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Iron Mask

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The truss rod channel only has to be arched if you are using the old-style one-piece one-way truss rod with a stop at one end and a nut at the other. If you use a modern truss rod, such as lmii's or allied lutherie's two-way rods (or the stew-mac hot rod, which requires an odd-sized router bit), then you not only don't need an arched channel, you can't have one.

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If you must use a single rod there are a couple options. You could rout the straight slot deeper as you go towards the heel. This means that the rod would not be parallel to the fingerboard. You shim up the neck wood at the nut to do this on a router table. You could also glue in one or two curved inserts that you sand to the proper curve prior to gluing. I've done it both ways, using one curved piece under the first few frets and the nut. You will need a corresponding filler strip on top of the rod too.

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