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Hot Rod Truss Rod nut broke...


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I'm in a bit of a predicament. The nut of my truss rod broke. I was adjusting it and figured that I had to be going the wrong way, loosened the nut (it seemed to me to loosen just fine), and as I was about to tighten it the other way, the nut broke off. YAAAY!!
Anyway, see the pictures. I have a neck that's painted up to the sides of the fretboard, so I need to get the rod out without taking the fretboard off.
Does anyone have a clever trick for me? I have been able to reach the rod with a pair of ground down needle nose pliers, but I'm not able to fully grasp and pull on it. I've been thinking about possibly drilling a small hole in the bottom screw on the truss rod, and perhaps be able to jam a screw in that hole and pull it out that way, but I want to hear another couple of options before I go and do something stupid.. Thanks, any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!

 

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Am I seeing right, is there two metal rods visible? And a brass block where they peek through?

If so, it's a dual action truss rod with a similar brass block at the other end as well and both of the rods are threaded into both blocks like shown in the tutorial:

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As there's glue and potentially a round bottom you simply can't pull the square ended rod out.

So you'll have to take the fretboard off. Before doing that take a very sharp knife and cut the paint along the glue line. That will prevent chipping, allowing you to hide the fix easier. I don't know your skill level but for those who don't know heat usually breaks glue joints. An old clothes iron might be a good tool for that. Starting at the body end (protect the body from heating with cardboard or similar) try to pry a heated palette knife into the glue joint and slowly work your way up to the nut. As the clothes iron is wider than the fretboard you can heat the knife during heating the fingerboard.

There may be other ways that I don't know of and I'd be as happy as you to learn a less destructive way.

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Thanks! It's indeed a dual action rod. Flat bottom channel, there should be no glue on the rod (unless I was very unlucky when gluing it up, but hey, clearly I'm not a lucky person. :P Thanks again for the input, I'm going to see if anyone else will chime in before I decide on what I'm going to do. I appreciate the info about heating and prying off the fretboard!

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I concur with @Bizman62, I don't think you're going to get that out without taking the fretboard off. Even assuming the rod is loose enough and you can get a good purchase on it to pull it towards the nut adjuster access hole, you'd still need to get the rod past the end lip of the cavity where the allen key fits in. That'd involve trying to bend the rod upwards over a very short distance as you draw it out, which will be no fun at all and could result in splitting the fretboard where the rod is being forced to bend. And then you'd have to reverse the process to push a new rod back in again.

Fretboard off or scrap the neck, I'd say :(

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10 hours ago, curtisa said:

you'd still need to get the rod past the end lip of the cavity where the allen key fits in.

@curtisa thanks for pointing that out. It was the first thing I saw but it slipped off my mind when I was looking for the truss rod image.

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I got it out! I removed the 'center' part of the shelf that the lock nut sits on so I could get a bit closer to the truss rod. Then I drilled a small hole in the top 'beam' thingy, and screwed a wood screw in there. Then I could grip the screw with a pliers and used a small hammer to carefully move the rod out of the hole. When it butted up against the end lip of the cavity I cut away the brass block. Then I could unscrew the top 'beam' from the back brass block and remove it easily, and the bottom one and the brass block came out relatively easily as well. Not something I want to do again, but.. it's doable.
I'm going to have to do a little bit of paint touch up on the headstock, but it's gonna be a breeze compared to what I would have to do if I had removed the fretboard...

Now, I need to insert a new one back in the slot..... 😜

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That's funny, as I was reading your initial post I was thinking of exactly the solution you ended up doing. Certainly worth trying if there is no damage done before you went whole hog removing the fret board. My second thought was of the Hot Rod I've had sitting here for 15 years and afraid to use because of all the stories I've heard of Hot Rod nuts breaking off! I'm pretty sure you've sealed the deal (no deal) for me!

If anyone wants it, I'd love to move it outta here.

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