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Double-expanding truss rod?


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I have a pair of 1-piece (3-4A) flame maple neck blanks that I roughed out of a single 1-1/4 inch-thick board. The "mother board" had a bit of warp when I got it (sanded on one side but not the other, thanks Wood World!) but I managed to sand both blanks flat, they're now ~0.9 inch thick and haven't warped any further in the 3 months they've been sitting around.

The plan is to keep them 1-piece and install the rod from the back w/skunk stripe (also maple, strips from the same board but with grain reversed).

I've heard that figured woods can be a bit unstable for use as necks. So I was about to pull the trigger on some StewMac double-X rods, but then read some disparaging comments in another forum about necks that are "...more metal than wood...".

Whaddaya think? Would the stability be OK with a standard rod?

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Sounds like there's always a group that will complain about something. Very few construction techniques or choices in hardware seem to go without someone saying why their way is better.

I know quite a few people here have used that truss rod. That's the first time I've heard the complaint about the metal issue. If that's the only problem you end up with, then you're doing great.

Personally, I'm tired of hearing about how every damn thing under the sun affects the precious tone of someone's wood. If it's not the tone, then it's some other concern that the guitar won't end up being the holy grail of guitar workmanship for some crazy reason.

Sorry for venting. Lately, my thing has become just trying to build a good guitar and not worrying about what the Master of all Luthiers would have done in every case. (not saying that's what you are doing but you're message about what the other site said got me thinking about this again)

My opinion would be to go with a double expanding rod. There are several manufacturers of them so look around (lmii, stewmac, one other that I can't remember right now).

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Oh, I have heard that flamed maple is OK for a neck as long as it comes from a hard maple. Quilted maple usually (if not always?) comes from soft maple and is not a good choice on it's own for a neck. I have used birdseye without any trouble. I have also used flamed maple but I have always laminated it (just because I wanted to - not because I thought it would be unstable). If you are worried about it, I think most people would recommend laminating with another type of wood.

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I hear you Dave...

Truthfully, one reason I'm asking is that I'm on a budget and the single-action rods are cheaper (which means I could afford some fretwire with this order, too!), but with flame maple I worry a bit about neck warp and stability, and I just figured the double-action rod would help.

(Warmoth is another place that offers a double-X rod)

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Stew-mac's rod is thin (narrow). To me that's more important than it being deeper. It's a good rod, and yes with flame I'd like to know I had the ability to correct a backbow if I needed to. As for "more metal than wood..." I think just about any truss rod is acceptable, but steel rods, graphite rods, two rods, or something like a PBC tension free neck sounds and feels really different. I can't stand it. That doesn't make it wrong, if anything I'm small minded. But I can't stand to feel a neck lay dead in my hands. I want to feel it vibrate. The neck is your most responsive part of a guitar. I can always tell (batting 1000 so far anyway) when a neck has graphite or steel rods in it. That's about the only thing I'd latch onto from a metals debate. But a single rod, double rod, whatever. Just use what you want, but my vote is for the hot rod over the warmoth type with a flat bar on top and a rod on the bottom. The top rod applies more uniform pressure than the flat bar in my experience. The flat bar can bend, and get a memory over time. I think the rod is less likely to. I think the Stew-mac rod weighs less, too.

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I only have one reinforced neck (that I'm aware of); a Carvin (graphite rods). I LIKE that "solidness". In reality, it wouldn't be the deciding factor for me on a neck, but I do like that neck. It's not a better/worse thing for me, it's a "different" thing. Of course, if I were going for a vintage vibe it would not be as desirable.

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double all the way, i'm honestly just to scared to install a single action rod, my luck that one neck i tried a single on would be the one that would backbow :D

i'll say it again though, the stew mac rods are nice and sturdy, BUUUUTT i just don't like their height, i don't like the constraints it puts on how thin you can('t) make your neck.

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First off I love the dual action truss rods, but I agree that if your building your necks thin, you'll really have to make sure you don't mess up by carving the back of the neck. You might weaken the wood between the truss rod channel and back of neck so bad that you'll end up with headaches. That being said, I would rather take more wood off the fretboard if I had too, so I could install one in a smaller neck. Simply because they work so great.

Has anyone ever bought one from here? Looks like the Stew Mac actually and is cheaper. Here is some good ones from Luthiers Mercantile International. But they seem higher in price and will be only 1/64" smaller depth than the Stew Mac. Stew Mac's have to have 7/16" deep route and these from LMI are only 3/8", but that's not enough difference to pay the extra amount in my opinion. There is a site that I have as a favorite on my computer at home that has the same kind that LMI are selling for alot less. Anyone know the site? I'm willing to try one of those myself.

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http://www.alliedlutherie.com/truss_rods.htm

they're the cheap guys, i'm going to order in a couple and give them a try, see if they're really a deal or sofistocated paper weights..

has anyone else had a chance to try one of their rods out yet?

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It's an okay idea, but if you are going to use a fretboard then install it from the top. Since its a flat rod, you don't need a filler strip to fill in the fact that you cut a curved channel, like on a traditional rod. So you'd be putting in a filler strip that could have just as easily been avoided. It would look cool to have flipped the flames. I have a solid rosewood neck with a skunk stripe made from the same board, and it looks neat. But if you hadn't put your board on yet, the channel you cut would essentially go right through the neck blank to the other side, since double rods are meant to be flush against the board the whole way. And a skunk stripe is finished off with a hole drilled up to the peghead. You'd need your stripe to go all the way to the nut area since you need a rectangle at the end, not a round hole. I don't know how you could get a rectangle cut inside there. Even if you used the neck side adjustment, you'd still have the butt end of the rod back by the nut. Finally, if you did use an extended skunk stripe as soon as you adjusted the rod I believe it would pop out the skunk stripe at the nut.

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KrazyD, how thin are you able to go with the StewMac double rods?  That was one thing i worried about.  I'm already at 0.9".

21.5 mm (0.846") i think was what i had worked out when using a normal 1/4" fingerboard or 19.9mm (0.783") with a 3/16" wizard thick board, those are the bear minimum i think, but don't quote me on those, i'm just going off memory

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The hot rod is 14/32 tall. They recommend a minimum of 1/8" below it - that gives 14/32 + 4/32. If you have a 1/4" fretboard (which seems to be the std), you would have 14/32 + 4/32 + 8/32 = 26/32 or 13/16 or .8125" (I like to do things in 32nds). This works fine for maple necks but if you are using softer wood, I would recommend going a little thicker.

I grew up using a RG550 wizard neck and always thought I would hate playing a thicker neck. After playing my first neck with a hot rod in it, I have never wanted to go back to the thinner necks. It's a personal preference type of thing but I thought I would mention it in case it's the only thing holding you back from using the hot rod.

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