New Truss Rod Design??

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New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Grump » Mon Dec 17, 2018 10:50 pm

I had heard a rumor in another place that G&L has changed the design of their truss rods, incorporating a nut that is welded onto the end of the truss rod. Would anyone have further information on this??
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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 7:08 am

G&L's first trussrod design was from the Leo era. It was typical of the time and applied pressure to the neck by squeezing it longitudinally. The next development was a trussrod that doesn't apply that longitudinal (crush) pressure, but applies lateral pressure to the neck under the fingerboard. More info of that trussrod can be found here. The current trussrod also applies lateral pressure but is double action, meaning it can apply either back-bow or forward-bow and the nut is not removable.

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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Grump » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:51 am

I can understand the benefits of a dual-action truss, but those nuts ALWAYS strip. No more $5 fix. So how is that avoided? Did they just crosshatch the truss adjustment, instead of yet another soon to be stripped out allen nut?
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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 11:49 am

Grump wrote:I can understand the benefits of a dual-action truss, but those nuts ALWAYS strip. No more $5 fix. So how is that avoided? Did they just crosshatch the truss adjustment, instead of yet another soon to be stripped out allen nut?


I understand that I do spend a fair amount of time under a rock, but not all the time.

Firstly, the nuts do not ALWAYS strip. If used and operated correctly, there is rarely a problem. In fact, I think it would be fair to say that the nuts seldom failed. Look at it this way; we only hear about the bad things.

I've only seen/observed/been-told-about stripped threads on the original trussrod nuts; the Leo era rods & nuts. Some of the early adjuster nuts appeared to maybe be a little softer than they should have been. But mostly it was because they were being over stressed. Perhaps they were partly frozen. Perhaps they had wood chips/dust in the threads. Maybe the threads were rusty. No matter, sometimes we just need to back off and look into why the thing is so hard to turn.

Through all the years, I've seen/observed/been-told-about lots of stripped out allen sockets. G&L, Fender, and other brands using allen socket adjusters all fall into this category. In nearly every instance, the stripping was not due to a deficiency in the nut but due to a problem with the tool and/or the person driving the tool. Sometimes the incorrect sized wrench was used. Sometimes the wrench was not fully inserted into the socket. Sometimes the incorrect sized wrench was not fully inserted into the socket. Sometimes a ball-end wrench is used, which I do not recommend.

We regularly remind people to be sure that the correct sized wrench is fully inserted into the socket. Correctly sized T-handle wrenches are handy for trussrod adjusters because they many times make it easier to fully engage the nut from the end of the headstock.

A ball-end wrench is only good to run a nut down under little to no pressure and should not be used when applying any more than light pressure. Why? Because (1) the ball end can break off in the socket and (2) the ball end has a very small contact area that might cause socket stripping.

The messages here are:

    Use good quality tools. Cheap dollar bin tools are seldom sized correctly and don't hold up well.
    Use the correct sized wrench.
    Don't use ball-end allen wrenches.
    Always fully insert an allen wrench into the socket. Partial insertion, particularly at an angle, is begging for trouble.
    If the adjuster does not turn easily and smoothly, STOP AND FIGURE OUT WHY.

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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Grump » Tue Dec 18, 2018 1:11 pm

All of that is solid advice, and appreciated, however, I have stripped out quite a few truss nuts, and not because I don't know what I'm doing, but because I keep my action extremely low, and unless the neck is made of aluminum, or graphite, it will shift every day, noticeably on my instruments. I've had to adjust my truss sometimes two or three times throughout a gig, simply because as the room fills, the temperature and humidity rise, making the neck swell, and buzz out. I use medium gauge GHS Boomers, which are a fairly high tension string, and use a fairly light touch, most of the time. One of the reasons I stick with G&L is because they PLEK the frets, and I can get the action I want all over the neck, not just at one end or the other. But all that being said, it's not abuse, or using the wrong wrench, or the wrong end of the wrench, but just basic wear and tear on a part that most folks don't adjust a fraction as often as I do. As I said, I also use thick, high-tension strings, so adjustments have to be able to overcome those forces, and that requires exerting a bit of torsion. No more than a 1/4 turn every 20 minutes, as the neck needs time to stabilize, I know, I get it. I'm not offering these questions and concerns coming from some hypothetical standpoint, but as someone who has been playing stringed instruments since he was three years old, and that's more than four decades ago. I've been playing G&Ls as my workhorses since 1991. I've messed up ONE neck in 27 years of playing G&L's, so I feel fairly confident in saying I know what I'm doing, how, and why, most of the time, as it relates to this topic.

