Truss rod installation - headstock adjust

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Slowtwitch, Jan 17, 2019.

  1. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    I'm trying to rap my head around figuring out how to install a double action or something that requires a straight truss rod cavity (not bowed like vintage Fenders) with a headstock adjustment for a fender style neck i.e. not a breakaway headstock like a LP. I can't find anything showing how to create the access hole (it would be great to make one with the 2 wood types like Fender does)
    mex-strat-headstock.jpg

    I don't like heel adjust truss rods if it requires removal of the pickguard or neck, and we don't have access to Hotrod Stew Mac rods with the spokewheel in SA (like Fletcher Guitars uses on youtube with the cutout in the fretboard at the heel). Also hotrod rods needs a deep cut.

    So I'm thinking how does most ripoff strat trussrods work with headstock access. Surely they don't have the bowed truss rod cavity like vintage single action truss rods?

    And I can't find any build or tutorial properly showing how it's done

    I'm thinking Allparts double action rods like this which is low profile

    09027.jpg

    Am I missing something here, and I know many on this form chooses heel adjust, is it because headstock adjust is too complicated to get right, or is the only real way with a bowed rod cavity - something I'm really not keen for - I'd like to router a straight cavity

    Thanx for the advise
     
  2. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx TDPRI Member

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    I understand it comes down to routing the truss rod channel, thicknessing your headstock, then putting a long bit into your drill, drill from the headstock making sure the bit is aligned with the channel, and drill untill the hole meets the channel.

    Of course, you need to make sure the channel is routed to the depth that matches where you are drilling.

    If you want the two tone thing I think you drill with a large bit first, plug the hole with a dowel of the contrasting wood and then drill through that.

    Freeman Keller posted some pictures of how it's done recently. FK's explanations are usually clear and thorough, hunt around the forum for it (it will be part of some other thread, though, not a dedicated "this is how you do it").
     
  3. mistermikev

    mistermikev Tele-Holic

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    no expert so take my comments with that in mind. this troubled me a lot when I did it on my first build. one option is to put the truss rod in the channel upside down. this means the adjustment would be backwards, but the nut will be closer to the bottom of the fretboard/top of the neck wood. installing the std way, the truss is going to be burried a bit more in the headstock and makes drilling it more challenging, but it will adjust in the correct direction. I chose this route when doing my first build. to combat the difficulty of drilling the access hole, i planed down the rest of the headstock and did not cut the transition. this left me a nice square (90 degree) surface to drill into. I just took a brad point bit and drilled it. worked fine for me. that's all I can tell you.
     
  4. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Extending your router channel forward is the way to go cleanly and accurately. Unless you have a drill jig made up to help, drilling into the peghead transition freehand is iffy. The process can go awry. I have 3 or 4 necks here as proof of that.

    Read this thread that was from last week or so. To me, the truss rod installation is best done while the wood is still a rectangle.




    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/dual-a...n-for-jaguar-bass-guitar.913026/#post-8838878




    This example is a hot rod with a heel adjust , but by making the slot longer for the nut, it could be peghead adjust with a bit more work.

    Without moving the fence you swap bits to cut the truss rod nut access. I would use a 1/2" core box or roundnose bit for a round nut access for an allen key in peghead. That provides a rounded bottom and removes less material.

    slot2.jpg

    slot3.jpg

    slot4.jpg
     
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2019
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  5. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    I assume you are doing a two piece neck (separate fretboard). Route your truss rod channel starting at the heel and ending under the nut. Shape your head (band saw, Safety planer, belt sander....). Now measure down from the the top of the neck to where the center of the adjuster will be - drill a hole in a piece of wood that will line up with that. Use a long bit (I think they call them "aircraft bits" to drill thru starting with some gentle little taps on the curved part of your head - the bit will want to climb up the angle.

    IMG_4648.JPG

    Once you have fitted the truss rod I put a small filler block in the heel end so there was no chance that it could ever be pushed out (remember, I started the channel at the heel)

    I veneered that particular head but you can also just leave the neck wood.

    On some true Fender necks there is a contrasting cylinder of wood around the hole, I frankly am not sure how I would do that. Drilling to a larger diameter and inserting a contrasting dowel, then drilling thru that might work but it would be a complete pain to align everything - I'm happy with this

    IMG_4654.JPG
     
  6. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Here are some hints I posted to a fellow member last week. This is quite easy and the results turn out great.
    http://www.tdpri.com/threads/first-...ed-a-little-advice.913182/page-2#post-8846588

    Also, Freeman has some good advice and techniques in his post above, but I would add two things. You do not have to start your rout from the heel of the neck only to have to then fill in this void after the rod is in. You can just start the rout where the back end of the truss rod goes, as shown in that link I attached above. Just set up the fence on the router table and gently (but with a firm hold!) lower the blank on to the spinning bit to start the cut. Kind of the opposite of a free hand plunge cut start.
    Second, that's a great hack that Freeman posted to drill a hole into the truss rod channel, but I'll just add that that hole is easier to start and drill cleanly if you drill it before you do the curved headstock transition. That area is going to start out as a square cut parallel to the nut slot before the transition is carved/sanded, and I think it is easier to start the drill bit into that square face than the curved face after the transition is completed. I hope this is a clear description for you to visualize.

