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Carbon Fiber Neck Rods


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With all this talk about necks bowing after gluing on fingerboards Im getting a little worried, especially since I am working on my first neck. I pondered using the carbon rods just as a safety measure from the get go but now I am seriously considering using them. I dont trust myself to be able to correct a backbow very well and I would like to limit the # of suprises that my current project will throw at me. Anyway, Has anyone used these in their necks and if so what are your thoughts? Stewmac sells the rods but at $10 an 18" length. Does anyone know where else I could get some? Thanks in advance.

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The back bow issue is something you want to avoid by using the rods or by using a dual action truss rod or both? I never really noticed my necks bowing after gluing on the fretboard - not even after installing frets - maybe it's because I use the carbon rods quite a bit? I don't use them on necks that are laminated or quartersawn but for flatsawn birdseye (my favorite lately) - I do use them and have no complaints at all.

Someone posted here a month or two ago that he could feel the difference between a neck with and without them every time and didn't like the feel of them. I guess I don't have that ability - to me, each piece of wood has it's own feel so I don't think I would ever be able to tell.

I don't think it's the rods themselves that make the neck stiffer - it must be the laminating effect from the glue, wood, and rods that creates the stiffness. The rods themselves are fairly easy to flex when not glued in place. It makes me wonder if you could substitute something else in place of the carbon rods? Something that doesn't have the seasonal movement properties of wood.I can't think of anything right now that would work well but I'm sure someone else can.

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I would think that the danger of stiffening TOO much would be that it would make truss rod adjustments difficult or impossible. Whatever you put in there should have SOME amount of flex to it.

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It makes me wonder if you could substitute something else in place of the carbon rods? Something that doesn't have the seasonal movement properties of wood.I can't think of anything right now that would work well but I'm sure someone else can.

How 'bout steel? Maybe a little heavy but I think that it would work. Has anyone done it?

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It makes me wonder if you could substitute something else in place of the carbon rods? Something that doesn't have the seasonal movement properties of wood.I can't think of anything right now that would work well but I'm sure someone else can.

How 'bout steel? Maybe a little heavy but I think that it would work. Has anyone done it?

Steel rods were discussed here:

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.php?showtopic=4112

Yeah, the consensus was that it'd be too heavy.

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i put in 2 and 1/2 inch steel rods beside the truss rod, only about 2 inchs were in the neck, half an inch was in the headstock for more strength,

i think that would work fine, and my neck is still super light, but they only go down 2 inchs by the truss rod, so make up your own mind on it

Curtis

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I would think that the danger of stiffening TOO much would be that it would make truss rod adjustments difficult or impossible.  Whatever you put in there should have SOME amount of flex to it.

my necks with carbon rods still adjust quite well

Just like Wes said, if your using Double Action rods you should not have a problem. Here are some key benifits I get from using CF Rods:

1. No dead spots on the neck when used.

2. Relieves tons of stress on the truss rod, thus it should last longer.

3. Neck doesn't tend to warp or twist when using them.

4. Doesn't add hardly any weight either, since they are really light, but strong to resist movement.

5. And so far I've noticed that my neck doesn't backbow when gluing on the fretboard, a big plus...

There are alot more that I didn't even think about. For the price, they are well worth using, no matter what kinda wood your using for a neck. Let's put it this way, I wouldn't even consider building a neck nowdays without CF Rods, that's how much I think they help your neck out.

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I use them in mahogany, but not maple. That way i can get a mahogany neck to "wizard" thin, without an issue.

dont do what ive done, and set up a jig to rout the channels in a certain spot, which just happens to also lie right in line with the truss rod cover screws....doh!

I obviously run the carbon past the nut and through into the headstock. It runs about an inch past the nut, which just adds a bit more support for the neck if it gets dropped. However, its a bitch to cut the stuff, and ive got one of those japanese pull saws which i use specifically for cutting the carbon.

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Carvin uses graphite rods in all their necks. They used steel for one year, but I think they found the steel too heavy. My Carvin necks are very stable and fairly thin.

I think the idea is, the rods flex but they flex less than any wood, plus they don't warp on their own. Their default is set to "straight". :D The stiffest, straightest necks I've ever seen were Steinberger, Modulus, and Moses, so there must be something to it...

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I would think that the danger of stiffening TOO much would be that it would make truss rod adjustments difficult or impossible.  Whatever you put in there should have SOME amount of flex to it.

my necks with carbon rods still adjust quite well

Agreed!

I meant that you probably wouldn't want to go for anything much stiffer than the carbon. :D

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carbon has one of the highest strength to weight ratio's for it's price doesn't it? and like u guys said.. it doesn't warp like wood...

I meant that you probably wouldn't want to go for anything much stiffer than the carbon.  :D

well if you had a solid titanium neck milled to a perfect playing curve (very slight concave fingerboard) would it ever need to be adjusted??

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i thought titanium had a higher weight to strength ratio? so you cou make a super wizard neck (10mm - 13mm, hypothetical) that would weight less than an all carbon neck and still be stronger...

course it's highly probably that i've gotten something ass backwards there..

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Well, I thought this thread was just going to dissaper. Thanks to all for your opinions! I'm doing a flatsawn maple neck with a double acting truss rod so I guess it wouldnt hurt to throw a couple of those rods in there just for piece of mind. What size would you guys reccomend?

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I use the "0.200" x 1/4" x 18" length" rods. I'm not sure if you can flip them around and still get the same strength - so I picked the rods with the smallest height. Of course, that meant I needed to buy the router bit - oh well. If someone knows for certain that you can flip them around - please let me know. I doubt I will change now that I own the router bit but it would be good to know. Maybe I'll give them a call and see.

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