So...increased wear on the truss nut is just a fact of my reality, thus I am wondering how to mitigate such a factor, because with the number of adjustments that I need to make on a regular basis, the amount of force on a less than a square half-inch of surface area, unevenly distributed, will chew one up every couple of years. On my other workhorse, I overcame this by removing the truss nut, putting it into a vice, and using a dremel to cut deep crosshatches in it, then putting it back on place and adjusting with a flathead screw-driver with a 90º bend near the blade end. It has served me well for some time now, and cut down on my need for reaching for the easy-out. But this truss design raises my concern. Maybe I'll just talk to Ron when I order a new neck for my L-2500, and see if he can cut the aforementioned crosshatches into the truss nut before installation. Would you have any other suggestions, based on this new information?
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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 3:52 pm

Grump wrote:So...increased wear on the truss nut is just a fact of my reality, thus I am wondering how to mitigate such a factor, because with the number of adjustments that I need to make on a regular basis, the amount of force on a less than a square half-inch of surface area, unevenly distributed, will chew one up every couple of years. On my other workhorse, I overcame this by removing the truss nut, putting it into a vice, and using a dremel to cut deep crosshatches in it, then putting it back on place and adjusting with a flathead screw-driver with a 90º bend near the blade end. It has served me well for some time now, and cut down on my need for reaching for the easy-out. But this truss design raises my concern. Maybe I'll just talk to Ron when I order a new neck for my L-2500, and see if he can cut the aforementioned crosshatches into the truss nut before installation. Would you have any other suggestions, based on this new information?


Adjusting that often definitely makes you an outlier, and I understand the "why" of it.

Other than the above, about all I can recommend is to make sure that your wrench is top quality and in good condition. Good stuff is Wiha or Wera. (Non-affiliated links to Amazon) Tools also wear so inspect often and replace as necessary.

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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby jim.i » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:21 pm

I see that the 4mm Wera t-wrench comes in 4 lengths: 100mm/150/200/350. Is the 350 the best length to use, seems like it would clear the tuning posts for easier access.
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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:37 pm

jim.i wrote:I see that the 4mm Wera t-wrench comes in 4 lengths: 100mm/150/200/350. Is the 350 the best length to use, seems like it would clear the tuning posts for easier access.


Hell, I don't know!

You do want to clear the posts, so measure from the nut to the end of the headstock and go from there. Conversion to inches can be found here.

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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby jim.i » Tue Dec 18, 2018 4:41 pm

Oh Obi Wan, sure you do...use the Force.

Ken Baker wrote:
jim.i wrote:I see that the 4mm Wera t-wrench comes in 4 lengths: 100mm/150/200/350. Is the 350 the best length to use, seems like it would clear the tuning posts for easier access.


Hell, I don't know!

You do want to clear the posts, so measure from the nut to the end of the headstock and go from there. Conversion to inches can be found here.

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Re: New Truss Rod Design??

Postby Ken Baker » Tue Dec 18, 2018 5:39 pm

jim.i wrote:Oh Obi Wan, sure you do...use the Force.


Dammit Luke, I'm a bass player not a Jedi!

Image

100mm = 3.937007874"
150mm = 5.905511811"
200mm = 7.874015748"
350mm = 13.779527559"

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