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  #1  
Old 11-09-2007, 08:45 PM
kabulrocks kabulrocks is offline
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Default Broken Truss Rod Repair

I have a Fender F-55-12 (12 string) in very good shape, other than a broken truss rod. It's probably an early 70s vintage. I realize it's a plywood guitar and not worth a great deal of money, so that leads me to ask how to remove the fingerboard to replace the truss rod. A repair shop bill would easily be the cost of a new Alvarez or similar, so I'd like to try it myself. If it doesn't work out, I'll take it to the local Applebee's with my cordless drill and a couple of drywall screws and hang it on the wall. Thanks!

Last edited by kabulrocks; 11-24-2007 at 09:52 PM.
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2007, 09:22 PM
Bruce E Bruce E is offline
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Make sure you hang it neck down or better yet, with the strings against the wall. That way it won't be conspicuous amongst the other instruments hung in some dumb a** manner.
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Old 11-09-2007, 09:25 PM
Freeman Freeman is offline
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Where is it broken? StewMac has a tool to fix it it if the break is in the threaded area - otherwise I'm pretty sure there is a section on Frets.com showing how to remove the fretboard. You will probably damage the f/b enough that you will want to replace it, it might be that you'll just need to refret the old one. It might have a couple of locator dowels - other wise you need to be really careful to get it back in exactly the same place (drill a couple of tiny locator holes thru two of the frets). Depending on what glue was used heat may be enough to release the old one. Depending on the style truss rod it might be epoxied into the channel, it might have a turned down end and float, or there are other variations on the theme. I'm assuming the adjuster is at the headstock - if it is inside the git (Martin style) the neck will probably have to come off

Might also be a good time for a neck reset if it needs one.

Do some searching at Frets.com - I'm sure I've seen something like this on an old Martin t-bar.

edit to add, one other option is to pull the frets and plane the neck for relief. Neither of my Martins nor my old Dobro have adjustable rods (the do have rods, however) ane their relief is rock solid (including the old 12 string).
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Old 11-10-2007, 02:04 AM
martinedwards martinedwards is offline
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I did this little photo essay a while ago on another forum.......

the guitar is a nearly finished jumbo that the truss rod snapped in before I managed to get the varnish on.

The Iron is a $10 supermarket special set as hot as it'll go. Cardboard to protect the cedar.....



then a steel rule slipped in under the edge of the F/B



and worked along as the glue softened.



til after about half an hour (for once I took my time!!!).......



New rod put in.....



and fingerboard glued back on and clamped

[/QUOTE]
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Old 11-10-2007, 09:09 AM
kabulrocks kabulrocks is offline
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Thanks! This is the kind of guidance I was looking for. I seem to remember reading somewhere about using heated metal blocks to remove the fingerboard, but the iron is much easier. I can't believe I didn't think of that... The adjustable end is inside the guitar, I don't think the repair tool from Stew-Mac would work in this particular instance. Applebee's may have to keep looking for decoration! Thanks, Todd

Last edited by kabulrocks; 11-24-2007 at 09:53 PM.
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  #6  
Old 11-10-2007, 12:17 PM
marsguitars marsguitars is offline
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Wow, that's pretty impressive! I hope I never need to use that technique, but it's good to know that it is possible. Thanks for sharing your experience and photos.
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  #7  
Old 11-24-2007, 08:11 PM
kabulrocks kabulrocks is offline
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Update on the truss rod repair. I now have the fingerboard removed (took a good 12 hours to soften up that old glue), and the truss rod removed.

The old truss rod has an aluminum channel, about 1/2" x 1/2". The broken part is the steel rod that fits inside the channel. It is twisted off in the threaded portion of the rod at the adjustment end. What replacement rod should I buy, and where? The Hot Rod from Stew-Mac is slimmer and would require some shimming of the neck inlet, which wouldn't be to difficult to do.

I have some photos posted in my photo gallery, kabulrocks. Any assistance is greatly appriecated!!

Thanks,
Todd

Last edited by kabulrocks; 11-24-2007 at 09:50 PM. Reason: remove broken image link
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Old 11-25-2007, 03:00 AM
martinedwards martinedwards is offline
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cant see the pics, but is it like this?



Martin style trussrod.....
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  #9  
Old 11-25-2007, 04:26 PM
kabulrocks kabulrocks is offline
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Yes, I think the missing piece would be very similar to your picture. The link you provided to the Stew-Mac Martin style rod looks like just what I need for this Fender.

I'm trying to understand how this truss rod operates - it looks like when you tighten the nut, which puts tension on the rod, it bows the aluminum channel, thereby pulling the neck back and bringing the strings closer to the fingerboard. It you need to increase the string to fingerboard distance, loosening the truss rod will allow the natural pull of the strings to pull the neck in the desired direction. Is this correct?

Thanks again for the help. I'm getting closer to having a playable 12-string!
Todd

Last edited by kabulrocks; 11-25-2007 at 04:45 PM. Reason: add detail
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