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Guitar neck straightening

//Guitar neck straightening

Guitar Neck Straightening
Because the neck of your guitar is adjustable. It needs adjustment from time to time.  It has been made of selected hardwood, and it is kiln-dried to insure proper curing.  Consequently, the adjustable truss rod both strengthens the neck and facilitates adjustment of a bowed neck.

Because all guitar necks are subject to great stress as a result of string tension and seasonal change, furthermore, there are times when a neck could take on a slight bow (or warp) or neck hump.  This will rarely occur.  However, if it does, there is no cause for alarm if you follow the procedure below for proper correction. 

Guitar Neck Straightening

truss rod adjustments for a guitar
Angled Headstock typical of adjustable truss rod location (above)

First of all, loosen all strings (it is not necessary to remove strings from guitar).  Pull loose strings to one side so free access to neck adjuster can be gained.

Remove cover (if it has one) so neck adjuster is exposed.  Generally it’s an Allen screw or a hex nut.

Sight down the neck from the tuners (as sighting a down the barrel of a rifle) in order to see just how much of a bow or hump the neck has taken.  Hold the neck up at eye level and sight along the edge of the fingerboard on both treble and bass sides.  It best to place a straight edge on the neck during this process.  Most of all, there are special ones made with cut outs for the frets called a Notched Straightedge below.

results of truss rod adjustments for a guitar

 If neck is bowed, tighten the adjustable truss rod nut clockwise    

 If neck has hump, loosen the adjustable nut  counter-clockwise

truss rod adjustments for a guitar

Place Allen key or hex  wrench on guitar neck adjustment nut and turn very gently (small fractions of a turn at a time). Keep checking the neck as you proceed with each nut turn.  Once the neck is straight give the adjustment nut a very slight added turn to compensate for the tension the loose stings will add once they are installed and tuned.  TIGHTEN  for ” BOW ” and LOOSEN  for HUMP. 

 Special Note: Be careful not to tighten the nut too much  ( i. e. when it becomes hard to turn ), because it could result in stripping the threads or perhaps even breaking the truss rod.

Below: see example of a end of the guitar neck Heel or Butt end type-truss rod adjustment 

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