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Truss Rod Route Positioning


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I've searched the site fairly extensively. I've scanned Melvyn Hiscock's book, and i've even looked at the Stew Mac instructions on their website. Unfortunately I can't seem to find an answer that gives me the confidence I need to route my truss rod channel. I've attached a picture to help describe the info i'm looking for.

I ordered a spoke wheel Hotrod from Stew Mac today. I'm doing a single pickup guitar, and am cutting the neck out of a 3 piece laminate blank rather than using a scarf joint. I figured that giving these factors using a body end adjustment would be the natural way to go. As you can see from the picture below, in my CAD drawing I have currently placed my truss rod channel all the way at the body end of my neck. This is what i'm not sure about. I haven't been able to find any concrete information concerning where to place the channel laterally. In Melvyn's book the pictures all show an 'anchor' area where the truss rod is held in place by the wood on each end. This makes sense, but several pictures i've found on this site seem to indicate that people route all the way to the end of their neck when using hot rods/double action truss rods and a neck end adjustment. At least that's how it seems based on the pictures, but I get the feeling that i'm just missing something here. Basically i'm a bit confused. :D

So, the bottom line information that i'm looking for is this: Utilizing a Stew Mac Hotrod with a spoke wheel and body end adjustment, do I need to move the channel in this drawing farther toward the headstock to have an anchor area, and if so, how much?

I've pretty much found the answer to every question i've had about guitar building by searching this site or reading Melvyn's book over the past few months, and I feel stupid to ask, but I just haven't been able to find this exact piece of information. So anyone that can give me a concrete answer, i'd really appreciate it!

trussrodhelp1.jpg

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http://www.ernieball.com/mmonline/specs/inst_luke.jpg

http://img3.musiciansfriend.com/dbase/pics.../7/3/408073.jpg

From what I know about heel-adjusting truss rods, and what I've played of the Music Man guitars (see pic above), it looks like you'll have to route an extra notch in the neck pocket for the spoke access. StewMac says thusly:

"To install the “spoke nut” truss rod, counterbore a -3/8"-diameter hole 3/4" deep to accept the shank of the adjustment nut. Allow at least 1/16" clearance between both flat sides of the spoke nut and the guitar’s neck heel and neck/body cutout. This will prevent the nut from binding on these surfaces as it is adjusted. A 1/4" x 5/8" access rout in the instrument’s pickguard/top and the neck/body cutout is required."

So what I gather is that you need to either make a notch in the neck/fretboard for the spoke, and recess the spoke into the neck itself, or leave the spoke sticking out and make the same size notch in the body. In the choice between the two, I'd go with a headstock-adjusting HotRod :D but if the product is already bought, you gotta make do, eh?

So I hope I'm answering your question, the only remaining decision is whether to make the route in the neck or neck pocket.

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I read the same thing on the stew mac instructions. However, what it does not say is whether or not the cut you make to allow for the clearance of the spoke wheel shank overlaps the truss rod route or needs to be offset from it with an additional amount of space to give you an anchor area. That's what i'm not clear on. But thanks for the attempt. :D I do plan on having the wheel itself sticking out into the body, like in the links you posted. I personally like the way this looks, and I figured this would give me a little more strength in the headstock area since i'm not doing a scarf joint.

Edited by mattharris75
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I think, according to your drawing, that the spoke-adjustment-space would overlap the truss rod route. Or, if you're going to route into the neck pocket, the straight truss rod channel that you drew would work fine. With the Music Man guitars (I can't admit I've played any other spoke-adjusting guitars), only the wheel and the little threaded attachment stick out from the neck; none of the actual truss rod sticks out from the neck heel. So your drawing should be spot on, and you should fit the rod in the straight channel so that just the spoke and threads are sticking out. They way I see it, the anchor area is the wood that's right up against the double-nuts, so you want it nice and snug in there.

As for heel adjustment? If you're using a multilam neck, the neck will be plenty strong, especially if the pieces are quartered. I've got a 2-piece neck on one of my guitars, the other two are 1-piece, and I have never had any problems with the headstock adjustment truss rod. And none of them have scarf joints :D But I know where you're coming from, better safe than sorry. I'd have done it on my own build, if I didn't buy a prefab neck.

So how am I doing, closer to what you're looking for? hahahaha

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I've just taken a picture of mine but I don't have the right connection leads for my phone -> PC at work so I'll try to describe it & hopefully you'll get it.

My neck it a 22fret with the usual over hang on the fretboard after the last fret. I made the neck is a deep set type, I assume that yours is a bolt-on? If you wanted to do yours the same as mine, you'd extend the neck past the last fret by a little more than the spoke-wheel, eg. 10mm. Route the spoke-wheel slot at that location ensuring that you have allowed for the width of the last fret. When you attach the fingerboard you'll need to cut out an access hole for the spoke-wheel adjustment.

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Bilious, I see what you're saying. I'm not too concerned about whether the adjustment wheel extends past the neck or not. Frankly, I like the way both methods look. I was thinking i'd probably use a custom cover over the notch in the body anyway, maybe engrave it with my initials. Really, what I am most concerned about is the routing of the rod channel.

However, I think I found a picture from Digthemlows first bass build that answers my question. Seeing how he has done it, even though it was a neck through, shows me that I don't have to be concerned about an anchor point on the body side of the rod. So, when the rod gets here, I'll figure out the exact channel length and how far to stick the spoke wheel out the end of the neck just by lining up and measuring the actual part on the neck and not worry too much about getting it in my drawing.

Anyway, thanks to you and Xanthus for the help. :D

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You can actually have the spoke wheel under the fretboard if you want (or have to deal with) and large fretboard:

http://www.prostheta.com/guitars/vampyre5_32.jpg

Yeah, this is what BiliousFrog recommended basically. I think when I finally get around to building my bass i'll put it in/under the board. But for this guitar i'm going to stick the spoke wheel out the end and possibly have a little machined metal cover for it with my initials engraved in it.

Anyway, the hot rod came this evening, and measuring the overall length and whatnot gives me a better idea of how to place it. I believe my drawing is correct, and I will just drill back into the channel to allow for the clearance of the spoke wheels shank and not worry anymore about the anchor area in the wood. Also got some sanding done on my guitar body and it's starting to look really good! Going to get the laminated neck blank sanded and planed this weekend so that I can get it rough cut possibly next week! It's exciting to see everything moving forward! :D

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It's exciting to see everything moving forward! :D

Ain't it great? B) Glad to know you got everything under control. Good luck with the build, and pics pics pics!!!

Btw Prostheta, AWESOME bass build. Too bad my bassist won't let me build one for him :D How does the slot in the board affect the playing, that high? Or does it at all?

And what's the amp head you've got in the back of the picture, too? Is that a 5150? Seems you took the grill off of it :D

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The bass isn't actually finished Xanthus - I wasn't 100% happy with the angle of the neck and the fretboard binding so i've decided to put a different board on it and bind in maple instead. The playability won't be affected as the slot is between frets; 24th fret which also means it's a fair decent fret marker!

The amp is a 5150, sure! Awesome head once you carry out a bias modification on it.

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Ain't it great? :D Glad to know you got everything under control. Good luck with the build, and pics pics pics!!!

All the pics you could want and then some: My Build :D

Will be more pics after this weekend I am sure. Right now i'm focusing on fixing my 1 area of tearout and getting the laminated neck blank prepped. Having to borrow a shop every weekend makes progress a little slow, but it certainly gives me no excuse for not thinking out every step of my build as I have all the time in the world.

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