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Truss Rod Adjustment On A New Neck?


odgeuk
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I've just built a Stratocaster replica guitar from mail order parts. It's now assembled and I've strung it for the first time. I can see that the neck is bowed in the middle, obviously because the neck has never had any tension on it and now has. My question is: when should I adjust the truss rod to compensate for this bow? A friend tells me to leave it for a couple of months for the wood to adjust to temperature changes and to 'settle', before I make any adjustments. I should mention that the neck is unfinished, save for some lemon oil on the maple fretboard and some Beeswax rubbed into the back of the maple neck.

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Set the trussrod ASAP - the guitar neck can settle in overnight, and you can set the rod in the morning. Your friend is correct that it may be weeks before the neck settles down completely, but it will do that vast majority of it's moving within the first 12-24 hours. My last bowed enough to create 2.5mm of relief (!!) but that all came out with very little adjustement of the rod, and it's been stable ever since - a little over a year now.

If you leave it for weeks with a bow you risk the wood 'setting' into that curve. Adjust the rod now, and if things change over a few weeks you can always re-adjust then. Far better to deal with the bow now, and maybe re-adjust in a week, than to wait and find the bow is more stubborn to remove.

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Set the trussrod ASAP - the guitar neck can settle in overnight, and you can set the rod in the morning.  Your friend is correct that it may be weeks before the neck settles down completely, but it will do that vast majority of it's moving within the first 12-24 hours.  My last bowed enough to create 2.5mm of relief (!!) but that all came out with very little adjustement of the rod, and it's been stable ever since - a little over a year now.

If you leave it for weeks with a bow you risk the wood 'setting' into that curve.  Adjust the rod now, and if things change over a few weeks you can always re-adjust then.  Far better to deal with the bow now, and maybe re-adjust in a week, than to wait and find the bow is more stubborn to remove.

Thanks! I've had the strings on the new neck for 6 days now! better get moving!

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Hi guys.

I adjusted the truss rod last night. About a half turn clockwise. Didn't see much difference, but something happened because I started getting fretbuzz on my lowest action string, which I adjusted.

Thing is, there is still a bow and I can't adjust the truss-rod anymore. I don't want to force it anymore clockwise as I've been told that if you gotta force it then you should stop.

The bow is odd. the neck appears quite straight until about the 4th/5th fret when it seems to curve up. Not as bad as I'm making it sound but you can see the curvature if you hold the guitar as though you were playing it and look down the side of the fretboard.

Any suggestions? Should I leave it a while? I should mention that adjustment was made with the strings loosened off.

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A few things: wherever possible, adjust the truss rod tension when the neck's under pressure. It's there to counter string tension, and might do slightly funny things in other situations. And a half a turn should do a fair amount. What kind of rod is this?

Furthermore, I don't adjust the neck with the truss rod; I adjust it with my hands (bend it, pretty much), and tighten up the truss rod to match. You don't want to put crazy amounts of tension on the nut, which may lead to it stripping prematurely. Not good.

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A few things: wherever possible, adjust the truss rod tension when the neck's under pressure. It's there to counter string tension, and might do slightly funny things in other situations. And a half a turn should do a fair amount. What kind of rod is this?

Furthermore, I don't adjust the neck with the truss rod; I adjust it with my hands (bend it, pretty much), and tighten up the truss rod to match. You don't want to put crazy amounts of tension on the nut, which may lead to it stripping prematurely. Not good.

+1

Agreed - adjusting it with the strings off (unless it's a heel-adjust neck, then you don't have a choice) will have you chasing your tail. And it may take a little time to settle in after you make an adjustment. I'd avoid going more than 1/4 turn at a time. Are you checking it with a straight edge? Don't just rely on sighting down the neck.

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