Truss Rod: Tired of the Heel Adjuster, I've Decided

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by ChicknPickn, Sep 6, 2021.

  1. doghouseman

    doghouseman Tele-Holic

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    in your head man....

    I have been building guitars since the 90s ;-) I think my first warmoth was 95. It had a side adjust.
     
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  2. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Or... if you're selling the guitar second hand to someone using SRV gauge strings, while you yourself resorted to Billy Gibbons style gauge, 008. Or the other way around. Which happens more often than not.
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  3. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    This was a first though. Explain, because I've thought about it and this one I can't get my head around. I have not experienced it either. Because you can't compare a guitar with head-adjustment or heel-adjustment, and it's not a mod you can do.

    At the top of the headstock when heel adjusted you must have that STOP up at the headstock, that weigh as much as even the bullet in a bullet headstock adjust. Also I've never ever encountered Floyd Rose modded guitars - which didn't have it from the start on - turning neck dive just because the enormous mass added by the locking nut and bolts holding it which are considerably heavier than any truss rod bolt up there. Also you have to remove some wood up there which makes way for the truss rod bolt, and the difference between removing that amount of wood (it's weight) and anything of steel up there is so subtle that it is neglible, so I call bogus on that one. Necks are made of considerably denser/heavier wood than the bodies in those cases. If they neck dive they did so anyway from beginning.

    It would be like, if you had a 5 string bass, and made too many wraps around the tuning posts up there, you collect junk, strings made of steel, that should make the neck dive because of that, in comparison to just cut the strings off, and have them barely half a wrap around the tuning posts so the neck dive disappeared.

    - - - - - - -

    Compare headless guitars. No headstock. Most of them have it up there, at "the headstock"...no neck dive evva' ;)
     
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2021
  4. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I bought my first few Warmoth necks in the '80s for various partscasters I was always putting together but they were all used necks and all had the heel adjust but the "old" Warmoth "modern" construction.
    Now their "modern" construction they used since the '80s seems to be offered with either the headstock access dual action rod or the side adjust, while their more recent "vintage" construction only offers heel adjust?

    It just occurred to me though, looking at the side adjust mechanism, I can't see that working with a dual action rod.
    With a fatback full 1" neck it would be really good to have the dual action in case light strings don't pull in enough relief.

    Do the side adjust necks have single or dual action truss rods?
    I've read over the site many times but always buy used and this question only popped up after I hit PAY NOW!
     
  5. shallbe

    shallbe Tele-Meister

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    Really, its not a big deal. Just spend a few bucks and get the Stew Mac tool. Remove the pickguard and its quick and convenient. MUCH better than the paint can opener, and it works on any angle of the head screw.

    Get one. No need to remove the neck, and you can adjust under tension.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Good to go!

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Matthias

    Matthias Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Yep in modern guitars. I like the heel adjust to complete the look on vintage designs, but TBH it is a pain!
     
  7. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    You lost me at “Remove the pick guard.”
     
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  8. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Looked at more info on the Warmoth site and the side adjust truss rod is a double rod but not a double action rod.

    So while a double action or dual action rod can both straighten excess relief, AND straighten back bow, the Warmoth side adjust system is a dual rod but not a dual action rod.
    Meaning if the neck has back bow, the rod cannot correct that problem.
    Less common but I've seen enough necks with a little back bow and also seen very fat necks that hardly moved from straight under string tension is very light strings are used.
    Bummer.
     
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  9. Controller

    Controller Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    You could have been a contender!

     
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  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    And the only damn reason for the side adjust is all you guys complaining about how HARD it is to adjust yer damn geetars!

    As technology advances we see two specific but very different goals.

    1) To make stuff that's better

    2) To make stuff that requires less effort from the user.

    Lazy lazy lazy!
     
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  11. Toto'sDad

    Toto'sDad Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    All those years, riding a unicycle around and around while I was adjusting the truss rod! A life squandered no doubt about it!
     
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  12. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I guess we've had different experiences. My post was based on mine. You make good arguments, mostly, but I have different experiences with my necks. Anyway, good debate.
     
  13. vgallagher

    vgallagher Tele-Meister

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    I'm not the brightest bulb in the lamp I'll admit. I can't imagine any scenario with a heel adjusted guitar where I would need to take the neck off to adjust relief. Maybe I'm missing something.
     
  14. Fender-guy

    Fender-guy Tele-Holic

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    I’ll add a third point

    3) To make it look ugly

    That’s my opinion. When I’m guitar hunting a 2 point tremolo or a headstock adjust rod makes it a lot easier to scan through a wall of guitars I don’t want.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fair enough but I'd hope ugly is not the goal of any engineer?

    Used to be though that engineers designed stuff that not only worked well but was beautiful to look at, even stuff you can't see like internal engine parts.

    I suspect it's more that kid engineers today are visually retarded?
    Too much time taking selfies results in a deep myopia!

    Or maybe old timers just have different taste?
     
