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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Truss Rod Lesson

Previous 20 Messages  
Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Nov 30th, 2017 07:30 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Are all the frets fully seated in their slots?

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Nov 30th, 2017 10:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...Since you're getting problems in two separate areas, shimming alone will fix it..."

Mick, I'm pretty sure you meant to say "shimming alone will NOT fix it."

And I must respectfully disagree with the idea of shimming to fix buzz problems. Shimming is only called for when the saddles have run out of travel in either the up or down direction.

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 1st, 2017 03:22 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"...I'm pretty sure you meant to say "shimming alone will NOT fix it.""

YES - NOT

"And I must respectfully disagree with the idea of shimming to fix buzz problems."

That's cool. You've been doing this a lot longer than me, but my experience has been different.

It's worked for me on upper fret issues where they *are* level but truss rod has little, to no effect, on the relief on those frets. (if that makes sense)

I will edit previous post just the same. Thanks!


Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 1st, 2017 07:02 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

TinPan does mention that the offending frets are in the area where most of the relief is inspected and could possibly loosen the truss-rods a little bit to try and get more relief there.
Put a capo on the first fret and press down lightly on the 15th fret. You can see how the string travels across the tops of the fretboard. If the string is touching that area, the trussrod needs to be loosened some. Try a quarter turn to see if the frets/neck allows the frets to lower themselves away from the string.
You should have adjust the relief to about a 1/16" away from the string.
Try this and see if it gives you the relief needed to play the strings cleanly.

TinPan

USA

Dec 1st, 2017 07:08 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks all, I dont have those tools, I can live with a small amount of buzz but not the dead notes Ya think they would send a neck thats ready to go, guess thats asking too much. Well Im not going to put much more effort into this one, (thinking the wife is getting me a new git anyway, for Christmas)


Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Life makes a man tired.
Dec 1st, 2017 10:50 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

See my comment above. I’ve seen it on cheap guitars. No reason it can’t be the case on a cheap neck. Tap them down with a light hammer, protecting the fret with a small soft (like pine) wooden block. Don’t use the hammer directly on the frets.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 1st, 2017 03:31 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

As I said earlier, the fret field that he mentioned is the commonly effected area due to the neck not having enough relief and if he adjusts the trussrod it may reduce the behavior of most of the fretboard and would give him a better understanding of what is happening to the rest of the fretboard.
I would like to hear how this works out for him.
Without knowing or seeing it in person, it is hard to determine what condition the neck is in.
If he was close to me here in California, I would look it over for him and help with his decision as to the best approach to effect repairs or if it is even worth the effort to make it playable.
So, please try the trussrod adjustment and let us know how the neck response is and if it made it more playable.
Also, without a really good neck condition, don't try to compare it to the playability of your Gibson Explorer. Those guitars can have really low action!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Dec 1st, 2017 06:55 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Thanks all, I dont have those tools..."

Even the cheapest of kits generally come with a hex key/allen key/allen wrench (same thing different names) for adjusting the truss rod & saddles.

As Cal has said, tweak the truss rod and see how you go from there.

Remember if the 7/8/9 frets are buzzing/fretting out that indicates back bow, so you want to loosen the truss rod nut (anti-clockwise) and go in shorts turns measuring after each turn.


TinPan

USA

Dec 2nd, 2017 06:58 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Ok as of right now I have the bridge saddles set a little higher then I like. So now no "dead notes" but buzz is present. All the buzz is at the 9th 10th and 11th frets and mostly on the wound strings E/A/D. I can clearly see the strings are lower to the fretboard down by the nut and again on the other end by the neck pick up. I turned the truss rod looser counter clockwise and the buzz got worse, went back clockwise and it seems it is as far as it will go. I also tried leftee's suggestion and taped down those frets. No cigar.

