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 Post subject: Electric Truss Rod type
PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 12:57 pm 
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Mahogany
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For a solid body electric, which type of rod do you prefer? I'm building my first guitar (kind of), and debating what to use.

I say "kind of" because I'm building a "practice" guitar out of pine to practice my moves (and yes, I'm finding out that pine was the wrong wood to do this with, but I'm moving forward with it- I did put a poplar drop top on it. The only wood I didn't buy at Lowe's was a Rosewood fretboard). I put a Gibs*n style rod in it, curved channel, fillet, etc. and it looks to have turned out OK, but the guitar's not done yet, so time will tell. And I'm sure in short order it will be unplayable as the wood finishes drying out, at which time I'll rob the parts off it. More on the Lowe's guitar (I don't ever name guitars, but I'm calling this one Blunderbuss) later.

Anyway, I'm at the point on the "real" guitar that I have to decide on a truss rod. What I'm choosing between right now are a Gibby style 1-way or the LMI dual action. The adjustment access will be at the headstock.

What are you guys' thoughts?

Thanks

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These users thanked the author Bill Braske for the post: SteveSmith (Mon Nov 07, 2016 8:18 pm)
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 07, 2016 7:29 pm 
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Koa
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LMI double acting for sure with the small allen socket. Much smaller route for the adjuster (a really weak area for Gibson style necks). I route the channel on a router table, then just move the fence a hair an open it up at the end for the nut on both sides. Also consider making your neck with a scarfed headstock if its to be angled - IMHO its much stronger and uses a lot less wood.

Image

And, hey, whats wrong with pine? This was Ponderosa pine from a 100 year old barn on a homestead near where I live. I donated it to the conservation organization that owns the poperty and they auctioned it at a fund raiser (for a lot more money than I thought it would go for).

Image

I've got enough more of the pine to make several more Barncasters


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:09 am 
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Mahogany
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That's the exact one I'm leaning towards (LMI). That is a nice small channel, especially at the access point. When I did the scarf joint (a must, in my opinion) on the Blunderbuss, I joined it the opposite way so the joint would be covered by the headstock overlay and "ears". Is there a reason you joined yours the way you did? I'm definitely always looking for better ways to do things. Also, on yours it looks like the nut will just straddle the channel. Am I seeing that right? Not knocking it, just looking for clarity.

And there's nothing wrong with pine! I used it for the neck, too, though. I ripped a 2x4 and rotated the pieces to make it "quarter sawn". It's all just lumber yard wood, so like I say, it will probably all end up a twisted mess. I'm even inlaying a Lowe's logo on the face of the headstock. I'm also putting Tele pickups in it in honor of the original Broadcasters. If it works out, I'll play it till it warps. If it never warps, good for me! I only say it was the wrong wood because it doesn't give a good approximation of working with hard wood and I'm finding it kinda gums up the blades on my planer and jointer and router bits (nothing that can't be cleaned up).

Thanks for the help

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"Real guitars are for old people, Mr. Marsh."

Eric Cartman


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 9:13 am 
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Contributing Member
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Agree that there is nothing wrong with pine. Here is mine, made with pine I had sawn and air dried for several years. Also hop over to TDPRI and search on "pinecaster."

I'll defer on the truss rod question. I used a S-M HotRod on this one, and have a couple of their low-profile rods to try on the next couple.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 08, 2016 11:41 am 
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Koa
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Bill, I've done the scarf joint both ways. Here it is glued to the bottom of the neck shaft (same LMI truss rod slot)

Image

My argument for doing it this way is that once the top of the neck is planed flat it should stay that way when you glue the headstock on, the other way you do have the potential problem of leveling that. My argument against it is most of the broken headstocks that I've seen are from the base of the neck to the first tuner holes, right where my glue joint is running. I know the glue joint should be strong but by making the whole headstock at an angle you've got straight grain instead of cross.

The nut straddles the channel, yes, but the rod is far enough back that it shouldn't be affecting the nut. Remember too that in normal operation with the strings pulling some relief into the neck the truss rod acts push up on the middle of the fretboard and down at each end. You want to make sure that the rod is far enough down the neck that the headplate will cover the adjuster.

I'm not sure what the right answer is on the scarf but I'm sold on the LMI rod.


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 09, 2016 6:52 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Single action- I prefer the headstock access per usual
but do like the vintage fender style
onlu if it has the thumbwheel nut on electrics.

the dual actions I've adjusted were suprsingly good
although I don't think it is nessceary

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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 5:23 pm 
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Mahogany
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Do you stick the rod in with anything? Or does it stay put? I'm specifically talking about the LMII double action here.

_________________
"Real guitars are for old people, Mr. Marsh."

Eric Cartman


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 7:33 pm 
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Koa
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Bill Braske wrote:
Do you stick the rod in with anything? Or does it stay put? I'm specifically talking about the LMII double action here.


The LMII rod has two little bumps on the sides at each end. If you route the channel the correct width the bumps will push into the wood and hold it from moving. Also a good idea to make the end that doesn't adjust blind


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 13, 2016 9:41 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Thu Oct 24, 2013 9:06 am
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First name: Mark
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City: Omaha
State: NE
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Country: USA
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Somewhere it said to file the "burrs" off the ends, so I did. I'm not sure what you mean by making the end blind

_________________
"Real guitars are for old people, Mr. Marsh."

Eric Cartman


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 14, 2016 12:06 pm 
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Koa
Koa

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Bill Braske wrote:
Somewhere it said to file the "burrs" off the ends, so I did. I'm not sure what you mean by making the end blind


I really don't think it makes any difference - the little end blocks of my rods (with the bumps still on them) fit very tightly in the slot - I usually have to tap the ends in place with a hammer and block of wood. The rod itself and the bar on top can move but the ends don't. It probably isn't necessary but I glue a little piece of wood in the end of the channel that doesn't have the adjuster.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:12 pm 
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Walnut
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I mostly use the LMI double acting rods. They are easy to install, and work great. Been using them since the early 90s. I've also used the StewMac HotRods. More of the same thing.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 15, 2017 11:38 am 
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Walnut
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The Stewmac Hot Rods require a special sized router bit, presumably so they can sell it to you at Stewmac's "creative" pricing. They also make a "low-profile" model that can be cut in with a standard bit. I ended up using a relatively inexpensive one from Best Bass Gear, which I regret. The allen key nut is a slippy 4mm fit, hopefully it won't ever strip out on me. LMI or Stemac for sure, not worth penny pinching on a trussrod.


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