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Advice needed, 2 way truss rod, tele neck, how to drill adjustment hole.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by farnx, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. farnx

    farnx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    8
    Oct 30, 2017
    australia
    hi all
    first off if this has asked before i do apologise, i did a search but didn't find an exact answer.
    any way so im doing maple neck, wenge fretboard, normally i do the adjustment at the heal but i want to do this one at the head stock.
    My question is how do i drill the hole for the truss rod, i usually install truss rod, glue fretboard on the shape the transition of the head stock but if i do that when i drill the hole for the truss rod access ill be drilling straight into the truss rod.
    i have seen people shape the transition, drill the access hole then glues the fret board on but i personally would prefer to glue fret board on then shape the transition so it perfect.
    what are my options?
    thanks
     

  2. RickyRicardo

    RickyRicardo Friend of Leo's

    Mar 27, 2012
    Calgary, Alberta
    Thin the headstock, drill the hole, install the truss rod, glue the fretboard, sand the transition. It's much easier drilling the hole on a flatter surface (where the transition starts) than on the curved transition surface. The drill bit will want to move on the curved surface so drill it before.

    What type of truss rod?
     

  3. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    I think the problem is not "how" to drill the hole but "where". If you look at how deep the adjustment nut of a 2-way rod lands in the heel, you'll see that there really is no elegant way to install one in the headstock. You would have to tunnel into the face of the headstock to access the adjustment nut. I guess you could install it upside down, but then you'd have to remember that it adjusts backwards. IMO, just not the right rod for this installation style.

    truss rod install.jpg
     
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  4. beagle

    beagle Tele-Holic

    985
    Jul 20, 2010
    Yorkshire
    Put the adjuster at the top? That's what most people seem to do.

    neck.png
     
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  5. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Okay let's continue the discussion of semantics: the question is not how or where but when to drill the access hole. Even with a guide block it's still cleaner to drill before the transition is shaped, and if you drill first and then shape the curve it will reveal a sharper edge around the hole. In fact I would insert the walnut plug (assuming you're going to use one) before shaping the transition (oscillating spindle sander is the tool of choice for that step). Then because the 1/8" access hole in the walnut plug is fairly easy to drill, i do that last after the transition is done so it looks like it's in the middle of the oval.
     
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  6. farnx

    farnx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    8
    Oct 30, 2017
    australia
    thank you very much for the drawings , exactly my problem, i tried to drill the hole but totally stuffed it because i had to drill so deep i got the angle wrong and made a mess. so hence my neck is toast. im going to rebuild with access hole at the heel.
     
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2017

  7. farnx

    farnx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    8
    Oct 30, 2017
    australia
     

  8. farnx

    farnx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    8
    Oct 30, 2017
    australia
    Now the question is i have had to rebuilt a new neck which is totally fine, but what can i use the maple for from the neck i stuffed up? i guess i could cut some strips out of it and make a body with some maple racing stripes.
     

  9. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    I'd like to throw in another consideration. That's to not DRILL the adjusting hole at all, but to ROUT it. I am at work and don't have my photos on this computer but when I get home soon I will post some photos. Bottom line, it's crazy easy and looks great. You rout the channel for the main part of the rod with a bit that cuts a square-bottomed channel the right width and depth for the main part of the rod. Without moving any of the fences, etc on your set-up, you then rout the recess for the adjusting nut using a core-box bit that produces a round-bottomed channel the right size/depth for the nut and enough extra for hex key access. All this is done with the neck blank at full 3/4" thickness. Then you glue on the fretboard. And after all this you profile and thin the headstock normally and this very lovely and very clean opening emerges. Add a tiny touch-up to the leading edge of the fretboard with a needle file and you're done. Pics to follow in a few hours. Don't touch that drill until you see them!