  16. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Fender left that notch in the Tele body which allowed the overhead router to rout neck pocket and neck pickup cavity in one pass, plus made easy access to the truss rod. Most of us considered it easy anyhow, but subsequent generations redefined "easy" and "hard".

    Then CBS eliminated that notch and also the diagonal rout in 1969, plus they added a little milled indentation to Strat and Tele guards that allowed a tech to get a narrow blade screwdriver in to half the rod nut for adjustment with guard in place.
    That ran probably from '69 to some time in the '70s but IDK when they got rid of the guard indent.

    Right after 1980 the Tele got the old body routing back when Fender decided we all wanted repro antique guitars.
    And whenever it was the headstock adjuster became standard on modern style non repro Fenders.

    A small problem with the method of sneaking a narrow blade screwdriver in to half the nut is that those nuts got chewed up over the years. Easy to just replace the nut though.

    Guitar techs didn't seem to have a problem with the heel adjust but at some point when guitar exploded as a hobby, plus the internet got gear forums, complaining became a very popular thing to do on gear forums.
    To some degree the industry heard our complaints and made guitars easier for hobbyists to work on.

    Then guitar hobby tools became a whole 'nother industry and newfangled inventions like "fret rockers" hit the market.

    Not upgrading a $99 guitar requires $999 in Stew Mac tools to make it easy!

    But hey, other stuff got easy too like home surveillance that buys you stuff while you channel surf on the couch and doorbells that send you video feeds of friend and foe who darken your doorway.

    Now that we've had a couple of years of "work from home", with clothing optional, can Orwellian society be far behind?

    Your Kingdom for a truss rod adjustment!
     
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  17. MatsEriksson

    MatsEriksson Tele-Afflicted

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    Still that tool is very special for adjusting a heel truss rod. That jinxed large wrench. Remember it's not only Fender! As I've heard it way back, from Leos days, is that he didn't want anyone to tamper with it. So he hide it, so folks where not too keen on starting to wreak havoc with it.

    There was only one-size-fits-all strings, and the most important thing I've heard but can't find it anymore on the net (by the man himself) is that early on, one piece maple necks just had to have heel adjust. You had that skunk stripe. The incentive behind this escapes me but it basically was easier to get a headstock adjust on, if the fretboard was different, rosewood, or for that matter also maple. You had to glue the fretboard on top anyways.

    Mind you, that this was just in the beginning. Later on, one piece maple necks had headstock adjusts too.

    Martin did not have adjustable truss rod until late 80s beginning 90s. Mind you. They did have a truss rod, or really, just a square steel rod, which wasn't flexible or adjustable in any way. But since they had this first owner warranty, they got warranty returns dime a dozen, and they finally fed up. Which says a great deal about their acoustic guitar designs anyway. But when they did the adjustable ones, the returns - for this, warped necks - diminished by two thirds if not even more. From then on, the guitar stayed at the music store, or at best, at some experienced player in your neighborhood, that new about this stuff. It never got so far, so it came into the Martin factory.

    But now, this thread about Telecasters. I have a Klein electric with a stiff rosewood neck. No truss rod at all. Still after 19 years, plays and reliefs perfectly. The relief is set by filing the frets instead (it has been Plekked). Granted, you can only go up one gauge or down in one gauge before you have to re-do this to make it perfect-perfect. But never ever has it warped or started to play games with me. Regardless of seasons, and mind you I live in Sweden, were the climate is "Canadian" so you have something to compare to.

    It is possible to do necks W/O any rod at all. Especially some electric solidbody guitars which only can take the force of 009 sets or 010 sets. No brainer for most woods. As fast as you have acoustic with minimum 012 gauge and 014 even, you're in for serious forces at play.
    Skärmavbild 2021-09-08 kl. 19.02.12.png

    From the book of Telecasters. The Fender Telecaster Hal Leonard publishing. Look especially at the sentence, quoted here for those with poor eyesight.

    "By then, Fender would have to deal with 2 methods of installation of the truss rod, i e from the front and from the rear. On standardisation grounds, it was decided to retain only the installation from the rear, and this is why rosewood capped necks made after spring 1969 usually feature a contrasting back stripe and a plug above the nut".


    This was 69, and thus, not any of Leo's ideas at all. For clarification, they obfuscate it a little above, so:

    Front = at the headstock
    Rear = heel

    But all this tells me you could do heel adjust on BOTH capped necks (2 piece) and one piece, but just head adjust on 2 piece, but not one piece.
     
    Last edited: Sep 8, 2021
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  18. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    My son has one with the traditional heel adjustment and no route to access it with taking off the neck - it’s a real PITA. It’s actually a consideration when I buy a guitar.
     
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  19. ChicknPickn

    ChicknPickn Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    But, wait! Isn't "better" often concurrent with "requires less effort"? Like conventional oil vs. synthetic? Or digital photography vs. silver emulsion, or silver emulsion vs. wet plates? Or automatic transmission vs. manual (not even offered on some of the highest performance exotics these days). Fuel injection vs. carburetor?
     
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