Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

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Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Gatwick1946 » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:18 pm

Among my guitars (only 4 - but there have been more), I have got a cheap squire strat, and a slightly more expensive MIM strat.

I tend to try out mods etc on the cheap strat, and if things proceed as planned, I might venture to do something on the MIM strat.

Owners of these models will know that the truss rod adjustment point/screw can be at either the headstock end, or the thick end of the neck.

My question:-

Is truss rod adjustment a task which can be done at home or:-

Is it a job best left to someone who knows what they are doing?

Are there any pitfalls into which the average punter could easily fall?

Kindest regards,
Christopher
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Stu's Dad » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:51 pm

Christopher,

It's an easy job to do yourself. Just have a look through this guide, but a word of caution; a quarter turn at a time and then wait a little while (15-30 minutes) for it to take effect, then carry on if it needs it. Sometimes once is enough.

https://support.fender.com/hc/en-us/art ... -properly-

Good luck,

Len
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Gatwick1946 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:56 am

Len

Thankyou for your advice.

I will proceed with caution. I do sometimes have a tendency to try fix things that are not broken!

Kindest regards,
Christopher.
(Aged 71 and hanging in there!)
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Iain Purdon » Fri Nov 09, 2018 7:24 am

I have never dared do this. Thanks for the advice.

I suppose the risk of losing control is greater when you’re adjusting more than one thing at the same time. But a quarter turn in isolation does not sound scary. And can always be undone if things do not improve.
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Hank2k » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:05 am

its not too bad as long as you are careful. As said quarter turn at a time.

You can get a tool kit from Fender that has the measurements and things in it as well which is great for about £60.

Its much easier when you can do it at the headstock end though.
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby JimN » Fri Nov 09, 2018 1:45 pm

A set of Imperial size allen keys can be had for a few pounds at most hardware shops.

A Philips screwdriver is all you need for treble-end-of-neck truss-rod adjustment.
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby Tone » Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:51 pm

JimN wrote:A set of Imperial size allen keys can be had for a few pounds at most hardware shops.

A Philips screwdriver is all you need for treble-end-of-neck truss-rod adjustment.


But it's very likely that you'll have to remove or loosen the neck and strings to get at the adjustment screw.

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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby dave robinson » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:23 pm

If the adjustment is the vintage type at the heel of the neck, you certainly have to remove the neck to do it without risk of damage, as I discovered with my first Strat in 1964.
The modern ones with adjustment at the nut are much less hassle to tweak, as has been said a quarter turn at a time is the way to go. Time of year and humidity/temperature play a big part in how the neck behaves and it isn't a fault if they slightly move either way, it's just what they do. I tweak my guitars about twice a year, due to the climate affecting them.
I would also add that sometimes a big difference in the comfort of playing can be noticed. :)
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby David Martin » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:25 pm

Gatwick1946 wrote:Among my guitars (only 4 - but there have been more), I have got a cheap squire strat, and a slightly more expensive MIM strat.

I tend to try out mods etc on the cheap strat, and if things proceed as planned, I might venture to do something on the MIM strat.

Owners of these models will know that the truss rod adjustment point/screw can be at either the headstock end, or the thick end of the neck.

My question:-

Is truss rod adjustment a task which can be done at home or:-

Is it a job best left to someone who knows what they are doing?

Kindest regards,
Christopher



I agree with the responses above, but my question to you is, what are you trying to achieve by doing it? The only real reason for doing so is to adjust the very tiny curvature of the neck to allow the strings to vibrate accurately. String height should be adjusted at the bridge saddles - or in the case of a very badly set up guitar, by shimming the neck
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Re: Pardon me while I adjust my truss (now then!)

Postby roger bayliss » Mon Nov 12, 2018 6:26 pm

Everytime you change trussrod adjustment a slight change occurs in string action height. Tightening trussrod lowers action height. Thus a slight adjustment in string height becomes necessary . The tighter your trussrod the higher you need your strings to avoid rattles. As you tighten it this will generally require a small lift in the string especially the bottom strings as rattles start. Action height on a Strat measured at 17th fret is 4 64s with a slight increase across strings to allow for string diameter. The 6th string may be arounf 5 64s . Make sure you set yhe trussrod up first then adjust action afterwards. Shimming if needed if saddles are too low or high.

I find 1/8th of a turn is adequate for trussrod neck adjustment. You only need shim a neck pocket if you do not have sufficient height adjustment in the saddles to get the height / action adjustment correct. I like 12 thou relief on my necks . Place capo on first fret and hold strings at fret just past where neck and body join and measure with feeler gauge around 7th fret. Fender usually quotke 10 thou and G&L stipulate 12 thou. The typical trussrod only controls the bow in the neck between nut and about 12th - 14th fret so we measure in this area approx. It does not affect upper frets above body joint.

If you adjust the truss rod it will change the action height slightly . If the truss rod screw is very tight do not force it you may break trussrod so be careful.


Shimming the back of neck pocket will bring neck closer to strings requiring saddles to be lifted higher which is something you do if your bridge saddle screws are too low to get correct action.

If you changed the action you may need to tweak pickup heights to match as strings may well move away from poles

Check intonation as well
American Pro Series Strat 2017, G&L S500 Natural Ash
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