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Thread: New solid body electric guitar

  1. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prashun Patel View Post
    that is a real head scratcher; I would have thought your laminated neck would have been a cinch to keep straight. Dumb question alert: Your truss rod is at neutral, right?
    Yes, that what I would have (and did) think) I've cranked on the truss rod and can move it a couple mm, not nearly enough to take that bow out. Of course I've always been really leery of turning a truss rod too hard, and don't have a good feel for what is normal. I'm using the same double-acting rod from StewMac as I have in my other instruments. I've never really had to adjust a truss rod in one of these maple laminated necks, they just lay flat. I'm wracking my brain about what I did differently in this case.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Truss rod isn't taking that out?
    So I just don't know how hard you can torque a truss rod before Bad Things happen. Not enough experience. It's the Hot Rod double acting rod from StewMac with the spoke wheel adjuster. I guess this could be a chance to learn. I'd hate to pop it out the back of the neck!

  3. #33
    I'm friends with a guy on Facebook.....friend of a friend kinda thing. I wonder if he'd field a question. His name is Dave Petillo Guitars. Maybe
    for a consulting fee? He's a very high-end builder.....his dad designed the first necks for Kramer.

  4. #34
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    Was the truss rod at "neutral" when you installed it so you have full crank in either direction available?
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  5. #35
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    Yes, as far as I could determine. There was a slack position where turning the nut a half turn or so in either direction gave no resistance. It also fit flat into the slot.

    So this morning I played with it some more. It is easy to straighten it by applying pressure to the headstock with a clamp, so I clamped it down straight which created some slack to turn the nut on the tension rod. Tightening the nut that way got me much closer to flat, but I've reached a point, after perhaps 2-1/2 turns of the nut where it won't go any farther despite relieving the remaining bow with my clamping setup. I also heard a tiny cracking noise at that point, which scared me. Perhaps at this point adding the frets will get me the rest of the way. I've left it to sit with enough tension on it to give a little back bow while I contemplate next steps.

    I've ordered a heater strip from LMI, I'm thinking to apply it to see if I can relax the glue a bit, and it that fails, to take the fingerboard off.

    Unfortunately I didn't look closely at the mechanism of the truss rod -- as I said in the past I really haven't needed to adjust them much if at all. I cut the slot to fit it very closely, both in width and length. I'm wondering if the reason I seem to be hitting a hard stop when turning it (as judged by bending the allen wrench I was using as a lever) is that one of the screws at the far end is trying to extend and is hitting hard wood. It seems as though 2-1/2 turns shouldn't be the limit of its adjustment. I suppose I could buy another and play with it.

  6. #36
    Roger, I wonder if you can muscle the bow out of the neck with a couple of carbon fiber rods. LMII sells those too. Might you be able to route channels in the back of the neck, clamp the neck straight and then insert the rods? I am not suggesting this is optimal, but I am just trying to salvage that gorgeous fretboard.

  7. #37
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    When you glued the fretboard on did you use cauls or just clamps? If you can relax the glue or get the fretboard off, I'd try it again and absolutely with cauls to provide additional "straight" support. Be sure no glue is getting into the truss rod cavity or on the truss rod, too.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  8. #38
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    I used just clamps, and I possibly torqued it with my clamp placement. Looking carefully, it also has a bit of propeller twist now. I'm going to try to use heat to get the fingerboard off, make sure everything is true, and re-glue it using my oversize, but dead flat, cast iron spindle sander table as a reference surface to clamp it down to. I'll also make sure the truss rod has enough room to operate.

    My father was fond of telling us "education is expensive" whether it's Harvard or Hard Knocks. This is certainly a learning experience.

    While I'm waiting for the neck heater I'm finally finishing the crown molding for our kitchen cabinets, eight years later, as penance.

  9. #39
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    As I understand it, bowing the neck and then turning the truss rod nut is the proper method. Not just cranking on it.

    And someone, don't remember if it was Rick Turner or the guy from Santa Cruz Guitars, said they use epoxy for attaching fretboards for this very reason. The main drawback is getting them off later ;-)

  10. #40
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    Thanks, I've only made a few instruments and, as I said, haven't really needed to adjust the truss rod before. I've discovered that what you say makes sense, and indeed works much better. .

    From my reading, epoxy is actually one of the easier glues to release with heat, around 130 deg, vs 140 for Titebond, and even higher for hot hide glue. -- a very good reason not to leave your guitar in a hot car. I've never taken one off before, so this will be an adventure. (I hope of the good kind) I'm on the fence as to what to use to glue it back on, worried about residue of the Titebond in the wood messing up whatever I try.

  11. #41
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    I think I remember reading somewhere that the only thing that sticks to cured PVA is PU. But I think that was in the context of repairing veneer where you couldn't sand the surface of the cured PVA. So unless someone else has some experience I'd suggest some experiments.

    Could be the issue with removing epoxy is the cleanup afterwards. I don't know about temperature to remove, we were more concerned about keeping our stuff together. Some of the composite work I was doing a few years back was being heated to reduce the cure times. I think it was 140 or higher ... you didn't want to put your hands on the table. Post curing is common, done at higher temperatures than that. It raises the glass transition temperature so it doesn't creep when it gets hot. Some epoxies don't respond very well to it however. We were originally using MAS, because it's cheap, and we had wings drooping sitting indoors with AC. It didn't improve much with post cure, so they looked for something else. One of the real (expensive) aircraft grade epoxies wasn't worth beans unless it WAS post cured.

  12. #42
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    On the road to recovery. i got a neck heating blanket in from LMI and rigged it up with both a temperature controller I had and a backup of my remote turkey thermometer. Got the neck up to 140 deg (F) and the fretboard popped right off, with minimal persuasion and basically no damage.

    Interestingly, once off, both the neck and fretboard are again perfectly flat. I'm going to let them equilibrate for a few days before doing anything.

    The ease with which it came apart under really pretty moderate conditions (no where near as hot as the back seat of a closed car in the sun) is giving me some pause about what to use when gluing it back together. A good news/bad news story. My friend and mentor, Frank Ford uses only hot hide glue. He wrote and article in FRETS a while ago where he tested various glues. Hide glue resisted heat-related failure way better than Titebond or epoxy. OTOH, Frank doesn't make mistakes in gluing up instruments that require pulling them apart more than once every 50-100 years.

    IMG_2947.jpg 63751705786__74690BA5-A2DD-4413-BF3A-D06EEA03402F.jpg

  13. #43
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    Just be sure to use cauls when you re-glue this assembly to insure it stays flat while clamped. The truss rod looks pretty darn clean, so that's a good thing!
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  14. #44
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    Thanks to all for posting some of the different situations one might run into when building a guitar. Very informative for sure.

  15. #45
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomas prusak View Post
    Thanks to all for posting some of the different situations one might run into when building a guitar. Very informative for sure.
    One of the interesting things with building these instruments is that there is "no wiggle room" on certain things because they affect the sound/tune and the playability. Variances that would never ben noticed in a piece of furniture will be readily apparent once someone who knows how to play picks the instrument up and starts making sound. Roger's situation here was really to the extreme end, but it's actually important to understand that very tiny changes in the relationship of the strings to the frets and the precise distance between where the strings leave the nut at the top and cross the bridge at the bottom for each individual string are very meaningful. You can have a guitar that looks totally amazing but sounds terrible and another guitar that looks like something a bovine left in the field but sounds like a million bucks. I've learned a lot about attention to detail in the few builds I've completed so far...which is part of the reason I'm doing it.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

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