Guitar truss rod woes

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UnexplodedCow
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Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Dec 04, 2019 1:00 pm

I bought a rather nice-looking DC127T a while back, and while I had checked relief when it arrived, none was needed. I don't play it often, and the seasons changed. On playing it yesterday, it was pretty buzzy, so I checked relief, and it had none. So, normal adjustment time, right? Wrong. Previous owner stripped the allen wrench hole so completely that it's round. So I spent today with a dremel and diamond burr creating a new hex layout in the nut itself, as well as machining down a specific allen wrench to fit (4.21mm to be precise). The result? Stripped again when trying to turn it. Fully seated, and snug, with flats and corners. Next emergency step was to cut a couple slots in the end to see if I could use a big honkin' flat-edge screwdriver, and yeah, doing so makes me shudder. The nut ends up rounding on that, and the thing slips off, while I'm applying more force than I've ever used on a guitar (for anything).

So, truss rod is completely stuck. I also noticed there is a large (1x2") section of finish that completely lifted off the body, on the underside of the upper horn. Happened while the thing sat in its case.

Ugh. Just felt like venting a bit, especially since this guitar came from another long-time forum member of old. I'm not looking forward to the expensive surgery that's to come.
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:04 pm

Update:

I called Kiesel to see if I could get a new rod or info on the dimensions, and sent an email with pictures. It's $700 + shipping both ways for them to do a repair, which works out to over $900 for me to have them do it, or $25 + shipping for a replacement truss rod.

I chose the latter. Time to brush off the heatgun/iron skills, and pull the fretboard.
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby spudmunkey » Wed Dec 04, 2019 5:27 pm

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby GuitFiddle » Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:37 am

Ugh....that's not a happy find. Sorry to hear it. Makes the truss rod woes I posted in the guitar forum pretty darn minor. Keep us posted, and good luck!
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby spudmunkey » Thu Dec 05, 2019 10:05 am

UnexplodedCow wrote:Update:


GuitFiddle wrote:Ugh....




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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Dec 05, 2019 1:21 pm

Thanks for the well wishes! I'll post when it's all finished. It's the below guitar, by the way, so there is plenty of reason to make it work.

Still.....ugh....

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby GuitFiddle » Wed Dec 18, 2019 10:12 am

Any progress on this, or is it still awaiting attention? I know if it were me I'd just leave it in aggravation until I was really ready to mess with it. I'm pulling for you on this one, it's a beautiful guitar.
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Wed Dec 18, 2019 2:26 pm

Thanks GuitFiddle!

The truss rod is supposed to be in transit, so it'll hopefully be here this week. Whenever it arrives, I'll get to work on it, and post the results when finished.

Totally gorgeous guitar, with some seriously good options.

Here's the original ad for it, so you can see how the rest of it looks:
https://reverb.com/item/7621842-carvin- ... _sold=true
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Dec 23, 2019 10:49 am

UPDATE:

The new rod arrived yesterday. Now to get down to business! Everything came apart pretty easily. There was already an alignment pin in place. Hooray!

The old rod had rusted at one end. Weird. The design is virtually identical to the Stewmac low profile Hot Rod. It doesn't use a rod that's threaded at both ends. Instead, the rods are welded together and the visible steel cover uses a captive threaded nut that will fight against the visible cover. This can become jammed if the rod is moved too far one way or the other.

As it turns out, the old rod was seized fully counter-clockwise, so adding relief. The other end of the rod may have had a failing weld from the rust; I didn't inspect it under magnification. The new rod fits very snugly, as it should, and cleaning away the old (I suspect) CA glue away from the old rod install took some time.

The crack in the fretboard appeared; it's unsurprisingly since I had to use heat, and it was moving freely. I confirmed that it's definitely through the board, and about 6" long in total. Since it's off, I"ll seal the crack and make sure the mounting surface is flat. Old glue cleanup is taking some time.

If anyone has a difficult-to-turn truss rod allen nut, I highly suggest dropping some oil directly in the allen hole, and then move it around to loosen it up. The new rod was a bit stiff, and I did this; synthetic gun oil is far less likely to become gummy over time. Any oil that remains slick is a good idea. Even graphite may help. But that's the only spot to lube the current truss rod design, so that's handy.

