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Neck Relief ...unable to add any to the neck

#1 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 07 November 2017 - 08:34 AM

Hi Everyone,

Not too long ago, I purchased a 90's NH in an auction for relatively low cost that I had intentions of scrapping originally since I only wanted the 3 pickups in it (slanted HB, NSX single coil, and mini HB). Well, it has been sitting around my place, and I decided to restore it as much as I could. I have added new vintage Kluson tuning machines and rewired with after-market pickups, bought new knobs and pots, new switch, etc. I also scraped the rosewood on the fretboard to get rid of the scratches that the previous owner has done to this guitar. Overall, looks pretty good. Anyhow, after I strung it up, I noticed that the neck was pretty straight (very slightly forward bowed) and I get some slight buzz on it from various strings (mostly the low E). I tried to add some relief, and I noticed that the truss rod was completely loosened; I can only add tension to the neck apparently. Well, this is a new situation for me since I have never had a guitar with this issue before, so if I cannot add relief to the neck, what issues am I looking at here? Is the neck shot? I planned on one day heading to Nashville to have Gibson restore it, so is this something that Gibson Repair and Restoration can address? Either way, looks like a learning experience for me. I appreciate any feedback I can get on this issue.
- Vintage Sunburst 1993 Nighthawk SP3
- Ebony 1994 Nighthawk SP3
- Fireburst 1995 Nighthawk CST3
- Fireburst 1996 Nighthawk CST3
- Sapphire Blue 1996 Les Paul Studio Gem
- Translucent Amber 1996 Epiphone Nighthawk (MIK ST3 Replica)
- Fireburst 1997 Nighthawk ST3 w/ Floyd Rose
- Snow White 2006 Jackson Dinky DK2M (MIJ)
- Tri Burst 2015 Les Paul Custom

- Peavey 5150
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#2 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 15 November 2017 - 02:24 PM

 NighthawkChris, on 07 November 2017 - 08:34 AM, said:

Hi Everyone,

Not too long ago, I purchased a 90's NH in an auction for relatively low cost that I had intentions of scrapping originally since I only wanted the 3 pickups in it (slanted HB, NSX single coil, and mini HB). Well, it has been sitting around my place, and I decided to restore it as much as I could. I have added new vintage Kluson tuning machines and rewired with after-market pickups, bought new knobs and pots, new switch, etc. I also scraped the rosewood on the fretboard to get rid of the scratches that the previous owner has done to this guitar. Overall, looks pretty good. Anyhow, after I strung it up, I noticed that the neck was pretty straight (very slightly forward bowed) and I get some slight buzz on it from various strings (mostly the low E). I tried to add some relief, and I noticed that the truss rod was completely loosened; I can only add tension to the neck apparently. Well, this is a new situation for me since I have never had a guitar with this issue before, so if I cannot add relief to the neck, what issues am I looking at here? Is the neck shot? I planned on one day heading to Nashville to have Gibson restore it, so is this something that Gibson Repair and Restoration can address? Either way, looks like a learning experience for me. I appreciate any feedback I can get on this issue.


If your TR is as loose as it can go. Maybe heavier gauge strings.
1995 - Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Jazz Bass Neck
1997 - Fender American Standard Tele with Rio Grande Pickups
2000 - Gibson SG Special
2003 - Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Strat Neck
2009 - Gibson BB King "Lucille" Signature Model
2009 - Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele
2011 - Martin D-28

2014 - Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II with Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's
2014 - Martin D-18

Fender Deville 60 Watt Combo Guitar Amp

Fender Blues Jr. 15 Watt Como Guitar Amp with a Weber Speaker
Mesa Transatlantc TA-15 Head 5W/15W/25W Switchable
Egnater Tweaker 40 Watt Combo Guitar Amp (On Loan To My Son)

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Extension Cab with a Weber Speaker
Acoustic B100 Amp 100 Watt Bass Combo Amp
Orange CrushPiX CRL20 20 Watt Guitar Amp
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#3 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 16 November 2017 - 08:14 AM

 FZ Fan, on 15 November 2017 - 02:24 PM, said:

If your TR is as loose as it can go. Maybe heavier gauge strings.


