Bowed neck

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Bowed neck

Post by kilttone on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:43 am

My eye was caught by a sparkly silver/black Westone Raider 1 bass which I liberated from its tormentor for a few £'sss - was so cheap it would have been silly not to !

Trouble is the neck has a bow in it Robin Hood would be proud of - does anyone havbe a spare neck kicking around or any dark secrets into how it can be straightened (dont think the truss rod can do it), or should I just stick it on the wall for decoration (yeah that would please the misses) ?

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Guest on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:51 am

I'd try the trussrod first - its amazing how just a few turns can make such a big difference.

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Bowed neck

Post by kilttone on Tue Jul 05, 2011 10:58 am

Thanks for the response - Tried the truss rod, made a slight difference but neck still has 3mm 'ish bow in the middle which of course means the strings are too high in the middle

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by hoax on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:07 am

Do it with the strings on and the guitar fully tuned. Try some WD 40 on the truss adjuster. Also, go back to it and try getting more adjustment on it as you may find that since your last adjustment has settled, you can give it a bit more.

Are you going the right way? Clockwise or tighten for a typical bow and anti-clockwise or loosen for a back bow.

Good luck!!

Hoax


Last edited by hoax on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:12 am; edited 1 time in total

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Bowed neck

Post by kilttone on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:10 am

OK have WD40 and little to lose !

Tighten the bugger yes ?

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by hoax on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:13 am

I have edited my post, just in case you are going the wrong way.

Read your thread again and I am sure that you are going the right way i.e. tighten.

Go for it, but once it gets pretty tight, leave it and go back to it.

Hoax

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bent neck

Post by kilttone on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:52 am

Got a good few more turns than I did before but didnt seem to make any difference at all and I think I maybe went too far as there is no resistence on it now :-(


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Re: Bowed neck

Post by hoax on Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:03 pm

Oh bugger! - I think that you may have stripped the thread. The only thing that I can suggest now is to loosen the thing off and hope that it is the nut rather than the rod itself that has stripped.

If it is the nut it can be replaced or repaired with a tap. I have never had this happen to me.

Another suggestion that you won't want to hear is remove the neck, separate the finger board and plain the neck flat, then refit the board. It is a lot of work.

If you tightened the truss rod enough to strip the thread, then it is quite feasible that the neck was junk anyway so it may not be the disaster it looks right now.

Sorry!!

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bowed neck

Post by kilttone on Tue Jul 05, 2011 12:17 pm

I think the neck was probably never going to be fixed with the truss rod - I do not have the tools or the skills to plane it back etc, and i guess the cost of getting someone to do it would be more than it would ever be worth - will just have to keep my eye on flea bay and maybe one day a neck (or a wreck with a neck) will come up :-)

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Barry on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:03 pm

Sorry I did not see this thread sooner.
Geez that does not sound good. The nut or rod would appear to have been stripped.

Truss rod adjustments are meant to make very small tweaks to true up the neck, and never meant to significantly alter the geometry of the neck. When tightening a truss rod you always proceed in incremental steps and never crank it up or force it, or else...well, you know the rest. No
  • 1/4 to 1/2 turn at a time, then rest
  • Check
  • Rinse and repeat
It's probably too late for this advice now, but some have had success straightening warps and curves in necks simply by gently applying weights in the appropriate spot and leaving it to rest in a relatively humid environment. Usually that will encourage it back into its original shape.

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by hoax on Tue Jul 05, 2011 4:16 pm

I have again looked at this thread and should have added some words of caution to what I said i.e Barry's advice regarding incrementalism. I was not clear enough about resting and returning, and "pretty tight" means different things to different folks, but I do suspect that the neck was probably goosed anyway.

If you do find a neck, even a generic one, send it to me and I will reshape the headstock for you and apply a logo for nothing. I am just up the road in Bothwell, near Hamilton.

Graham

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Warrn on Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:25 pm

This sounds a lot like the story of my Dimension bass, the strings were a massive inch plus away from the fingerboard when I got it! I was disappointed when the truss rod didn't fix it before it got too tight to turn, but when I looked at it a week later, it was actually straight! Maybe give it some time? Unless stripping the truss rod or nut causes it to let loose...

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Barry on Tue Jul 05, 2011 11:16 pm

Yup, that can also happen! (Assuming of course that the nut is still engaged)
Sometimes the increased sustained tension will eventually pull the neck back once the wood has time to "adjust". It's similar to the weight application idea above, but generally it's not a good idea to crank 'er up tight. That's really pushing it and hoping for the best.

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Racing on Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:01 pm

Look guys. A little depending it is normaly the case that if threads are shot...chances are that it+s the nut that caves in first.

In short...

Get a Dremel tool of some sorts and equip it with a cutting wheel. Grind/cut/saw off one forth to one third of one side of the nut. Just pick one of the flats and go at it.

If it is an allen one,which is the case with some Mats...same deal. Deburr til you start seing the actual threads of the trussrod.

Now bend,pry...gorilla that sucker out of there...and check the threads of the trussrod. If the threads look ok...we“re good to proceed...if not...all is STILL not lost but in such a scenario you need to seek some advice by your local machine shop.
Just as the trussrod is threaded at the adjusting end it is normaly threaded into its anchor at the opposing end and chances are you local machine shop might carry such tools. Check with them.

Anyways.
Either with the OEM threads in at least servicable order or a fresh trussrod in there.....what you do is that you apply a slight amount of graphite grease to the thread. This will aid tremendously for the nut when you start torqing it down. Oil and WD40 simply doesn“t do it in highload apps-which this might very well be.

Then...as noted torq down....increments... a guitar or bass neck is a living piece of material and can be talked into doing a LOT of things...

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by hobster on Sun Jul 10, 2011 2:34 pm

I was told to do small increments (1/4 to 1/2 turn like Barry said) and then let it sit overnite. Only 1/2 turn per day at the most, and always loosen the rod before initially tightening it. Mark where it is with a sharpie so you don't go too far. Works for me! Very Happy I think there is a thread on this somewhere around here, no?

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Rocket1 on Wed Apr 17, 2013 11:20 am

I just fixed the same problem on a Thunder 1 bass. The chances are the neck has been like that for some time, so will not come back to straight easily.
What I did was to clamp the neck against a strait edge, or a peace of flat metal bar. You can even clamp in relief.
This will persuade the wood to go were you want it to, may take up to a week of clamping and truss rod adjustment to fix. Take it slow though good things come to those who wait. sunny

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Re: Bowed neck

Post by Barry on Wed Apr 17, 2013 5:32 pm

Glad to hear it Rocket man.
In this world of "instant" gratification we often forget that many things require time to happen. Wood is organic and will usually respond to humidity and gentle pressure...if we're patient.

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Re: Bowed neck

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