So I'm currently removing old glue, cleaning things up, and will be closely checking the fretboard for any other defects or issues prior to reinstalling. Then comes the task of reinstalling it and making sure that I don't have to re-level the board and frets much (if at all).

Fun times.

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby GuitFiddle » Thu Dec 26, 2019 5:47 am

Looking good UXC! The notes about the rod construction are very helpful. I will definitely be oiling mine in a bid to prevent seizing or any potential thread galling. Dealing with mine definitely made me a bit more nervous than other rods, not sure why. I've got plenty of quality gun oil on hand.

The only suspect bit is...you have to wonder why the end of the old rod is rusted. It's not an overall surface rust, it's very localized and appears to have experienced fairly lenghty oxidation. Gotta wonder how that happened. But all is well that ends well I suppose. Keep us posted with updates!
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Tue Dec 31, 2019 8:15 am

I think the old rod was that way from the factory, since the rust was under the heat-shrink.

I filled in the crack on the fretboard, got the surfaces all cleaned up and clamped down. I have to re-level the frets a tiny bit, and then it should be back to playing. Life stuff is getting in the way, so now that it's back together, I'm letting it sit in the case with the strings on for at least a month, and see if anything else creeps up. The new rod is a smooth operator, and works very well in either direction; the neck needed relief this time, as well. I'll update if things change, but for now I'd call it a reasonable success.
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby ioneater » Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:52 pm

Very interesting read! Are you planning on keeping the Wilky on it?

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby GuitFiddle » Wed Jan 08, 2020 6:12 am

I ain't skeered o nuthin.....except replacing a truss rod. :shock: Good work all around...sounds like all is well.
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:48 pm

ioneater wrote:Very interesting read! Are you planning on keeping the Wilky on it?


Definitely a learning experience for me, as I'd not encountered the low profile rods before. It's not just a Wilky, but a piezo saddle type, which is why I bought it. I wanted a do-everything guitar for being on the road. Sadly, I'm due for a gig in another state in a couple weeks, just about the time I'm moving, so it won't be ready. Ah well, pink headless it is!
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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby Naked Ape » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:14 pm

UnexplodedCow wrote:
ioneater wrote:Very interesting read! Are you planning on keeping the Wilky on it?


Definitely a learning experience for me, as I'd not encountered the low profile rods before. It's not just a Wilky, but a piezo saddle type, which is why I bought it. I wanted a do-everything guitar for being on the road. Sadly, I'm due for a gig in another state in a couple weeks, just about the time I'm moving, so it won't be ready. Ah well, pink headless it is!


I'd love to hear any updates on this fix/project if you have time. Pics would be interesting too.
I'm hoping it turned out well, and is getting some play time.....AND....

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Mon Apr 13, 2020 1:33 pm

I got it all glued back together a few months back, but didn't have time to re-level the frets afterward (kind of a must). The crack in the board expanded a bit, and the board dimensions changed a bit, so that was a challenge. It's at least seated where it was, and the whole guitar's been sitting in the case since, and the new rod works well :D

I didn't take any pictures of the process, mostly from being way too busy. Lately, I'm babysitting my son, so there is less time than before, and projects are slowly getting done (mostly on the weekends).

Also, thanks for the birthday wishes! It's a quiet, relaxing day. Can't complain.
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby UnexplodedCow » Tue May 12, 2020 6:53 pm

It's officially back together and finished up. The finish took a bit of heat in a couple spots, mostly at the headstock (no surprise there), so that's not great. The frets needed minor leveling, and came out great. For the record, some green rouge and a small buffing wheel make easy work of polishing stainless frets. No fret buzz, nice low action, and the truss rod actually works now!

I'll post up some photos, or maybe a quick video in a few days (if all goes as planned).
We are entitled to our own, wrong, opinions.

Guitar theorem: G=X+1 where G= guitars one needs, and X = guitars one has.

Do or do not; there is no understand.

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Re: Guitar truss rod woes

Postby Abdababda » Sat May 16, 2020 10:09 am

GREAT work!


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