first neck build, truss rod questions.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by scubadoo, May 12, 2009.

  1. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Hi guys.

    I'm in the process of making the templates for my first neck. It's based on Ed's neck plans but with my own headstock design.

    I have a few questions that I'm hoping you can answer.

    Do you cut the truss rod channel before cutting and routing the neck shape?

    I have two rods, both U-shaped aluminium channel jobs. One is 17 1/4" long including the nut and one is 18 3/4" long. I know i bought one for a tele and one for a Les Paul. Am i right in thinking that the shorter one would be for the Tele?

    The channel is 3/8" square, so i guess i have to make a template for the channel or clamp a straight edge and make two passes with a 1/4" bit, can you get 3/8" template bits?

    How deep should i route the channel given that the channel will be straight and not curved as with a vintage rod?

    Adjustment at the heel or nut?

    Just a few questions for you ;)

    I'm off to the workshop now to do the templates so i expect answers when I get back ;)

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  2. originalmatthew

    originalmatthew Tele-Holic

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    Hi Dave
    I guess you could use either rod for your neck, but math (not necessarily the law) says the longer rod would go in the tele neck, due to the scale length making the tele neck longer (25.5 tele vs. 24.75 les paul), so which rod to use is totally up to you!
    Yes you can get router bits that make a 3/8 wide cut. I think I got mine at home depot, but you can check StewMac.com. They carry a bunch of specialty tools.
    When I build a neck, I prefer to lay out the neck on the blank and rout the rod channel first. For me, it's easier to rout on a square board. I use a couple of clamps and a straight edge as a guide.
    I cut the depth so the top side of the rod is even with the surface of the neck. Some guys use tape between the top of the rod and the fingerboard, I use a light coat of vaseline. It keeps the glue off the surface of the rod where it bears against the bottom of the fingerboard. I'm sure you will get several dissenting opinions about this one, but it works for me!
    My preference for adjusting is the head, just for ease of access. It's a pain to take a neck off or remove a pickguard to access the truss rod nut.
    Hope this helps! Again, it's all just my personal preference!
    Matthew
     
  3. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Building a neck is all about working with the centerline.

    Yes the channel should be routed before you cut the neck shape. Your neck blank with be about 4 inches wide and can better support your router base without tipping.

    StewMac sells a 3/8 pattern bit but you can make one with a 3/8 straight bit and a 3/8 in. OD, 1/4 ID bearing and some 1/4 ID plastic tubing.

    How deep depends somewhat on where you want the adjusting nut.
     
  4. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Mathhew :D, i hadn't even had time to get into the workshop before you replied!

    Are you talking about a neck with a rosewood fingerboard? I should have said that I'm doing a one piece maple build. If i route that deep in a one piece neck won't it affect the stability?

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  5. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Jack,

    I found a 3/8" bit at Wealden Tools in the UK for £10, should arrive tomorrow.

    I haven't decided on where i want the adjusting nut, nut end is easier but doesn't look as nice. Can you advise me on both methods?:oops:
     
  6. KennyH

    KennyH Tele-Meister

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    Keep us posted on your build, I'm starting on my first neck too shorty but I've been looking at Bill Scheltema's thread and like a lot of his ideas.

    I'm also starting to think that for a vintage style neck I'd be best doing a vintage style truss rod, and just making it myself, these guys here make it look right easy after all ;)

    Good luck!
     
  7. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Will do Kenny, i'd have a go at making my own rods but it would mean that i'd have to buy even more tools!
     
  8. KennyH

    KennyH Tele-Meister

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    Haha, I can probably borrow the tools for that. I'm lucky in as much I go to a woodwork club where a Wednesday night is guitar building night. One guy had an engineering company and my father in law, who I go with, has loads of wood working gear.

    I can barely get a chance to use my own gear.
     
  9. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

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    Are those the Dave Dyke rods because if they are they go in a 10mm slot and you can pickup those bits just about anywhere. Get Trend if you want it to last. I assume you are putting it under a fingerboard as a slot at the back of the neck that wide is going to be a bit wide. You need to make the slot 11mm deep to allow for a timber fillet on top before you glue down the fingerboard. I'd go with a heal adjustment in this case because on a tele neck it's going to be easier than working round the larger route at the neck end. You'll also have more strength at the neck end as well.