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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  10. darkforce

    darkforce Tele-Meister

    105
    Jan 2, 2016
    Germany
    Good thing that this comes up now. Since I always prefered adjustment at the headstock and angled headstocks I did not even think about this problem. On my current neck (which has a non angled, Fender style headstock, because I don't trust a child not to drop the guitar at some point), the bottom of the screw is at roughly 7mm from the bottom of the headstock, so that would have become problematic rather fast (maybe the hole could be drilled at a slight angle, but then you would always need a ball driver to adjust the trussrod).
    I think I will do it somewhat simmilar to what Rex suggests and route a channel for the allen key access. The look will be somewhat non traditional, but it' seems like the easiest way out, as the channel for the rod is already in.

    Best regards
    Johannes
     

  11. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    OK, here's an example of those routs with a truss rod that is larger in width than the adjuster nut is in diameter. This rod is a StewMac offering they call a Martin-style, I think - it's a one way:
    IMG_0577.JPG
    and here's one where the adjuster is larger than the rod. These are Bitterroot rods and they're two way:
    IMG_3909.JPG
    Regardless of style, cut the route to fit as shown and then glue down the fretboard, with the whole neck still full 3/4" width. After the fretboard is cured, go ahead and slice the headstock down to final thickness and sand as required to make the transition. As you sand, the precut slot emerges:
    IMG_5355.JPG

    All finished up after the touch with the needle file and sandpaper.
    IMG_5379.JPG
    Very easy and totally predictable.
    I hope this helps.

    Rex
     
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  12. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    PS, if you have already profiled the neck and don't have a straight edge to register it to, just double-stick it to a board with a straight edge that is parallel to the neck's centerline and reference the rout off that.
     
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  13. darkforce

    darkforce Tele-Meister

    105
    Jan 2, 2016
    Germany
    Very nice. Thank you for the detailed explanation and the photos. That looks very clean and a lot less distracting from the traditional look than I thought. In my case there will be a bit more setup work. since I did not think about this before cutting out the neck, so I will need to put up some fence for the router.

    Best regards
    Johannes

    /* edit: started writing this before your second message. Yeah, that is what I'm going to do. */
     

  14. farnx

    farnx TDPRI Member

    Age:
    34
    8
    Oct 30, 2017
    australia
    That is awesome, thanks very much. i have just ordered a cove box bit for the job.
    thanks for the photo's. perfect.
     

  15. eallen

    eallen Tele-Meister

    279
    Jul 30, 2013
    Greenwood, Indiana
    I do what TRex is doing with the cove bit. I do go ahead and cut down the head stock without doing the transition radius before gluing the fretboard on to give me more comfort that I have it nailed.
     

  16. Honza992

    Honza992 TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    79
    Aug 6, 2015
    Nottingham, UK
    Rex, thanks for posting this. I've been thinking about how to do this for a while. Just a thought, could you end the 7mm rout level with the nut, then do a 5mm rout that continues out towards the headstock. That would probably be enough to insert the allen key, but would reduce the size of the hole visible at the headstock.

    Nice post, thanks.
     

  17. eallen

    eallen Tele-Meister

    279
    Jul 30, 2013
    Greenwood, Indiana
    I actually use a smaller bit into the headstock area as you describe and only go as deep as the bottom of the allen wrench opening.
     

  18. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's

    Apr 4, 2011
    Tucson
    The depths of each of the routs I make is only what is required to clear the rod or nut, as applicable. There may be a practical minimum diameter you can make the core-box channel for the nut, no matter how small the nut actually is, in that you have to have at least enough "swing" to get 1/6 turn out of the hex key for adjustment. On the Bitterroot rods, the 5/16" diameter core-box rout I make for the nut seems about as small as practical to go. That said, if a Hot Rod is put in upside down, you could probably go the minimum diameter on its nut since it will sit barely below flush.
    As I showed with the photos, the round-bottomed, core-box channel can be larger or smaller than the truss rod channel, as needed and the concept still works.

    Cheers,
    Rex
     
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