Truss Rod at the Heel

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by golfnut, Oct 6, 2019.

  1. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    The special tool works well - if your Tele has the 1/2" channel routed between pocket and pickup. Only the early ones (and reissues of same) do. Sixties style? Nope.

    And if you have a Strat? Forget about it - neck's coming off. Even if you had the channel, you can't slide the pickguard, not with all those pickups and controls...

    And hating to remove a pickguard? Well, I do, if it's a Thinline 'amoeba'. 17 screws, I think, on my '69 RI. I cut the channel in that guitar, and cut a tasteful notch in the top of the guard, just big enough to fit that tool. Worked great.
     
  2. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    I think back in the early days it was used to avoid the big nut type truss rod nut found on gibsons etc in the 50s .
    [​IMG]
    A .because truss rod covers are just plain ugly and B. they wouldn't work on a fender headstock because of the curve behind the nut you couldn't put a cover on it . Obviously over the years the bolts got smaller and could be put headstock end .
    Once a fender is adjusted unless changing string type or gauges they don't really move imo, people mess around with them far to much.
     
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  3. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    The truss rod nut is the same size, whether it's buried in the heel or behind the nut. I prefer mine buried in the more substantial heel. Taking the neck off has been a one time thing with my new guitars, if they even needed an initial tweak, they've never needed adjusting again.
     
  4. Alter

    Alter Tele-Meister

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    I have a 50s style tele that I need to adjust the truss rod. I never remove the neck, but unscrew the pickguard and move it back a bit to do it. So far no damage. On my other guitars, I just put an allen on a small screw, job done. :(

    I would never buy a guitar with the truss rod adjustment at the heel again unless you can adjust it without opening anything. But I don't like the looks of the small hole there so..
     
  5. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    It's very dependent on the local environment, IMO. If you live in the desert, southwest US for instance, I'm sure that's true. But if you live in the northeast US and want to play with anything approximating low action, then no, the truss rod needs adjusting twice a year.

    Same for other guitars - Fender's no different.
     
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  6. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    Lucky live in the UK so adjust mine and that's it really unless change gauges, the 59 strat and 61 sg junior haven't needed adjusting in well never really , maybe that shows old wood is more stable who knows. Mind you lean on the sg neck and it some one hacked the neck tenon putting in a paf in the 70s quite cool for Tony iommi style bends when I was a teen but bit more carefull with it now a day s.
     
  7. trouserpress

    trouserpress Tele-Holic

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    OMG Alamo,
    what are you up to with that original 1910 Danish 'BSBS' (baby seal butcher spade) !?! :)
     
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  8. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]
    Yep me too but I meant the nuts were bigger headstock end on a lot of guitars then , Leos design was less intrusive compared to say the nut on a Gibson like above.
     
  9. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    The Fender nuts are much bigger than you think.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. JL_LI

    JL_LI Friend of Leo's

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    As a practical matter, truss rod adjustments are an iterative procedure best done with the guitar strung. I set the action from frets 15 thru 21 or 22 to have minimal or just acceptable buzz. I then adjust relief for frets 1 thru 12. I go back and forth until I'm satisfied. I find myself doing this on all my guitars a couple to a few times each year. I can't imagine doing this by removing the neck, making an adjustment, reassembling the guitar and testing it only to find that I have to add to or back off the adjustment. I've never stripped a truss rod nut or hex wrench adjuster in my life. Working carefully in small increments does it every time. The wheel type heel adjustment looks easy to me. It may present a better aesthetic than a head stock adjustment, but a guitar is a tool that requires regular maintenance. All I really care about is how easily and precisely I can make the necessary adjustment without removing the strings. BTW, my Simon and Patrick acoustic has a truss rod adjuster in the heel easily accessible through the sound hole that works very well in my hands.
     
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  11. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I agree. Strings on for sure. This is why the truss rod tool that I have that allows me to make adjustments with the neck on is necessary for me.
     
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  12. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    The real question is why did Fender not put the same divot/gap in the Strat body so it could also be adjusted without unscrewing the neck??? :confused:
     
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  13. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    So when guys like Joe Bonamassa or Mike Campbell say things ala “ I don’t ever take the neck off of the guitar to check the date or anything because they don’t sound the same after “ are they just full of it or are they just avoiding any adjustments and dealing with whatever relief or straightness they have ??
     
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    1. I don't know if they say those things or not.

    But.

    2. The truss rod does not need to be adjusted nearly as much as the Internet seems to believe. Even in variable humidity and temperature regions.

    But.

    3. Those guys have techs and may not know when a tweak is done.

    But.

    4. They probably spend more time worrying about putting on a show, getting to the next stop, writing, and playing, than about whether the action could be a whisper lower or there is a hint of acoustic buzz potentially barely audible if strummed very hard.
     
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  15. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

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    They're giving us what we want...confirmation of the voodoo and the mojo.
     
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  16. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    because on my jaguar, you have to take the neck off. there's no channel in the body to get access to it.

    truss adjust at the heel is a hard deal breaker for any guitars i'm buying from here on it.
     
  17. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Thank ya sir , yeah all that makes sense to me. I can’t remember exactly but I have seen videos with Joe Bonamassa talking about people buying vintage guitars who can’t wait to take neck off to look at the stamped dates and such. He said on most of his he just believes they are the dates he thinks the are and he refuses to take the neck off because things are never the same once you take the guitar apart. Mike Campbell’s is his tele so maybe they just use the tool from the original poster. I guess the only thing Mike Campbell approved was a refret, he doesn’t even let people clean the neck and fretboard. I’m not a expert though. Cool thread, I’m always learning stuff here
     
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  18. golfnut

    golfnut Friend of Leo's

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    I'd want to see the date stamps before I bought it.
    Unless he's owned it from day one, how would he know that the neck wasn't off right before he acquired it from whoever he bought it from?
    I think its just alot of voodoo superstition.
    I guess it will be good for any scammers out there with partscaster to know that Joe will believe whatever you tell him.
     
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  19. 57fenderstrat

    57fenderstrat Tele-Meister

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    Yeah that’s what I was thinking , normally the neck stamp is one of the first pictures on any online listing. I will have to find the video again
     
  20. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    mmhmm
    If I remember correctly it's from a Norman's video. If you remove the neck there is risk for messing up the paint and he says the benefit of buying from Norm is you know what you're getting and don't need to worry about checking the date.

    Also, I do believe he cares about his action and having his guitars dialed. He is a guitaraholic, just look at his Instagram. He plays all the time and spends all his free time on "safaris" looking for more of the same guitars or more of the same amps or anything that just says Fender on it like service manuals. Nuts! But he can justify it 'cause it's his professional job that happens to be his passion. I wish I could justify all the stuff I have....

    Anyway, you tele players. PAINT CAN OPENER. My local Ace wouldn't even charge me for it.

    [​IMG]
     
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