    The 17" rod will work for the heal adjuster and finish under the second fret or thereabouts. The 18" will work for a neck adjustment but in reality you don't need one that long.

    You don't need to make a template to cut the slot as it isn't curved. Fix the blank to the bench and mark your centre line. Pin another straight edge to the bench that will act as a fence to work off. You can also add a few pins to act as stops at each end of the cut. The second picture is quite an old one but hopefully you get the idea.

    The pictures below show the method. The first on a heel adjuster for an archtop neck and the second on a fender style neck with heel adjustment and a fixed double action rod inserted from the back. The principle is the same whichever way you decide to go.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  10. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

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    Just seen this. If you intend to do a one piece get one of the double action rods I pointed you towards previously. They go in a 6mm slot and are cheap as chips. You can just about make it out in the picture above. Its the blue one.

    A few more pics one of the rod and one checking the fit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  11. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Excellent, thank you!

    One advantage of those rods presumably is that you don't need to drill at the nut end to fit an anchor.

    How far towards the heel end do you rout? Do you drill a channel the same length as the entire rod minus the nut so that the rod drops in from above or is it like a vintage one where the channel is shorter than the rod and you have to shove it in from the end?

    Cheers
    Dave
     
  12. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

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    You can route right through the heal if you want But I stop about a half inch or so away and drill a bore to take the hex nut. It just looks neater that way. That last part of the route is under the neck pocket as well so you don't have to worry too much about that end. No you don't need to drill for the anchor at the nut as the rod is fixed at both ends.

    Like this

    [​IMG]
     
  13. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

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    Here it is installed. You can drop it as low as you like at that end if you want the bore below the level of the pickguard.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanks Muttley,

    so you pass the rod through the hole that you've bored at the heel end?
    sorry for all the questions, just trying to get my head round it all.

    One other question, how deep have you routed that channel in the one piece neck

    Thanks for all the help, hope you're still finding the time to get some work done ;)
    Dave
     
  15. muttley

    muttley TDPRI Member

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    The rod will go through the hole and you can attach the hex from the outside if it's to tight to get it in in one.

    From the lines on the end you can see my marks. The first line is the radius plus whatever I wanted to leave for the depth of the rod from the front. The second line is the centre line of the bore. Off the top of my head I can't remember exactly what the depth was. But you want to work from the f/b face so the depth will vary depending on how thick the neck blank is and the radius I put on the f/b. You'll work it out when you have it in front of you. Measure twice cut once,;)
     
  16. KennyH

    KennyH Tele-Meister

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    Hey Muttley,

    Would you be so kind to point me in the direction of them there truss rods? It looks like one of them would save a fair bit of messing around when I'm building my neck too. I'm trying to build a jig for the back of the neck and one for a compound radius finger board so saving having to do one for the truss rod and then the messing around with more jigs to drill holes for the anchor and adjuster leave loads of room for me to mess up a nice bit of maple!

    Thanks
     
  17. irishtele

    irishtele Tele-Meister

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  18. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

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    Instructions at:

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Truss_rods/Adjustable_truss_rods/2/Hot_Rod_Truss_Rods/Instructions/I-0975.html#details

    Ya, I'll a couple of weeks from starting my first neck build, I'm wondering if the 'hot rod' is the way to go for a first neck build?

    They weigh 4.7 Oz - that seems fairly light - would there really be a difference between a 'hot rod' and a traditional rod?

    That spoke nut looks really cool, I have a Parker NFA and I love the spoke nut adjustment.
     
  19. fletch

    fletch Tele-Meister

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    I agree, the spokenut heel adjustment is very cool - I have made a number of necks using them. Reminds me of my Wolfgang neck...
     
  20. scubadoo

    scubadoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Here's the link that Muttley gave me in an earlier reply http://stores.ebay.co.uk/CH-GUITARS_Truss-Rods_W0QQcolZ4QQdirZ1QQfsubZ11303163QQftidZ2QQtZkm

    I haven't had a good look and I'm not sure which one you'll need, what do you think? I assume that where it says the total length it includes the length of the nut? I guess I'll order one and see.

    One question occurs to me: if these work well, why do people still use the vintage-style single rods that need a curved channel and drilling from both ends? These seem a much easier way, flat channel and easier drilling.

    Cheers
    Dave

    edit: just ordered 2 of the No7 Double type rods. Total length of 444mm.
     
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