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Substitute For Silicone When Installing T-rod


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The silicone isnt used as a lubricant, it's to cushion the truss rod so it doesnt rallte. You want a silicone sealer, not a lubricant. Head over to your local hardware store and look where they keep the caulk, thats where I found mine. Only like $4 if I remember right.

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I guess I would just try it out on some scrap wood to see how it dries. If it remains pliable you should be ok. Make sure you read the directions to see what materials it CANT be used on. My advice would still be to pick up the silicone. There is probabbly a reason thats what everyone uses. You never want to cut corners just to get somthing done quicker, you know what I mean.

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I would try to find an alternative to silicone. Especially if you want to use a lcquer finish. The silicone is almost impossible to get out of the wood once it gets in. A lot of seasoned pros have had finishing nightmares because of silicone. I stay away from it and have never tried it so it may not be that bad. Check out the MIMF forum, those guys all dread the word.

As an alternative how about some felt tape? Wrap a little around the rod and you are good to go.

Edited by Myka Guitars
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My guess is that silicone is the most common because it's the cheapest. The teflon stuff will work fine I'm nearly positive of it. Just do what jay said.

Edit: I missed David's post. To address that, I've never had any problem with the silicone. I don't think StewMac would reccomend it if there were any problems. Just keep it in the truss rod channel.

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Just make sure your silicone gets ONLY in both ends of the truss rod slot where the Hotrod blocks anchor in. I can't see it being a problem unless you are messy and it gets somewhere outside of the fretboard. I know that silicone and laquer do not get along very well, but I can't see a problem with a little dab INSIDE the neck. Otherwise an acrylic water based caulking will work just as well.

Edited by Southpa
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The problem with the silicone is that if you get it on your hands, and by any chance touch the bare wood on the neck or body, this will not let the paint adehere. And like David posted, it will be a nightmare to deal with. Believe me I have had that happen on a few custom Subwoofer boxes that I made. Use the silicone to seal the box, then use the finger to rub the silicone into the crevises, and touch the freshly finish fiberglass top. Didn't noticed, and while spraying , OMG what tha!!! Finger prints, and all you can do it sand the area, clean it with naphta and repaint.

On wood is a complete different story, because wood will absorb the silicone, and you will have to sand quite a bit to take it out. This is the only problem, other than that it should be fine.

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I was just reading through and had a couple of comments. As I understand it the main purpose of using silicone in the T rod slot is to prevent rattle. If your slot is routed as tight as it should be you should not really need anything or much of anything at the truss rod end blocks. The main area of concern would be along the rods between the ends and stopping them from vibrating against the wood as the slot is bigger than the rods. Whatever you use to stop the vibrating must still allow the rod to turn. Wow that was a lot of yapping.

I have used teflon tape wrapped (Loose) around a few points down the rod. Enough material to prevent vibration only. Make sure it is packed neatly in the slot before gluing the fretboard. This does not impact the threaded rods ability to turn and is very clean. If you want to try a wrap around the blocks to be sure the block is seated tight it should be fine, but I have never been able to actually fit tape in the sides of the slot. It usually pushes out as I seat the rod.

Peace, Rich

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I had put my bass together thinking that the truss rod channel was tight enough only to find later that the rod would rattle if I bumped the back of the neck with my palm. After removing the fingerboard and noticing that the rod wasn't all that straight I put some more bends in only the rotating part. I placed the bends so that the rod can't lay flat no matter which way you turn it (small bends now, I didn't have to hammer it into the slot when I was done). The springing action of the rod being held straight in that slot does a great job of keeping it from rattling with no forign objects of substances inside the neck.

This being the only neck I've ever made, I'm no expert and wouldn't consider this to be good advice, but it worked great for me.

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