Removing Wooden Plug From Neck?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by zxcv, Jan 7, 2009.

  1. zxcv

    zxcv TDPRI Member

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    Are they any secrets or special techniques to removing the wooden plug from the head end of the neck? I need to put some shims behind the truss rod nut to allow straightening the neck on my 1989 American Strat.

    I tried (with no success):
    1) Loosening the truss rod adjustment nut (with a hex wrench) to try and force the plug out, but stopped because it felt like something was going to break.
    2) Inserting a bent paper clip (held with pliers) and trying to pull the plug out.

    I can destroy the plug by using a drill bit or some similar type tool, but really hate to do that.

    Comments, experiences, and suggestions would be appreciated......tx........James
     
  2. jrfrond

    jrfrond Tele-Holic

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    The official procedure in the Fender service manual is to make a shield for the headstock out of aluminum foil, allowing only the plug to be exposed. Using a blow dryer (NOT a heat gun), heat the plug until it starts to "sweat" (oils being released from the wood). At that point, you can back out the truss rod nut and it will push the plug out. It works, I've done it. Fender also has replacement walnut plugs for this procedure.
     
  3. SimpleOne

    SimpleOne Friend of Leo's

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    That is a very cool tip of the day sir!
     
  4. zxcv

    zxcv TDPRI Member

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    Thanks John. I'll do it tonight!........James
     
  5. tele12

    tele12 Friend of Leo's

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    Does anyone know if you remove the wood plug ,can you then change the truss rod nut to a bullet style? I have a newer HWY 1 and think the big headstock looks wrong without the bullet nut.
     
  6. hotgoalie11565

    hotgoalie11565 Tele-Meister

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    You probably could do it. Just follow the procedure that jrfrond posted to get the plug out. Also, the bullet style adjusting nut from StewMac should work provided that the hole is 3/8".

    http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Truss_rods/Adjusting_nuts/Fender-style_Bullet_Truss_Rod_Nut.html
     
  7. Zmatko

    Zmatko Tele-Meister

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    hot burritos jrfrond, that's a good tip, thanks.
     
  8. StrumConstantly

    StrumConstantly Tele-Meister

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    Hello, I just found this thread....do you know if this will work on MIM Strats with the phenolic as oppposed to the walnut plug?

    Thanks!
     
  9. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Early biflex trussrods have a metal gate or plate with a hole in it, buried under the string nut. You have to lift that out before you can back out the trussrod nut. Probably no longer in use by '89 though.

    Mexican and Highway One strats do not have a biflex trussrod.
     
  10. Lostheart

    Lostheart Tele-Afflicted

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    James...I have the same problem. My American Standard Stratocaster is from 1988 and the neck is bowed an unadjustable. One luthier (apparently) has removed the plug and replaced the truss rod nut but after taking it home I tried to adjust it and it didn't move so I have my doubts that he did something other than charging me.
    These headstock adjustable biflex rods are horrible...
     
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