Neck relief - new Neck

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by Mr_Martin, Jul 2, 2020.

  1. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    I built a partcaster with a Baja Neck and an Alder body.

    Question:
    The Neck is now (without strings) totaly straight.
    Should i leave it like that before attaching the neck to the body?
    I think the string tension will bow the neck forward right?

    Or have i to adjust the neck before that it bows back because of the string tension.

    Sorry for my bad english, i hope you understand my question.
     
  2. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    I would put the neck on now, put strings on it, tune it up so it's under tension, let it rest for a while, then adjust relief if needed. Why adjust the neck now to compensate for an unknown? Once the strings are on, you can see what adjustment is needed if any.
     
  3. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    Thank you, i understand but the trusrod adjusment is on the pickup side, so if the relief is bad i have to unmount the neck, adjust and mount it again.
    I wanted to avoid it. :)
     
  4. Danb541

    Danb541 Tele-Afflicted

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    Oh, I didn't know that... I guess its up to you. What size strings are you putting on it? If you run really heavy strings maybe adjust it a bit. I'd probably still put it on the way it is. Either way you might have to take it off anyways. It's only 4 crews, not that big of a deal.
     
  5. viking

    viking Friend of Leo's

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    This is why it can take a long time to dial in a new assembled guitar
    There is no way to make sure you don't have to take the neck off again
     
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  6. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I'd leave it, once loaded it will have some relief likely.
     
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  7. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    I play Daddario 0.11 - 0.52
     
  8. grzz51

    grzz51 TDPRI Member

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    You don't have to take the neck completely off, just loosen the strings then loosen the screws enough to make the adjustment, re-tighten everything in reverse order and see how it is.
     
  9. Nick Fanis

    Nick Fanis Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    You can't.
    It's the nature of the beast and how you set up a Fender with a heel truss rod adjustment.

    It's no big deal though.
    Capo all strings at the first fret so they don't fall out of the tuners ,loosen the neck screws remove the neck and adjust.

    Having the neck dead straight without string tension is standard practice anyway.

    Personally I like almost zero relief anyhow with the string tuned to pitch.

    Relief kills playability ,feel and tone/compression in a guitar.
     
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  10. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree with Nick. You want to start with a flat neck and add relief a little at a time only as necessary until it's dialed in. There may be a quicker way to do it, I'm just not aware. And this is why heel adjusters are not the optimum, but what else are you going to do with your time nowadays?
     
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  11. Mr_Martin

    Mr_Martin Tele-Afflicted

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    Thanx for your help.
    This is the partcaster i finished today.

    Franken-Baja
     
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  12. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Tele-Meister

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    Unless your rod is tight, your tone will be flabby.
     
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  13. gregulator450

    gregulator450 Tele-Afflicted

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    remove the pickguard, and your tele body may have access to get a truss rod wrench in there. Stew Mac sells this little guy: https://www.stewmac.com/luthier-too...-tools/wrenches/truss-rod-crank-for-tele.html

    ...that makes adjusting slot-headed heel adjust tele necks a breeze once the pickguard is removed. Best $20 (after stupid shipping costs) I have spent in a while. I get enough vintage style teles in for setups that this paid for itself in the first two hours I had it. I also have a Strat type with a heel adjust, so this tool will never go out of style in my toolbox.
     
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  14. ben smith

    ben smith Tele-Holic

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    i always have mine pretty dead straight then when the neck is on with 10's things feel just about right. i don't like the idea of keeping the neck on and to just loosen the screws, that sounds dangerous to me.
     
  15. Boreas

    Boreas Tele-Meister

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    I would leave it as-is. The strings will add some relief in the neck, which is preferred. If it adds too much, play it until you need a string change, and
    adjust it then.
     
  16. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    It should be dead straight with no string tension, but the truss rod should at least be tightened to the point that it feels snug, maybe to the point that it's as tight as it will get without causing back-bow, before you put it on. Every neck is different, but a typical Tele neck might give you .006 -.011" of relief at the 7th fret (the latter is factory spec) with the nut snug, and .002-.008" relief with the nut tight. I always flex and twist the neck while adjusting a truss rod at the tighter end of its range. It seems to help the neck settle into its new shape and keep the neck from developing any deformities from uneven pressure.

    That's not a rule at all. My Hahn 228 has .002" of relief with .010s and the truss rod fully loosened, and only about .006" with .011s.

    I think it helps to loosen the nut all the way with no string tension before adjusting it, too. The wood wants to be a certain way, and I think you have to let it get there before you start manipulating it.
     
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  17. Ian T

    Ian T Tele-Afflicted

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    I watched one of the Robben Ford lockdown streams, and he told a story of taking his vintage Tele to a luthier for a truss rod adjustment, and to his horror he turned around and sees the luthier had removed the neck. He says that once you remove the neck, it takes months to settle in again.

    I had never thought about it like that, but perhaps I'll think twice before removing the neck for a truss rod adjustment if I can reach the heel by removing the pickguard. Usually this can be done.

    Just a little food for thought.
     
  18. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    Some necks "settle in" instantly. I'Ve hardly ever seen one take more than a day or two, but anything is possible, I suppose.
     
  19. Sea Devil

    Sea Devil Friend of Leo's

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    The neck changes when you take the strings off, too. But as I said above, I grab the neck and manipulate it pretty aggressively in multiple directions to accelerate any settling in whenever I make changes..
     
  20. TwangerWannabe

    TwangerWannabe Tele-Meister

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    You don't need to take the neck off, just the pickguard. Even if your body doesn't have a route to get at the truss rod, a paint can lid opener should do the trick. I've been using one for years and have been able to adjust the truss rod on most of the Fenders Iv'e owned except for a couple MIJ/CIJ Fenders.

    Put the strings on, tune it up, then adjust the relief as necessary with the strings on and tuned to pitch.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2020
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