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Loosen or Tighten Truss Rod


(@robbie)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 456
Topic starter  

So not just sure what to do. I have a little get together to play with another guy on Tuesday. The music is fairly varied from old standards to Chuck Berry so wanted to take an axe with some adaptability so settled on my Godin exit 22. Problem is I have a small amount of fret buzz that has developed over the winter months. The fret buzz seems to be up and down the fretboard and in no particular area so I thought I could just raise the saddles a tad and be done with it (don't want to go any higher as it starts to effect the action). That hasn't helped much so I am thinking I may need to tweek the trussrod but can't decide which way to go and I don't really want to screw it up completely before Tues. A luthier is not an option before then as I have to travel to get this work done. Can anybody help?
Robbie


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

I'm no expert on this but before you adjust the truss rod measure the amount of relief. With the guitar in playing position put a capo on the first fret and then fret it at the 14th or so fret with one hand (or use a second capo if you've got another). Now, how much gap is there between the low E string and the top of the 7th or 8th fret? If you have feeler gauges you could use those to measure. You generally want somewhere between 0.05 and 0.15 inches on an electric though some like more or less. If you don't have feeler gauges one "trick" I got from the Dan Erlewine book was to use a regular playing card - that's supposed to be close to 0.10 inches.

If you need less relief the truss rod needs to be tightened - clockwise. If you need more relief the truss rod needs to be loosened - counter-clockwise. Mark the position of the nut with a sharpie (Godin uses a nut on the headstock - I've got an LGX3) before you start adjusting so that you can always go back to the starting point. Make small turns only (1/8th of a turn) at each adjustment, give the neck some time to settle, and remeasure before further adjusting. It might even be a good idea after you've finished adjusting it to let it sit overnight and check again the next day. If the nut won't turn don't force it.

I would also Google the topic and look around the web. There are a lot of sites that talk about this and most have pictures. When you are doing something for the first time the pictures really help.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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(@ricochet)
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Joined: 19 years ago
Posts: 7850
 

I would also Google the topic and look around the web. There are a lot of sites that talk about this and most have pictures. When you are doing something for the first time the pictures really help.
Most definitely.

"A cheerful heart is good medicine."


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(@robbie)
Reputable Member
Joined: 18 years ago
Posts: 456
Topic starter  

Thanx all, I appreciate the help. Will google for pics and I have feeler guages and two capos, so should come close. It has been really dry here and I notice the playability of alot of my guitars has suffered.
Robbie


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(@hyperborea)
Prominent Member
Joined: 16 years ago
Posts: 833
 

I'm no expert on this but before you adjust the truss rod measure the amount of relief.
You generally want somewhere between 0.05 and 0.15 inches on an electric though some like more or less. If you don't have feeler gauges one "trick" I got from the Dan Erlewine book was to use a regular playing card - that's supposed to be close to 0.10 inches.

Ok, I showed my inexpertness right here. I left out a zero in the decimal points and should have written between 0.005 and 0.015 inches with a playing card being 0.010. I'd hate to think of a relief set to 0.10 inches. Sorry.

Pop music is about stealing pocket money from children. - Ian Anderson


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