Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

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Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Oct 03, 2012 10:32 am

Hello again,

i am working on a fender strat neck (95 with 'bullet type' at headstock, inside, 1/8 inbus ) which has way too much relief and for no apparant reason cannot really be straightened. I say not really since it does do a bit, but not the normal behaviour. I have taken the trussrod out via the body end of the neck and there's no defect. I have put some extra tread on in just in case that would be the issue but still no normal response of the neck.
So for now I am left with two possible explanations, and would like to know your opinion:
1) the would is so stiff and the neck so bent, its just too much force required of the trussrod
2) the bullet (i just call it bullet since I dont know the right term for this part in english) lacks a proper anchor and moves into the neck too much. This would explain the excess force I feel and the lacking response in relief.

Appreciate your feedback, grz Mario
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Chuck Tweedy » Wed Oct 03, 2012 12:14 pm

Let me fix your quote:
1) the wood is warped, and its just too much force required of the trussrod


Your neck is permanently deformed (warped) in a bow that give you too much relief. The deformation is either from string tension, or that piece of wood just always wanted to be a banana, and now its living the dream. ;)
Either way, many have tried to straighten necks like this - and I've seen a million similar stories on this forum - and it rarely works.

New neck.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mark Swanson » Wed Oct 03, 2012 1:06 pm

When you are tightening the rod, are you bending the neck with blocks at each end and a clamp in the middle to "help' the rod do its work? You shouldn't expect the rod to bring a neck like that in line all by itself. Place a block at each end, and real stiff beam across the blocks. Then place a clamp in the center and using the clamp, bend the neck a bit more than you need, and THEN tighten the rod.
The rod may well be damaged by now, and the bullet sinking into the wood.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mario Kessels » Thu Oct 04, 2012 2:58 am

Ok, thanks a lot. I had the neck in a clamp for a week, but that did not do any good, as aspected really without the addition of heat.
Thightening the neck with the overbend will give me the opportunity to set it, but I still regard it as a nonfunctioning neck then...Has anyone tried to get the neck straighten out by using heat?
At this moment it would seem that my only option is: get the fingerboard of, straighten with heat and glue it back on.
OR: 70c being the temp when the glue starts reacting I could try to put it in the oven at 60 or so..This is all a bit strange practice but it might work??

I cannot get a new neck (original fender) unless I pay the crazy amounts charged for em on ebay etc. And I always like to think everything can be fixed:)
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mark Swanson » Thu Oct 04, 2012 9:27 am

Thightening the neck with the overbend will give me the opportunity to set it, but I still regard it as a nonfunctioning neck then


If doing that allows you to get the neck set right, then you are there and you don't need to worry. It may be a difficult to adjust neck, but it is NOT a malfunctioning neck. That method is really the correct way to tighten a trussrod and it should always be done that way, especially if there is a lot of adjustment to be made. Any trussrod can be expected to fail if you ask too much of it. Using the blocks just allows the rod to work properly and once the neck is in place you should be ok.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Greg Robinson » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:13 am

+1 on what Mark said. Truss rods are NOT for adjusting relief, they are only for holding it there. When adding relief you should always bend the neck with clamps (or by hand if you're an octopus) past where you want to set the relief, and adjust the truss rod to hold it there (this may take multiple clamps-on, tighten truss rod, clamps-off, measure cycles). When removing relief you should add extra relief with clamps first to take the tension off the nut first before loosening it, then follow up with the "adding relief" routine as above. All the above applies to single-action rods. Two way rods should be adjusted incrementally so that there is never any tension on the rod while it is being adjusted.

In terms of your heat idea, I'd shy away from that, the results can be unpredictable, and getting the glue joint to the plastic region so that it will remain set after cooling is tricky (and it will always weaken the joint), and some glue types don't have a plastic region at all, and will fall apart if enough heat is applied for it to shift.
I agree with Mark that you should be able to get this adjusted properly using the truss rod and correct procedure.

Good luck and keep us updated.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Barry Daniels » Thu Oct 04, 2012 11:32 am

When adjusting the truss rod tighter to pull the neck back (removing excess relief) I agree that blocks and a clamp should be used to assist the process. However, when loosening a single action truss rod to remove an excess back bow, you should not use blocks and clamps because that would over stress the rod and its bearing points. Just loosen the rod and let the neck settle into its proper shape.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Greg Robinson » Thu Oct 04, 2012 1:22 pm

Agreed Barry, notice I said: "When removing relief you should add extra relief with clamps first to take the tension off the nut first before loosening it". Maybe not obvious what I was trying to get at there, I tried to word it as best I could.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mario Kessels » Mon Oct 08, 2012 5:59 am

Interesting this approach. I dont fully agree, since pretty much all the necks i set (1000+) did this without having this problem and did not ask for the method mentioned. I do fully understand the added value of always doing it like this, but normaly you just go by feel right? I tighten the trussrod and if it requires too much force I immediately stop and start looking for an explanation.
Thats why I say I consider it as a neck that is partially unfunctional, it does not behave like a 'normal' neck does.

So then. What to do? I would think I can get the neck in the perfect position by helping the trussrod like you mention, but I feel a bit uncomfortable selling it then as a "good working" neck. I will set the neck and then I will allow me time to solve this mental dilemma haha.

thanks
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Michael Lewis » Wed Oct 17, 2012 1:18 am

You could pull the frets, plane the fingerboard flat, and re-fret.
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Re: Fender Neck that does not cooperate. Whats wrong here?

Postby Mario Kessels » Wed Nov 14, 2012 11:16 am

Its gonna look really funky, leaving almost no fretboard at the edges. i think i will take of the fretboard, clamp the parts with a heating blanket and see what i end up with. like this for me its useless, just a expensive boomerang.
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