Skunk stripe question

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Bob J, Jun 10, 2021 at 1:33 PM.

  1. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    345
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    Portland OR
    I see the purpose of a contrasting skunk stripe on a neck when the truss rod is installed from the back, but what is the purpose when you are using a separate fingerboard (not a 1-piece neck/fingerboard)? Why wouldn't you install the truss rod from the front?
     
  2. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    76
    Posts:
    6,411
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2018
    Location:
    Washington
    I do.
     
    Steve Holt likes this.
  3. Yonatan

    Yonatan Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    549
    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Location:
    Israel
    I understand that it's really just cosmetic in that case, unless perhaps it's a harder wood and adds some strength. I'll be interested to see the answers on this one.
     
  4. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    15,254
    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    northwest
    Yeah, I dont know why they do some that way...
     
    Fretting out likes this.
  5. Winky

    Winky Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    138
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2011
    Location:
    Canada
    I was contemplating that very thing just this morning as I looked at the skunk-stripe on my Tele. If I was making a neck, I'd want to install the truss rod from the back so it acts against the solid wood through the middle of the neck. I could test and refine the shape the of the cavity and the way the truss rod acted on it (or not) to get perfect relief, before finally filling from the back. A better question might be "Why aren't all guitar necks made this way?".
     
  6. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    345
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Just thinking ahead to my next build. Maybe a preslotted preradiused fretboard, and buying a premade dual-action truss rod (instead of making my own single-action).
     
  7. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I didn't know that there are necks built with a skunk-stripe when it's not needed.

    My opinion? That is just a genuine plain old dumb-ass idea :)

    .
     
  8. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    29
    Posts:
    8,509
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2019
    Location:
    Land of Mary
    All of the 70’s fenders except mustangs and maybe one other model have skunk stripes even with a separate rosewood board

    Some past then and currently still do
     
    David Barnett likes this.
  9. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    15,008
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
    Yep. When Fender stopped doing maple cap fretboards and started doing one piece necks again with skunk stripes, circa ~69 or 70, at the same time they started doing rosewood boards with skunk stripes (and headstock inlays) too.

    My guess is they were doing all the necks on the same tooling and jigs, so they all got truss rod slots routed from the back.
     
  10. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Age:
    66
    Posts:
    3,948
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2019
    Location:
    Adirondack Coast, NY
    I agree - I believe it is just to standardize their process and not split the production line.
     
    DougM likes this.
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,701
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County
  12. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk

    I guess that shows how much I know about '70s Fender guitars :).

    Good engineering practice doesn't always agree with what's popular, or in "good taste" ;).

    .
     
    wadeeinkauf likes this.
  13. David Barnett

    David Barnett Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Age:
    64
    Posts:
    15,008
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    The Far-Flung Isles of Langerhans
  14. TenaciousP

    TenaciousP Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    584
    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2016
    Location:
    Arkansas
    I have a 2006 American standard strat with a rosewood fretboard and a skunk stripe. The truss rod is installed from the back, but not exactly like the old one piece maple necks. With the neck removed, you can see that the anchor is in the back, in the heel area. I believe it is also the so called bi-flex truss rod. The headstock has a walnut plug with a hole in it big enough for the wrench to go in for adjustment. But the nut is actually trapped in the hole by the walnut plug. So you can turn the nut backwards and it will actually put relief into the neck. I believe the rod also passes through some sort of metal anchor around the mid point that may be inserted from the top before the fretboard is glued on. I think this anchor keeps the rod from pushing the skunk stripe out when putting positive relief in the neck. You can see it in this fender drawing.

    9C68A0E5-9AAD-425F-BA19-FFCE8BD118C7.jpeg
     
  15. Jim_in_PA

    Jim_in_PA Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    2,230
    Joined:
    May 31, 2019
    Location:
    SE PA near New Hope PA
    Cosmetic contrast/interest. I've done it by inlaying a piece of maple into the back of a sapele neck blank before doing the contour cutting.
     
  16. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    I just now realized the simple answer to at least part of the question :).

    I was too hasty with my first reply and didn't really think my first response all the way through and I was also assuming the use of a two-way truss rod.



    Fender continued to use one-way truss rods even though they were building two-piece necks.

    Fenders method of installing the truss rod was originally to route the passage from the back with the one-piece maple necks, and they continued to do so even after they began using rosewood fret boards.

    If I'm not mistaken, the first rosewood fret boards were just a thin veneer and then later they started using a thicker slab.

    With Fenders design, the truss rod route never needed to penetrate deep enough to hit the backside of the fret board, so of course they continued to use a back route and a skunk-stripe even though they were building two-piece necks.

    Gibson's design used one-way truss rods and two-piece necks but they always made their route from the top and they of course didn't need a skunk-stripe so they didn't use one ;).




    But I still think it's a dumb-ass idea to add a skunk-stripe when using a two-way truss rod just for cosmetic reasons.

    Doing so creates a potential problem where there shouldn't be one ;).

    In particular, if you just rely on a glued skunk-stripe joint to resist the potential force from the two-way rod ;).

    I go through some extra work on my one-piece necks with two-way truss rods in an effort to work around this very problem ;).

    .
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2021 at 2:40 PM
  17. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    23,701
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2003
    Location:
    Ontario County

    One could always make a skunk stripe inlay that isn't as deep to compromise the neck too. Perhaps that is the idea with the two piece necks with the skunk stripe....
     
  18. Killing Floor

    Killing Floor Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,670
    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2021
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    Interesting. I was staring at my maple cap Fender neck wondering the same thing.
     
  19. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,368
    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2017
    Location:
    corner of walk and don't walk
    With a skunk-stripe, ya have to keep the gluing step in mind, specifically the strength of the glued joint.

    With a one-way truss rod, there is no large force imposed on the glued skunk-stripe joint when tightening the adjustment, so the integrity of the glued joint isn't so critical



    The rest of this post just applies to two-way rods installed with a skunk-stripe.



    With a regular two-way rod, there can be a large force imposed on the glued skunk-stripe joint whichever way you turn the adjustment - no matter if you bow it, or back-bow it.



    The design of the skunk-stripe joint itself makes it difficult to get a good strong joint.

    Ideally, it should be a slide-in fit with just enough clearance for the proper amount of glue to make a strong joint - not glue-starved and not totally flooded.

    So, you need a fairly exact fit and you also need to insert the stripe without scraping all the glue off the edges.

    You also need to keep excess glue out of the truss rod assembly so you don't foul it and compromise it's effectiveness.




    It's definitely doable, but I think we need to keep improving our installation methods so as to keep as much force as possible from transferring from the two-way rod to the glued joint in the first place :).
     
  20. Bob J

    Bob J Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    345
    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2010
    Location:
    Portland OR
    Thanks for all the info, kind of confirms my original thinking. Personally I think I’ll stay away from skunk stripes if I plan on a 2-way truss rod and a separate fretboard.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.