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Old 08-19-2012, 03:05 PM
Phildog Phildog is offline
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Default Straighten a Neck Without a Truss Rod

Hi guys!

The guitar in question is a 30's Kamico Archtop. I got it for $5 from a thrift shop. The neck is bowed, but doesn't have a truss rod. It's not even steel-reinforced. I strung it up after I refinished it, but the bow must be addressed in order to give it a good string height. Right now, it's clamped to a straight-edge...after I heated it with a hair dryer. I added a slight back-bow to it...thinking that it will be straight when strung.

My question...or concern is that it will eventually bend again without having any reinforcement like a truss rod.

I want to keep the guitar original, but I'd really like to resolve this issue. Right now, it's great for slide, but I want to be able to lower the action and play her as she was designed to play.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks guys!

Phil
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:27 PM
dmcowles@comcas dmcowles@comcas is offline
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If it's really a keeper it's worth having a luthier remove the fretboard and rout a channel for an adjustable trussrod. Only a couple hundred bucks or so, not counting replacing frets and nut, if needed.
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I've cut this thing twice and it's still too short.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:33 PM
Howard Emerson Howard Emerson is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phildog View Post
Hi guys!

The guitar in question is a 30's Kamico Archtop. I got it for $5 from a thrift shop. The neck is bowed, but doesn't have a truss rod. It's not even steel-reinforced. I strung it up after I refinished it, but the bow must be addressed in order to give it a good string height. Right now, it's clamped to a straight-edge...after I heated it with a hair dryer. I added a slight back-bow to it...thinking that it will be straight when strung.

My question...or concern is that it will eventually bend again without having any reinforcement like a truss rod.

I want to keep the guitar original, but I'd really like to resolve this issue. Right now, it's great for slide, but I want to be able to lower the action and play her as she was designed to play.

Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks guys!

Phil
Phil,
On guitars that do not have adjustable rods, the most common way to straighten them is by compression fretting. Basically that is a complete re-fretting using a fret wire whose tang (the part of the fret that goes in the slot) is slightly over-sized so as to make the fingerboard straighten.

It requires the repairman to make a very educated guess so expect to pay a fair price for the work.

A new bottleneck will be a lot less.

HE
It Ain't Necessarily So: http://howardemerson.com/music2.html
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:43 PM
sanchopanza sanchopanza is offline
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On one occasion I unwittingly introduced a permanent back bow into a neck by using slightly oversized fretwire. I can imagine it's a technique that relies heavily either on experience or luck to be successful. Dan Erlewine mentions it in the repair guide book I think.
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Old 08-19-2012, 03:45 PM
sanchopanza sanchopanza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Howard Emerson View Post
Phil,
On guitars that do not have adjustable rods, the most common way to straighten them is by compression fretting. Basically that is a complete re-fretting using a fret wire whose tang (the part of the fret that goes in the slot) is slightly over-sized so as to make the fingerboard straighten.

It requires the repairman to make a very educated guess so expect to pay a fair price for the work.

A new bottleneck will be a lot less.

HE
It Ain't Necessarily So: http://howardemerson.com/music2.html
great minds...
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  #6  
Old 08-19-2012, 03:57 PM
juniperpansy juniperpansy is offline
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Its a long shot but if the bow isn't that much you could try lighter/heavier strings
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