Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

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Rob Carty
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Location: Houston, Texas

Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Rob Carty »

I'm looking for creative ways to undo a mistake. I built a Tele-style neck with a bullet-style truss-rod adjustment nut. As is customary, the bullet nut is inserted into a hole at the headstock. Here's where I need help.

When I drilled the hole for the nut, it was just big enough. As it turns out, I should have made it just a little larger. After I sprayed the neck, the hole became just not big enough; the lacquer had effectively made it smaller. So now I find myself unable to insert the nut without forcing it. (And as I learned at a very early age, you don't force things.)

It's a bit embarrassing. I've never made this mistake before. Usually they're much worse. But in any event, this one begs for a creative solution.

I can't just take a drill bit to it for a couple of reasons -- the most important of which is that the truss rod is in there. I suppose I could break out a micro-chisel or some such, and embiggen the hole that way. But it seems like that would invite unevenness and who knows what other unintended consequences. So before I start hacking away at an otherwise lovely neck, I figure I should ask the experts.

How would you tackle this problem? Thanks in advance!

Steve Senseney
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Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Steve Senseney »

I have not specifically done this, but I would take a small piece of pipe that fits over the truss rod, file some "teeth" into the end of the pipe, and use this (by hand turning) to enlarge the hole.

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Mark Swanson
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Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Mark Swanson »

That's the right idea, but the hole doesn't need to be deeper, as teeth would do, but a bit wider. So use some sticky sandpaper on the same rod or pipe and sand the hole diameter a touch bigger.
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Rob Carty
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:22 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Rob Carty »

I must admit, the pipe notion had crossed my mind -- but then inexplicably vanished. (They say the mind is the second thing to go.)

Hearing it from you two has validated the idea. That's what I'll do.

Thanks a million, guys. Cheers.

Edgar Jessop
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Edgar Jessop »

Rob Carty wrote:They say the mind is the second thing to go.
Well, then what's the first?

Joshua Levin-Epstein
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Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Joshua Levin-Epstein »

You may not need any thing hard to support the sandpaper. Try rolling a piece of 120 into a tube that will go around the truss rod and not quite fill the access hole. Twist this so the outside end catches the surface you want to lessen. It wont take many turns to ease the space. I've used this method to open up the jack hole on telecasters, etc.

Joshua

Rob Carty
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Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Rob Carty »

Joshua -- A good thought. Thanks.

Edgar -- Let me guess ... you're still in your 20s? :-)

Rodger Knox
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Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Rodger Knox »

Rob left of the second half...
They say the mind is the second thing to go, I don't remember what's first
A man hears what he wants to hear, and disreguards the rest. Paul Simon

Edgar Jessop
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Joined: Sat Jun 02, 2012 7:23 pm

Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Edgar Jessop »

Rob Carty wrote:Joshua -- A good thought. Thanks.

Edgar -- Let me guess ... you're still in your 20s? :-)
No. I just know a good straight line when I see one. :lol:

Rob Carty
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Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:22 pm
Location: Houston, Texas

Re: Question - Enlarging Hole for Bullet-style Truss-rod Nut

Post by Rob Carty »

Postscript: I had a piece of copper pipe that was just the size I needed. Sandpaper was too tricky this time -- I'd have needed a smaller pipe. So I filed some nice shark-like teeth into the pipe and slowly went to work. It shaved the inside of the hole just perfectly, and way more cleanly than I'd expected. Everything now fits and works as intended.

Thanks again to all for their input!

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