly it was impeded by a combo of not enough epoxy, should have used 2 layers of tape for a 'less tight' joint, and a cheap bit that wasn't as wide as the bearing.  That said - my joint looks ok yes? no?  I thought it was pretty tight, especially on the cavity cover.  I don't even think I'd need screws to hold that - just friction!  then again... once I have some finish on a piece it would be too tight.  Lots of room for improvement in my skills for sure. 

Thanks again for the response - if I ever sound like I'm not appreciative I don't mean to.  I just think out loud a lot and frequently think as I speak!

cheers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tight radii are smaller, hence either closer to the heart (argh, earworm) or in the case of it being on the bark edge, a small part of the trunk. These matter because tangential movement (expansion and contraction around the direction of the growth rings) is a percentage, so the longer ring paths shrink/expand a large distance compared to smaller, tighter rings which do so much less. The upshot of that is cupping and warping from the differences in movement.

It depends on how wet it was when they go ahold of it. I can't see any purple colouration in the Walnut, so it might be safe to assume that it was kiln dried. Air-dried Black Walnut retains the weird purple hues around the wood, whereas kiln-dried goes a more uniform range of browns. This is still not a guarantee of course, but a good clue.

Anything that has been kiln-dried properly will be brought down to a moisture value below 15%, however even if it was dried to 5-8%, storing it outdoors or an otherwise uncontrolled climate would bring that wood back up to the teens within a couple of weeks.

I store any wood that I am going to use for indoor furniture or instruments indoors for at least a month laid flat with good air circulation around the piece. Longer is always better of course. Truly dry wood (that 5-8%) has a distinctive feel of being airy, light and not cool to the touch. Of course, the wood may be wetter inside than outside so this only goes so far, as does checking out how cohesive the dust is. I usually pull the extraction from the saw at work when I'm crosscutting a so-so board and see what the dust says. Oily woods aren't as easy to read this way for obvious reasons. Walnut is just fine.

With your fingerboard end being shaped, there's no reason that you can't simply use an overhang on the fingerboard and keep the neck underneath relatively "Fenderish" with a square end and rounded corners. You could even keep the heel end square and chop out the rounded corners that a routed pocket leaves with a chisel. Epoxy isn't that good as an adhesive in reality. It just covers a variety of sins easily, but performs poorly in the long term. Many epoxies (as far as I have seen) designed as adhesives retain a degree of plasticity and might creep over time, or at least kill resonant coupling between the neck and the body.

Am I right in thinking that you are bolting this one in and also using epoxy? If so, that's super redundant and we can get you in the zone where a better performing joint can be achieved, definitely. I'm really voting "no" on the use of epoxy here. Not my call of course, just saying that it isn't ideal.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
47 minutes ago, Prostheta said:

Tight radii are smaller, hence either closer to the heart (argh, earworm) or in the case of it being on the bark edge, a small part of the trunk. These matter because tangential movement (expansion and contraction around the direction of the growth rings) is a percentage, so the longer ring paths shrink/expand a large distance compared to smaller, tighter rings which do so much less. The upshot of that is cupping and warping from the differences in movement.

It depends on how wet it was when they go ahold of it. I can't see any purple colouration in the Walnut, so it might be safe to assume that it was kiln dried. Air-dried Black Walnut retains the weird purple hues around the wood, whereas kiln-dried goes a more uniform range of browns. This is still not a guarantee of course, but a good clue.

Anything that has been kiln-dried properly will be brought down to a moisture value below 15%, however even if it was dried to 5-8%, storing it outdoors or an otherwise uncontrolled climate would bring that wood back up to the teens within a couple of weeks.

I store any wood that I am going to use for indoor furniture or instruments indoors for at least a month laid flat with good air circulation around the piece. Longer is always better of course. Truly dry wood (that 5-8%) has a distinctive feel of being airy, light and not cool to the touch. Of course, the wood may be wetter inside than outside so this only goes so far, as does checking out how cohesive the dust is. I usually pull the extraction from the saw at work when I'm crosscutting a so-so board and see what the dust says. Oily woods aren't as easy to read this way for obvious reasons. Walnut is just fine.

With your fingerboard end being shaped, there's no reason that you can't simply use an overhang on the fingerboard and keep the neck underneath relatively "Fenderish" with a square end and rounded corners. You could even keep the heel end square and chop out the rounded corners that a routed pocket leaves with a chisel. Epoxy isn't that good as an adhesive in reality. It just covers a variety of sins easily, but performs poorly in the long term. Many epoxies (as far as I have seen) designed as adhesives retain a degree of plasticity and might creep over time, or at least kill resonant coupling between the neck and the body.

Am I right in thinking that you are bolting this one in and also using epoxy? If so, that's super redundant and we can get you in the zone where a better performing joint can be achieved, definitely. I'm really voting "no" on the use of epoxy here. Not my call of course, just saying that it isn't ideal.

as always - a wealth of info.  i will have to move it indoors - good to know - also it hits 115 here pretty reg in a few months so would have to anyway. 

afa fingerboard: couple things... I was thinking that if my neck build is a disaster I'd want to buy a warmoth neck and that has the rounded heel... so just being conservative there. 

afa epoxy - I'm not sure if you smell what I'm stepping in there... what I was doing is rough cut out the neck, sand it right, put tape around the edge, put it back in the piece it was cut from, epoxy in the gap... then this is just used to create a template.  The final neck will have no epoxy whatsoever.  Now I have a template that is tight.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ahhhhh....creating a template by moulding epoxy! Very good. Sugru or other "smart meltable plastics" or even two-part car polyester filler like Bondo might be less messy. I'm awful because I get epoxy everywhere. My apologies. I've been really time poor lately because I am training a student at work plus I've found a sister I never knew about. Life is super crazy.

  • Thanks 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×