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Proper Truss Rod Length


bluesy
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Having built 2 necks, and now starting on my third, it may seem strange to ask now, but, I just purchased a truss rod that is shorter than my previous 2. I never took much notice of the actual length because I just asked for the right 2 way truss rod for an electric 25.5" scale neck.

The first 2 I purchased were long. When I had the allen key adjustment poking out under the nut by a suitable amount, the other end was very close to the far end of the neck. Only 10 mm or so, of wood was left between the end on the channel and the heel of the neck. My new truss rod is much shorter - it is in fact 425mm long (and still sold as suitable for a electric guitar neck), but it is 40 or so millimetres from the heel end when positioned as above under the nut.

Does it matter? Will the shorter rod still provide adequate adjustment of neck relief?

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It seems to me that the body-end of the rod should reach into the neck pocket. If it doesn't, the neck can still bend right at the body joint, can't it?

Truss rods don't really keep necks from bending, they just fix bent necks.

I'm not an expert on truss rods, but I think it should be okay as long as it's straight and everything towards the head it set up properly.

BTW, Geo, I'm from Akron too. Actually, Barberton, but nobody who's not from that area knows where that is. I'm in Denver Now.

How old are you. Akron isn't all that big anymore, there's a good chance I've at least come across you before.

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The role of the truss rod is to counteract the pull of the strings on the neck. Since the heel is bolted (or glued) into the neck pocket, it's not receiving the same type of force. So the shorter rod shouldn't be an issue.

The truss rod allows you to determine how much or how little of the strings' pull you want on the neck, that is, it lets you set the relief of the neck so that the strings don't rattle against all the frets. They can fix a bent neck, sure, but that's not their primary purpose.

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BTW, Geo, I'm from Akron too. Actually, Barberton, but nobody who's not from that area knows where that is. I'm in Denver Now.

How old are you. Akron isn't all that big anymore, there's a good chance I've at least come across you before.

Oh, cool! Ha, I don't think we've met... I'm 21, never picked up a guitar until I was 17, have built 4 or 5 now... :D I'm actually in Kent now, at good old KSU (of May 4th fame).

Truss rods don't really keep necks from bending, they just fix bent necks.

What if it bends right at the body? (or is this not likely?) A rod that doesn't reach into the neck pocket can't fix that, can it?

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  • 12 years later...

I have made many necks over the years and I've found that the length of the truss rod is not too critical what does seem to work best when adjusting the truss rod is that the centre of the truss rod is over the centre of the neck once you've discounted the area of the neck pocket so a truss rod adjusted from the heel end would need to be longer than one adjusted from the headstock, that's my experience

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