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Heel Adjusting Truss Rod?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by TelZilla, Sep 13, 2019.

  1. TelZilla

    TelZilla Friend of Leo's

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    I'm looking at some of the Fender replacement necks and a lot of them have truss rod adjustment screws at the heel.

    I've only had guitars with truss rod adjustment at the headstock. Can you adjust the trussrod screw at the heel without removing the neck?
     
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  2. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    It depends on how your body is cut, and how high the neck sits in the pocket. Some bodies are made with a cutout where the heel of the neck meets the body so that a rear-adjust truss rod can be accessed easily. Then it's just a matter of getting a right-angle tool in there. I have this one from Stew Mac.

    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Types_of_Tools/Wrenches/Truss_Rod_Crank_for_Tele.html
     
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  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    No special tools are required. Just loosen the neck until you can get at the nut, make your adjustment with a normal screwdriver and tighten it back up again. You may never need to touch it of course.
     
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  4. stefanhotrod

    stefanhotrod Tele-Holic

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    It‘s the vintage way. Some say it‘s more stable and if the neck is straight and fat enough you may never had to touch the trussrod again...best bet is a body like this:

    C6B9BE7C-DC33-45D2-9A6C-AD2559655655.jpeg

    so no need to loosen the neckscrews for trussrod access.
     
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  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    It just seems like a royal PITA to me. I like the headstock adjustment. I also like my Warmoth "side of the heel" adjustment. Very easy to adjust, and keeps the "clean" headstock look.
     
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  6. chris m.

    chris m. Poster Extraordinaire

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    I prefer at headstock because it’s a pain to loosen strings, loosen neck, adjust, tighten neck, tighten strings, check on setup, then repeat. With a gap and special tool then I’d be fine with it.
     
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  7. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    The '50s style Tele body has that rout allowing a right angle screwdriver in under the guard.
    But the later Tele body without that rout and also the Strat used to come with a little hollow in the guard so you could just get a narrower screwdriver on the nut without removing the neck or even the guard.
    That's why the truss rod nut had two slots, sort of like a philips but designed so that there is always a bit of slot accessible above the guard.
    That's also why many or most vintage Fender necks have buggered up slots there, from screwdrivers only getting one side of the slot with the neck on.
    Lots have had those buggered nuts replaced by now and few new guards have that little divot.

    Given that most state that you have to take the neck off to adjust the truss rod, I presume that the world of guitar players has collectively forgotten this fact. Or simply never knew it.
     
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  8. magicfingers99

    magicfingers99 Friend of Leo's

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    If I caught a heel adjusting my truss rod, I'd throw him out and put it back where it was. I feel pretty strongly about this, show me how I'm the bad guy here.
     
  9. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A9B73322-1F46-4D70-9BDC-875CC806FC8A.jpeg Here’s what we used to deal with before the internet debunked reality in favor of OCD.
     
  10. ElJay370

    ElJay370 Tele-Afflicted

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    Adjusting a truss rod at the heel is a little more time consuming, but not really a big deal. You can take the neck off without loosening the strings. Place a capo on the first fret, hold the guitar firmly at the neck/body joint with your hand, remove the neck screws, then gently lever the neck away from the body. Reinstallation is the opposite of removal.

    A lot of the time the guitar is even pretty close to in tune once you put the neck back on.

    It's pretty easy, but try it on your nephew's cheap Squier instead of a Custom Shop Strat if you've never done it before. You'll get the hang of it after a few tries.
     
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  11. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Its just a pita on the initial setup which usually calls for multiple truss rod adjustments over a few days. All my Fender style guitars adjust at the heel bar one classic vibe tele. If you struggle using a screwdriver on 4 screws it could be a problem but beyond that they work fine.
     
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  12. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    If your body has the cutout at the adjuster, you can use a paint can opener to turn the screw. Cheap or free at paint stores.
     
  13. Skydog1010

    Skydog1010 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    This "tool" would not work on my necks for several reasons.

    It's a cheap pot metal casting that won't provide any torque value.

    Secondly the "blade" portion of can opener is too thick to fit my screw slots.

    After the neck has had a few days to stabilize, and if it's a quality fat Fender Tele neck, one adjustment session should take care of the neck until the next major environment change.

    I capo the strings even though I loosen them quite a bit, there are several reasons for doing this, protect my nut, and keep strings from becoming a bird's nest.
     
  14. Ricky D.

    Ricky D. Doctor of Teleocity

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    Mine is stamped steel, and fits just fine.
     
  15. POS Guitars

    POS Guitars Tele-Meister

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    I have successfully adjusted a single action truss rod (with a large ‘+’ nut) with a thick bit skinny Flathead screwdriver that fits in 1/4 of the adjustment nut slot. Just turn no more than 1/4 of a turn at a time. If you have a pick guard, you might have to remove it.
     
  16. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

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    Teles with standard pick up mounting to the body and not the pickguard are easy. Remove the pickguard use a paint can tool or right angle screwdriver and voila. No need to loosen or remove the neck and no damage to the guard etc.
     
  17. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    It depends, but often no you can't without doing as much work as removing the neck.
     
  18. Piggy Stu

    Piggy Stu Friend of Leo's

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    Can you not talk of buggered slots and buggered nuts when an Englishman is reading. I had to have a cold shower
     
  19. Diagoras

    Diagoras Tele-Holic

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    I actually prefer them with the nut at the heel. I've had Am Std necks with the nut at the headstock that have run out of threading over time, and since you can't access that nut without removing the walnut plug, it can be a real pain. But with the nut at the heel, if I run out of adjustment I can just remove the nut and add a washer.

    And if the body doesn't have a channel to allow you to adjust the nut at the heel without removing the neck, then I just use a dremel and cut one out.
     
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  20. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Afflicted

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    I was just going to make a thread about this. i was going to say - i am going to drill a hole in the neck pocket to adjust the truss rod on my neck as it is a heel adjust rod, it makes complete sense to me, does it you? saves taking the neck off every time, all ill need to do is take the pickguard off, it's not built yet but it would be nice to set it up with strings on
     
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