    Good luck,
    Rex
     
  7. mjr428

    mjr428 Tele-Meister

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    I like that... Think I might steal it!
     
  8. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Both good suggestions and I agree. This was my first and only Fender style neck, I mostly do scarfed head/stacked heel and I was more or less winging it. I probably would still run my route in from the end and fill it - I'm not crazy about plunging a bit I can't see into the end of where I want my channel. A minor tidbit - make a line on the deck of your router table at the center line of the bit and perpendicular to the fence. Make another mark on the side of your neck where you want the channel to end. When they line up stop pushing the neck and turn the motor off. Don't lift the neck, just let the bit stop and then pick it off.
     
  9. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    It all makes sense to me and not too difficult to execute, I'll just need to find a loooong drill bit.

    I didn't even consider that the chuck of the drill will catch the headstock because the hole is so close to the headstock surface, so you definitely need a long bit
     
  10. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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  11. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    It took me a while to find the right core box bit to go with the Bitterroot truss rods. Some of the other similar rods with a adjust nut that is smaller might be able to use a different one. Here is the Amana I used and I may have incorrectly listed it earlier as 5/16 radius. It is 5/16 diameter.
    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B001UOEN30/?tag=tdpri-20
    VERY sorry if I said the wrong thing. This bit is the one I use.

    Rex
     
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  12. GPlo

    GPlo Tele-Meister

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    I had the exact same question last week, only for a bass neck. I too found it surprisingly hard to find good information on this. Luckily there are some very knowledgable and friendly people on this forum
     
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  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Friend of Leo's

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    Having that long bit is really handy for drilling holes between cavities in your body - like from the neck to the bridge pickup if you are not going to use a pickguard, or even from the bridge p/u to the control cavity. The long bit keeps the chuck a long ways from the body which is a good thing.
     
  14. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Friend of Leo's

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    I get the long drill bits at Home Depot.

    https://www.homedepot.com/p/DEWALT-3-8-in-x-12-in-Black-Oxide-Drill-Bit-DW1610-G/202579647

    I have experimented with headstock accessible truss rod holes... and realized that on a Fender style neck that the best way (for me) is to route for a heel adjust. My new guitar design uses a tilt back headstock which makes the neck access truss rod really easy to set up.

    Here are a few photos that show the experiments..

    IMG_1083.JPG

    Was not happy with the end result...

    IMG_1210.JPG

    If you look you will see that even though I accidentally thinned out the headstock too thin and can't sand it any more that there is a chance of wood missing in front of the access hole...

    Below is a more radical experiment...

    IMG_2794.JPG

    Used a bull nose bit to route the access hole for the Truss rod.

    IMG_2795.JPG

    IMG_2796.JPG

    Again you can see a chunk was taken out in front of the access hole.

    These two are now on the scrap pile... trying to catch up to Marty!!:lol::lol:
     
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  15. TRexF16

    TRexF16 Friend of Leo's Vendor Member

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    Just try it the way I posted above. Clean as a whistle. I wish I could take credit for having invented that way but I got it from another of our members in a post some time ago. Just paying it forward.
    Rex

    P.S. for those desiring a more traditional look just hybridize the technique with the access hole drilling trick Freeman posted.
     
  16. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Any of the ways suggested work well. Just find which you prefer and give it a go. I prefer the method Rex indicates. I just lengthen the truss rod route with a 5/16 round over bit. You want it slightly deeper than the hex recess on the truss rod to avoid the hex wrench from scaring the recess finish when you adjust it. If you don't get it quite deep enough just use a 5/16" round file to finish it off.

    I do my truss rid routes before cutting the neck shape so it is easy to just line up on the router table with a fence.

    Eric
     

    Attached Files:

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  17. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    I checked my bits, I have a 6/16" roundover bit, slightly larger than a 5/16" but should be fine, it will just be a tad wider, I'll experiment to see how long I really need to route, I'm thinking as shallow as possible (maybe shallower than the bit where the nut sits, and as short as possible without compromising access for the allen key.
     
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  18. eallen

    eallen Tele-Afflicted

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    Just get your final head stock thickness and don't route any deeper. Since I don't like any visible route into the headstock face I route a bit shallow and use a round file and angle it down to the depth I want. You don't need to route as deep as the entire truss rod nut but just slightly below the hex key opening. Be aware though that depending on which direction the pressure of the rod is pushing the nut can move down a hair in the opening.

    Eric.

    Sent from my SM-G892A using Tapatalk
     
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  19. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Tele-Meister

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    I make the wood insert for around the access hole on a small lathe. I turn pens, and use the same process to make the inserts. Here is a short youtube that will give you an idea how it's done.

    Fender's inserts have a 3/16" hole and 3/8" diameter, so you will need high quality brad bits in those sizes. You will also need a 3/16" mandrel (make one out of a bolt). You won't need the brass barrels shown in the video (although they might look cool).
     
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  20. Slowtwitch

    Slowtwitch Tele-Meister

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    Thx Eric this is what I meant. Any chance of more pics of this, like what the finished headstock looks like
     
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