Is a rattling truss rod a bad sign?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by paulblackford, May 20, 2019.

  1. paulblackford

    paulblackford Tele-Meister

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    I have an old Warmoth Tele neck that I had been sanding down for a project. I noticed that if I hold it at the nut, suspended, with one hand, and lightly pat the fretboard, or heel, with the other, I can hear the truss rod 'clack' inside. Have any of you encountered hearing your truss rod rattle? Is this a bad sign?
     
  2. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    Does the truss rod work? Is the neck flat? Then no problem, just annoying.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2019
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  3. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Meister

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    Many necks do that when not under tension. If it makes noise strung up and tuned to pitch, then it's a problem.
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Is the truss rod under tension? Give it a 1/4 turn and repeat your tapping experiment to see if that makes a difference.
     
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  5. Luthi3rz

    Luthi3rz Tele-Meister

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    I have.
    Probably what happened is the wood shank, so now the rod moves around a bit. Annoying yes but not a problem.
     
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  6. Chicago Matt

    Chicago Matt Friend of Leo's

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    I have an old Les Paul that did that for a couple of decades, even when strung up and under normal tension. It was annoying. In my case the wood had shrunk over the years. I heard about this stuff a couple of years ago. With the guitar standing upright and the truss rod loose, just inject some down the truss rod hole and let sit for a few hours, then tighten it up. Problem solved. No ill effects that I can detect. Truss rod works normally. This stuff actually swells the wood:

    img_chairloc_plus.jpg
     
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  7. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Having a rattling truss rod is not good. The neck transmits vibrations from the strings, and having loose parts raises the possibility of absorbing energy and/or sympathetic vibration. You can usually string it up and the rattle will go but if not, tensioning the rod minimally should end the rattle.
     
  8. BryMelvin

    BryMelvin Tele-Afflicted

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    If it is not coming through to the amp no problem. My dual truss rod 12 string tele almost always has one rod rattling as it is hard to get the tensions on both equal.
    It's been doing that for about 25 years:D
     
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  9. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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    Many thicker necks just need the slightest tension on the truss rod to keep the bow to spec. The moment you relieve string tension the neck springs back straight and unloads the truss rod. Nip it up if you like, but you'd probably end up backing it off to correct a flat or convex neck strung up. It's a sign of a solid stable neck to me.
     
  10. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes. I bought a brand new EC Strat once and realized the truss rod rattled. I took it back and exchanged it. You could tighten it a bit but it would come loose enough to rattle again.
     
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