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Making a truss rod routing jig. Couple questions.

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by OpenG Capo4, Apr 1, 2011.

  1. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    So I'm making the same truss rod routing jig that pretty much everyone else on TDPRI uses.

    A 11 x 36" MDF sheet (my tablesaw doesn't go to 12" lol) with some 2x4's screwed to it to use as a guide for a router sled. Couple of straight MDF offcuts used as rails to keep the neck centered.

    The only real problem I've encountered so far was one of the 2x4's (which came from the Home Depot scrap pile, LOL) was warped.


    So I smeared some glue on it, and clamped it to one corner, then pulled and clamped until I got it straight along the edge. Then drilled and screwed in a screw every 4" down the length of the jig.


    This 2x4 is straight now, seems to be holding without the clamps too.

    Should I be worried about it moving or splitting on me? I guess I could use my router to even up the edge if it starts to move again, right?
  2. GregB

    GregB Tele-Holic

    Apr 12, 2010
    Colfax Ca.
    Don't worry about it until it happens.

    A 2x4 is probably overkill. I just used plywood

    I'm very happy that I added to runners to automatically align and center the neck.
  3. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Yep, I have runners like that too to keep the neck centered. I'll probably do a set of curved rails in between the 2x4 and the runners to do one piece necks too.

    The 2x4's only cost me $0.51 each. Probably couldn't buy plywood for that. I got some nice sections of what looks like "southern yellow pine" 2x8 to use for a couple of 2 piece bodies too. Not sure if its dry enough though.

    I think my first neck will a 2 piece made from 3/4" thick maple I got from Home Depot. It will have a piece of steel box tubing epoxied in a channel instead of a proper truss rod, with a maple fretboard glued over that. Just for the sake of simplicity and low cost. If I mess it up I won't be out much. :lol:
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  5. whodatpat

    whodatpat Friend of Leo's

    Jul 21, 2007
    College Park MD
    B, aka OpenG Capo4
    the round rod at HD (round and square) is pretty flimsy. I would look a the square tube but I think 1/2 inch is the smallest they have. In a 3/4 Maple neck that will be really close to poking through on the back of the neck if you carve off much. It will work, just make sure it is a fat neck by design. :)

    Also if you are burring the truss rod under the fret board do yourself a favor and rout the slot before you layout and cut the neck. (My experience comes from my mistakes.)
  6. mlp-mx6

    mlp-mx6 Tele-Holic

    Jan 20, 2008
    Maybe it's a trick of the camera view, but the rout does not look centered on the line to me.
  7. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    May not get the steel rod from Home Depot. Theres a place near where my parents live that has all sorts of metal tubing and stuff.
  8. miker828

    miker828 TDPRI Member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Johnstown Co
    how did you make the rail curved radius?
  9. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Jan 21, 2007
    Tucson, AZ
    Its just as easy to install a two way truss rod as it is a piece of tubing. Although, its going to cost you about 10$ more.

    If you want to talk about overkill, mine is made from Black Walnut.


    Whenever you select 2x4s from a home store, you can pretty much count on them being warped. Even if you sort through the bundle and pick out the straight ones, they will usually warp by the time you get them home. Those 2x4s are kiln dried, but they are stored outside under lean to sheds, then brought into the store as supply deamns necessary. Plus they are kept in bound bundles. Once they get free from their binds, and out in open air, they will twist like crazy.
  10. miker828

    miker828 TDPRI Member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Johnstown Co
    Sorry I should be more specific when I'm asking something. You see, I would like to attempt to build one of these.
    So I not sure if I'm asking correctly, but when I was asking "how did you make the rail curved radius?" I think I'm referring to the curvature of the rail to route the currect depth for the curved channel for the truss rod, how would I know how to radius the rail?

    Would I be able to find plans for this?
  11. jpbturbo

    jpbturbo Tele-Afflicted

    Dec 30, 2010
    Banner Elk, NC
    Hey miker828,

    I think in some of the neck PDF files that are floating around there is a side view of the neck that shows the curve of the route.
    I guess people just take that curve and offset it to give clearance for their router.

  12. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    Here's a Fender blueprint for a Stratocaster neck with the Bi-Flex truss rod. It has pertinent dimensions for making a single action truss rod jig. I based my jig on this drawing.

    The drawing shows how deep the truss rod channel should be at 2 in., 6.745 in. and 17.805 in. from the nut.

  13. Mojotron

    Mojotron Poster Extraordinaire

    Dec 21, 2008
    I just print out the neck pdf to size, glue the side view of it to a piece of MDF and then cut/sand to the line for the bottom of the truss rod channel.
  14. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Friend of Leo's

    Sep 15, 2007
    Glen Head, NY
    Framing lumber is meant to support drywall, where a fraction of an inch here or there in warpage or shrinkage is not going to make any difference. It's also made of fir, which you won't find furnituremakers using for anything. It's really not a suitable material for jigs or proper woodworking of any kind. If the cost of the material bothers you, just stop and ask yourself what your time is worth when you have to make it all over again.

    Also, if you had to wrestle a piece of wood with clamps until it's straight, then you're building in all kinds of stresses that will cause it to warp as soon as it can. In order to make a board straight you should use a jointer or a nice long jack plane by hand.
  15. miker828

    miker828 TDPRI Member

    Dec 18, 2010
    Johnstown Co
    Thank you all for your input on what I was trying to find out about the radius, I think this will help me greatly.
  16. OpenG Capo4

    OpenG Capo4 Friend of Leo's

    Aug 4, 2010
    Athens, GA
    Yeah I plan on revisiting the neck jig idea pretty soon. I have a couple printouts of the neck plans and a whole lot more tools and knowledge since my last attempt.
  17. goldguitarguy

    goldguitarguy Tele-Meister

    Oct 4, 2010
    Seeing how I have to build one of these I should do a thread on the build and measurements. Also might create a drawing by hand and scan it then hopefully someone can put it into a PDF maybe because me and computers don't mix well and would never get done properly or at all for that matter!
  18. quaterstaff

    quaterstaff Tele-Meister

    Please do. I am starting to build my jigs- this is one I will be getting to as well.
  19. goldguitarguy

    goldguitarguy Tele-Meister

    Oct 4, 2010
    Yeah I had trouble getting a satisfactory amount of info on this jig myself too,now that I have what I want I can share it,I also want to in corporate the drill jigs for the nuts and anchor somehow,kind of an all in one jig for truss rods.

    Plus they should have a DIY topic for tools and jigs here at the forum,it would be a great resource,they should call it strangebrew
  20. Bronkowitz

    Bronkowitz Tele-Meister

    May 20, 2011
    When I was growing up, I always wondered why my dad was constantly building jigs instead of doing "real" woodworking. Now that I'm the one making things, I understand completely. :D
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