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Les Paul Project


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I'm currently about to start a LP project. This will be my first real build. I could've started out with a Strat or something as my first build, but quite frankly, i love LP's. The fact that i'm left handed, in my eyes, gives me even more reason to build my own guitars.

Although i'm really excited about all this, i'd be lying if i said i wasn't a tad scared. Mainly due to carved tops and neck angles! After reading these forums for many months now, i think the most valuable thing i've learnt is "Patience is the Key" :D

I'd like to think i have a pretty good understanding of all parts of the guitar. All except one thing... Truss Rods!

I've opted for the traditional Gibson style truss rod for this build as sold by StewMac.

Although i've searched for posts and read every tutorial i can get my hands on theres still a few answers to questions that remain unknown to me.

First off. Are there any exact measurements you need to go by when installing the truss rod. I've read the anchor nut should be located under the 21st fret. Is this just a rough guide? A couple of mm either way is not going to harm?

2. Not saying this would happen but lets say someone was loosening the truss rod, and the adjusting nut grips onto the rod. Whats stopping the rod from seperating from the anchor nut?

3. When making the fillet, how much space should the rod have to move in its channel? Obvioulsy the fillet will be pressing down on the rod so i assume not a lot?

4. How should i fix the truss rod in place. Just by tightening the bolts? I know u-channel rods are glued in place, i assume i need not bother as the traditional rod is 3/16" thick / round.

I can't help but think i'm making this whole truss rod thing a lot more complicated that it ought to be but it's the only thing in the build that i really am unsure about.

Any help on this matter would be much appreciated :D

Edited by jc0r
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1. The trussrod should run from near the nut, to where the neck joins the body. There is no critical measurement, and you can safely position the trussrod so that it runs from the first fret rather than the nut. Along as it is able to act on the area of the neck most prone to bowing (ie: between 1st fret and the body) it'll be fine.

2.I've always wondered about this, so I don't use an anchor nut - I usually use a Martin style rod (u-channel), but when I use a Gibson style compression rod I just bend the end at a 90 degree angle, and drill a hole in the heel to insert it into. This anchors the rod pefectly well.

3. I don't leave any gap. I make the fillet to competely fill the channel, and when I glue it in I push it down as far as it'll go,and plane off whatever is sticking up. This ensures that the rod is touching both the neck and the fillet, so it can't rattle.

4.The fillet should hold the rod in place. If the nut rattles you can snug it down without actually cranking it. You shouldn'r need to do anythign else to keep the rod in place.

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