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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:35 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:03 pm
Posts: 31
First name: Michael
Last Name: Perkins
City: Charleston
State: SC
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
The only truss rods I have ever bought were the "Hot Rod" dual action truss rods from StewMac. I am now embarking on making a Bass VI which has a 30" scale length. That is longer than a baritone, but shorter than a bass. So... it's kinda weird. I did the math, and the fretboard will be right at about 21.5" long. I haven't been able to find anywhere that gives exacting specifications on how long a truss rod needs to be in relation to the neck length. The standard 18" truss rods seem to be way too short, but the 24" truss rods that StewMac sells for making basses all seem too long by about 2 inches, and would prevent me from being able to rout out the pickup cavity for the neck pickup, because I'd drill right down into the last two inches of the truss rod.

To be perfectly honest, I'd like to get away from buying pre-made truss rods in general. I'd love to buy a thread cutting die, some steel rod, some brass bar, and whatever that plastic coating is on truss rods and make them myself. I plan on making a lot of non-standard instruments this year: Bass VI, Baritone guitar, Mandolin, Short scale bass, Long scale bass, etc. and I'd love to be able to just create truss rods at will.

Do any of you guys know the answer(s) to the following questions?
1. How long "should" a truss rod be, in relation to the scale length of the guitar?
2. What kind of steel is used to make truss rods? Stainless, carbon, hot rolled, cold rolled, hardened, tempered, anything else...? And where might one buy this kind of steel rod?
3. What is the plastic coating that you always see on truss rods? Is it just heat shrink sleeves like what's around joined wire solders? Please don't guess. If you know for sure, cool, but this seems like a question that would be easy to guess'answer.
4. The Brass bars... Anybody know the exact type of brass that is used, and where people get it?


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 12:52 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
Posts: 1618
First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
LMII has a 22 inch truss rod and will make custom lengths. Bitterroot makes "dual action" and "two way" truss rods in one inch increments.

There was an interesting article in American Lutherie a while back where they tested a variety of different truss rods in a bench setting with electric guitar necks. The conclusion, as I recall, was that the old curved 'tension" style rod (Fender skunk strip) was the most powerful - as I recall they said for a give turn on the adjuster it had the most effect on relief (I still use and prefer double acting LMI rods).

My humble opinion is that a truss rod has little effect once it enters the heel area. If you are going to put the adjuster at the head the rod can end anywhere in the heel that is convenient. If you are going to put the adjuster in the heel (which I do on most of my acoustic necks) then obviously the length of the rod is from the nut to the end of the neck.


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PostPosted: Sun Mar 24, 2019 10:56 pm 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Sat Sep 14, 2013 9:46 pm
Posts: 393
Location: Napa Valley
First name: David
Last Name: Foster
State: CA
Zip/Postal Code: 94558
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I get my truss rods from Blanchard Guitars he does custom lengths as well.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 10:57 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Fri Aug 19, 2005 4:02 am
Posts: 2025
Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
I have used Blanchard's truss rods too and they are top notch. But I also make my own single action rods using 3/16" carbon steel, a simple die and gibson style acorn nuts. The anchor end gets bent into an "L" shape which is buried in a vertical hole drilled into the heel. A curved truss rod slot completes the design. Light and easy.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:29 am 
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Contributing Member
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Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2012 11:12 am
Posts: 1170
First name: Rodger
Last Name: Knox
City: Baltimore
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21234
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
dofthesea wrote:
I get my truss rods from Blanchard Guitars he does custom lengths as well.

Me too

_________________
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 1:32 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Fri Dec 28, 2018 2:03 pm
Posts: 31
First name: Michael
Last Name: Perkins
City: Charleston
State: SC
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Barry Daniels wrote:
I have used Blanchard's truss rods too and they are top notch. But I also make my own single action rods using 3/16" carbon steel, a simple die and gibson style acorn nuts. The anchor end gets bent into an "L" shape which is buried in a vertical hole drilled into the heel. A curved truss rod slot completes the design. Light and easy.


I went and looked at the Blanchard truss rods, and they do look really amazing! But they are $40 each. I mean... I don't buy many truss rods in a year, so I guess it is good to spend the extra cash to get the absolute best for something as important as a truss rod. But... I've had to have a couple of, "Come to my senses" talks with myself lately. I keep buying this little thing, and that little thing... and I always go for the absolute best of everything, as if I'm making a guitar that will be in the Rock n Roll hall of fame. The guitar that I'm working on right now will end up costing close to $1,000 just in materials. I'm not complaining... I get it... I didn't get into this to save money. I knew from the beginning that I could buy an American Tele for $1,400, or I could build one that's not nearly as good for around the same price. Ha ha ha... But a $40 truss rod had better be the stuff of legend!


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 25, 2019 6:48 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Thu Jan 12, 2012 7:54 pm
Posts: 17
First name: Bob
Last Name: McDonald
City: Petaluma
State: CA
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
The Blanchard truss rods are very good, but are expensive. It makes sense to use something like this when building an expensive guitar to be sold. When I make a guitar for myself, or as a test piece I use a less premium rod, but one that functions well. I've built a few short scale basses (30") using the 20 1/8" truss rod from Bitterroot. All worked fine. If you use good materials and proper building techniques, the amount of adjusting over time will be minimal after initial settling in. Make sure the rod fits in the neck snug (but not too tight) to reduce the chance of rattle.


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:42 am 
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Walnut
Walnut
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Joined: Wed Dec 02, 2015 4:43 pm
Posts: 31
Location: Staten Island, NY
First name: David
Last Name: Schwab
City: Staten Island
State: NY
Zip/Postal Code: 10201
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
I mostly use LMII double action rods, and sometimes StewMac Hotrods. I also use carbon fiber


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PostPosted: Tue Mar 26, 2019 6:02 pm 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 3:14 am
Posts: 621
Location: Shefford, Québec
First name: Tim
Last Name: Mullin
City: Shefford
State: QC
Zip/Postal Code: J2M 1R5
Country: Canada
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
Dolmetscher007 wrote:
Barry Daniels wrote:
I have used Blanchard's truss rods too and they are top notch.


I went and looked at the Blanchard truss rods, and they do look really amazing! But a $40 truss rod had better be the stuff of legend!

And indeed they are. I used to use the Blanchard designed rods carried by Allied, but they had some sub-contract issues with fabrication and they stopped producing them. I now buy directly from Mark and couldn’t be happier with the quality and service. Nothing else I’ve ever seen comes close. There are other places to cut back on a guitar, but this isn’t one of them. I have to stand behind my guitars and I really don’t fancy having to replace a truss rod. Mark will make up a rod any length you want — and has for me on custom instruments.



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