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[Solved] How do I adjust the truss rod?  

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In the Build Your Own Bolt on Electric course Mark makes a  neck with the truss rod nut at the body end. My question is: how can you adjust the truss rod to set the action when the neck is bolted on to the body? It seems to me that in that case the truss rod nut is not accessible.

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx

9 Answers
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Trial and error...a lot of guitars are made this way - It is not the most convenient design but it works 🙂

  • Slacken the strings
  • Rremove the neck
  • Adjust the truss rod
  • Reassemble and tune up
  • Test and repeat until happy

Measure twice, cut once...

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ps. The truss rod is not used to set the action - it is for correcting the neck bow caused by string tension (I know you knew that 🙄 )

Measure twice, cut once...

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It depends on the guitar design, but sometimes you might be able to access the truss rod by removing the scratchplate.  That’s if you’re Mr Lucky.

If not, then slacken the strings so there’s no tension on them, loosen the neck screws enough so that you can “tilt” the neck upwards out of the pocket to expose the truss rod and adjust it.  You have to loosen the 2 screws closest to the body more than the other 2.  Careful that you don’t strip the wood from the screw holes when you tilt the neck!

Tighten neck screws, re-tune, check neck straightness.

Repeat until you’re happy.  Yes, it’s a pain!

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk

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It seems to me that in that case the truss rod nut is not accessible.

Hi Marcel, I can't answer your question but I'm watching with interest as I've been wondering about that same thing.

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Looks like Mark was writing more quickly than me!!

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk

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PS

I’ve got a Warmoth neck that uses the Gotoh side adjuster.  Which is a LOT easier!

https://www.warmoth.com/Guitar/Necks/SideAdjustPop.aspx

Online guitar making courses – guitarmaking.co.uk

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Gotoh side adjuster

Hi Tony, looking at that Gotoh side adjuster with my engineering head on, it's a clever little gizmo.

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Topic starter
Posted by: @markbailey

ps. The truss rod is not used to set the action - it is for correcting the neck bow caused by string tension (I know you knew that  )

Yes, but what I meant was you have to have the correct neck bow first to get a proper action.

Anyway, I find it much easier to be able to adjust the truss rod without removing the neck.

"I never forget a face, but in your case I'll be glad to make an exception"
Groucho Marx

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It is not such a big deal as the Truss Rod is pretty much 'set and forget' - so once you get it right it should stay that way, unless you change string guage or experience severe changes in environment.

The side adjuster seems like a good idea but I think it is a little more vulnerable to abuse and difficult to fit and over-complicated with the gear and heavier and less responsive? I will admit I have never installed one so someone out there prove me wrong! Another good idea for a video?

Measure twice, cut once...