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Truss-rod Nut Troubles


nickc35
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Hi guys. New to the forum. I'm looking for some help on a guitar I just bought on evilBay.

I bought a double-cut O'Hagan Nightwatch...most likely a late model from 1981 or '82. For those of you who don't know about O'Hagan they were made in the U.S.A. from 1977 to 1982. I think the factory was in Minnesota. I own a few of them and they're really well made guitars. All have neck-thru construction. Anyway, it was probably the grimiest guitar I ever bought on eBay. It was extremely dirty and smelled pretty badly too. I instantly put it on the work bench and started taking it apart to clean it up. I noticed that a previous owner used some sort of expanding glue like Gorilla Glue to glue on the brass nut. It wasn't a clean job at all. The glue seeped on to the fretboard at the first fret and the glue got into and around the truss-rod nut. I used a hobby knife to clean up as much of the glue as I could. The truss-rod nut has an internal hex drive and after I cleaned the glue out of the internal drive on the head, I realized it was already stripped. I tried a couple of allen wrenchs and couldn't get the nut to budge. The allen wrench has nothing to grab onto because the nut is stripped so bad. :D

This leads me to my reason for posting. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to get the truss-rod nut off of this guitar? I intitially thought of some sort of a screw extractor type thing. But those are too long. There is not much space to work with here. Just the short end of an "L" allen key/wrench is all that will fit in there. I really don't want to have to remove the rosewood fretboard to get at it because that is such a big job and probably just a little bit beyond my capabilities.

Any help would be really appreciated.

Thanks!!

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May as well throw in my hand here. The whole reason for brass nuts is so you won't have to pull the fb, brass strips before steel. If you can post a picture of the truss rod nut you might get a better answer from me. Brass is relatively soft and I'll bet you can reshape some sort of screw type with a dremel or just cut it up and get it out in pieces and then replace with a similar brass nut. I really hate it when people who don't know their ass from a hole in the ground try to fix guitars. I don't mean you I mean the stupid putz who tried to stabilize a stripped, brass truss rod nut with gorilla glue.... :D

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Yeah orgmorg is correct, the truss-rod nut is not brass. I shouldn't even have mentioned the word brass in my orginal posting. but you have given me an idea southpa. Maybe I can use a dremel to cut a couple of slots in the nut and use a screwdriver to remove it. That will still be tough because one slip of the dremel and I have a ruined fretboard.

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pics will help. it sounds like a tricky one but there is usually a way to get it sorted

i have done this a few ways before - usually involving either slotting the nut with a small grinder and adding some heat with a soldering iron to loosen up any glue or rust. Heat and a gripper adjuster like the stew mac ones above may get you there if there is still a bit of shape to the nut.

i also tried epoxying in a cheap t-wrench (not the fancy stew-mac ones!) on one guitar with a completely rounded off adjuster. It did work but i dont think it would have done if the adjuster was completely seized. but obviously if you are not carefull it can make things worse. Too much and you will be ripping that fretboad off, too little and it wont hold with the force.... i did wonder about trying metal epoxy on more heavily siezed ones (not used the stuff so dont know how realistic that is) and i also wondered about waxing the wrench first so it wasnt permenantly fixed to the nut. also, most single rods with hex nuts will have the rod at the bottom of the hole and obviously you dont want epoxy getting into those threads. iirc i put something into the hole first to stop the epoxy going down too far - but i really cant remember what i used.

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Thanks ihocky2 I frequent the stewmac site all the time but never noticed those particular truss-rod wrenches. Since I have been buying tools from them for a while now, I might as well add them to the tool collection and give them a shot.

Thank you too Wez for the tips as well. If the stewmac wrenches don't work then I'll look into used a small grinder attachment on the dremel tool to make some slots. Then there's the epoxy tip too.

Thanks, I'll post my progress.

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Your welcome, the only reason I know they are there is I remember them being on the cover of one of the catalogs. I think Wez's idea has a lot of merit as well. If I were in your position I would try dabbing a little JB Weld in the socket and pressing in a waxed wrench end until it starts to set up, basically reforming the hex socket. With any luck it would be strong enough to get the nut off.

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I had this one happen to me too once, and I ground screwdriver slots in my guitar's stripped nut so that I got a good fit with a large screwdriver.

Then, I heated up the nut with a large soldering gun (250 watt) until the glue in it started to smoke. I took the gun off the nut and quickly turned

the nut off with the screwdriver before it cooled.

ken

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ihocky2 - Thanks a million man!!! My truss-rod wrenches from Stew-Mac showed up today and I found one that worked. I got that sucker out of there without having to use a grinder or remove the fretboard. I really really appreciate your suggestion. I hope there is something I can do for you in the furture to pay you back (just no cash, sorry I don't have the cash. LOL) Thanks again!! Success is wonderful feeling!

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