Cal-Woody

USA/California

Why do I keep fixing things that work?
Dec 2nd, 2017 09:44 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So, when you press down on the third fret (lightly) is there clearance over the first fret? If not, then the nut slots are too low and will require a new nut or shim.
This is how you check for proper string relief at the nut.
So, if you are not getting string clearance over the first fret, you could put a thin shim under the nut to gain clearance over the first fret and see if this helps you to get a better/cleaner string sound. If the the shim works out, then you will know that you will be needing a new nut in the near future.
This is all part of trouble shooting your setup.
You can use various things to shim the nut for trouble shooting, but when you find the proper string relief, you'll probably want to use something that will adhere to the nut base, like a thin strip of a business card. Use only wood glue and not super glue, because super glue will ruin the nut slot on your neck! Wood glue is easily removed and the groove for the nut will be easily cleaned up, once you have determined that the nut is indeed your problem.
So, check for proper string relief, then if this is your problem, try various shimming materials to gain clearance over the first fret.
Best regards, Woody

TinPan

USA

Dec 3rd, 2017 02:18 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thank you Woody, there is plenty clearance at the first fret. My description of "the strings are low at both ends of the neck" meant that they are the lowest at these two points. But I think Im getting the jist of all this. Im going to try each of the suggestions above and see how it goes, taking it slow.

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Dec 3rd, 2017 07:35 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"Remember if the 7/8/9 frets are buzzing/fretting out that indicates back bow"

That area of the neck is usually where the crown of the bow would be in a back-bow situation. If there is a back-bow you will get buzzing at the lower frets.

In my experience, buzzing in that area indicates way too much relief. Saying that "the strings are low at both ends of the neck" would further indicate this.

TinPan

USA

Dec 5th, 2017 06:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

So correct me if Im wrong, I need to "tighten, clockwise" the truss rod so that the neck comes up higher in the middle, 7/8/9 frets. The truss is already quite tight in the clockwise, how far should I push it?


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 5th, 2017 06:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That is correct. Clockwise ("righty tighty") puts tension on the rod, straightens out the neck and removes relief.

Counter-clockwise ("lefty loosey") relaxes the rod and allows the strings' tension to pull relief into the neck.

Truss rod adjustment is a 'feel' thing. You learn when the danger point is reached and you don't exceed it. A truss rod adjustment often involves creaking and clicking sounds coming from the neck, and that can be pretty scary at first.

You can make things more gentle for the neck if you do two things:

1. Release the strings' tension.

2. Set the guitar face down with the neck on a neck rest (between the nut and the first fret), and apply moderate downward pressure on the back of the neck behind the 8th fret with the heel of one hand while you tighten the truss rod with the other hand.

Doing this forces the neck in the direction you need it to go (backward bow), and it allows easier adjustment of the rod's tension.

Visual here

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 5th, 2017 07:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Here's the best way to set neck relief:

1. With the strings tuned to proper pitch, place a capo lightly between the nut and 1st fret.

2. Lightly press the low E string to the 17th fret.

3. Use a thickness gauge (sometimes called a "feeler gauge") between the low E string and the top of the 8th fret to check the gap. It should be in the neighborhood of .012" or so.

If it's less than .012" loosen the rod 1/8 turn and check again.

If it's more that .012" tighten the rod and check again.

Important: all truss rod tweaks take a day or three to really 'settle in' and remain stable. So make your adjustments, play the guitar, and check again in a day or so.

If you don't have a thickness gauge (they are less than $10 and available at any auto parts shop), you can use a cut-off end of a .012" guitar string.

You can use a thickness gauge to check nut action too: guitar tuned up, no capo, and check the gap between each string and the top of the 1st fret. Most guitars work best when that gap is in the ballpark of .020" or so.

If it's .022" or higher, it will be difficult to play open chords, and some of the notes (especially the G string) will be pulled sharp. If it's lower than .018" or so, you might get string buzz on the first fret when strumming hard.

Thickness gauge

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 09:10 AM, Dec 5th, 2017)

TinPan

USA

Dec 7th, 2017 04:48 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Silly novice question about "clockwise counterclockwise" or "righty tighty/lefty loosy" Am I looking from the guitar body up to the headstock or am I looking from the headstock down to the body? I have been turning it clockwise looking from the body to the HS, is this backwards?

twangdoodles

michigan usa

Dec 7th, 2017 05:03 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

If the truss-adjust is at the headstock then yeah, you're doing it backwards.

TinPan

USA

Dec 7th, 2017 06:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yes the adjust is at the head stock, so I should go completely in the other direction looking down the neck from the headstock and turn the wrench "clockwise"


Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 7th, 2017 07:54 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Correct.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Roisin, I wanna

fight your father
Dec 7th, 2017 07:57 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Looky

here.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 10:05 AM, Dec 7th, 2017)

Previous 20 Messages  

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Truss Rod Lesson




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