I will give it a shot and see what becomes of it in the interim. I think that eventually I am going to take this guitar into a guitar repair shop near my place; there are few choices for repair shops around where I live. It also has this "repaired" crack near the place where the headstock meets the neck so to speak... It seems good enough to play as there was obviously a lot of glue applied - some leaked into TR cavity that I had to scrape out. So this guitar has issues... It's worth it to repair though in my instance. I eventually want to refinish it myself as the finish is pretty hit... maybe natural wood look instead of that lacquered ebony. Well, the previous owner who did neck repair already stripped down the finish to the wood around that crack, and you know, I like the feel of the neck when it's bare wood like - sort of like a Fender maple neck... I'll see what I can do, but I definitely want to do this myself when I get the time. Anyhow, thanks for the advice!
- Vintage Sunburst 1993 Nighthawk SP3
- Ebony 1994 Nighthawk SP3
- Fireburst 1995 Nighthawk CST3
- Fireburst 1996 Nighthawk CST3
- Sapphire Blue 1996 Les Paul Studio Gem
- Translucent Amber 1996 Epiphone Nighthawk (MIK ST3 Replica)
- Fireburst 1997 Nighthawk ST3 w/ Floyd Rose
- Snow White 2006 Jackson Dinky DK2M (MIJ)
- Tri Burst 2015 Les Paul Custom

- Peavey 5150
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#4 User is offline   FZ Fan 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 01:41 PM

Did you know it had a neck break when you got it. Sound like someone sold you what problems they were sick of.
1995 - Fender American Standard Jazz Bass with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Jazz Bass Neck
1997 - Fender American Standard Tele with Rio Grande Pickups
2000 - Gibson SG Special
2003 - Fender American Deluxe HSS Strat with Rio Grande Pickups and a Warmoth Strat Neck
2009 - Gibson BB King "Lucille" Signature Model
2009 - Kala KA-T Tenor Ukulele
2011 - Martin D-28

2014 - Gibson Les Paul Traditional Pro II with Lindy Fralin Pure PAF's
2014 - Martin D-18

Fender Deville 60 Watt Combo Guitar Amp

Fender Blues Jr. 15 Watt Como Guitar Amp with a Weber Speaker
Mesa Transatlantc TA-15 Head 5W/15W/25W Switchable
Egnater Tweaker 40 Watt Combo Guitar Amp (On Loan To My Son)

Fender Hot Rod Deluxe Extension Cab with a Weber Speaker
Acoustic B100 Amp 100 Watt Bass Combo Amp
Orange CrushPiX CRL20 20 Watt Guitar Amp
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#5 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 17 November 2017 - 02:00 PM

Yeah, I knew this ahead of time. The seller also noted that he gave it a "hack job" of a repair too on the small crack. Honestly, it's not that bad - headstock definitely isn't hanging there by a thread or nothing of the sort. As I was saying in the first post, I gutted the pickups in it as these are not easy to find for the final auction price of around $300 with shipping and such. I first of all needed the slanted M-Series humbucker for another Nighthawk I had, and I inherited a spare set of the single coil - which is special as well with mounts in the middle of pickup sort of like a P90 - and the mini-HB which is like the Firebird if not a Firebird pickup. I didn't get ripped off basically. The other parts are original too - switch, bridge (with saddles) were only things I wanted to salvage. I was having an issue finding these online as they are not common things to sell at certain times. Right now, these are not for sale anywhere I can find online or at a local store...

I have just come to the point where I wanted to restore this NH a bit since i have this empty gutted block of Mahogany with a guitar neck sitting on my stand waiting for some TLC, and it is not all that far off from being a decent player... It's really like a restoration project for me I guess. I get a lesson in stripping the finish, fixing issues, etc. I don't want to put a ton of money into it, this is just for S&G's. If it turns into firewood, not too concerned - I have 5 other NH's that are top notch. Although, I don't think that this guitar will end up in the fire pit. I know a guy that can fix the neck and address any frets that have issues with the procedure. The neck isn't bound, so that's going for me on this. As well, the crack is nothing compared to what others have done to their headstocks in terms of cracking clean off... And I plan to just get the guitar down to bare wood, then stain it with minimal finish as I like the feel of the raw wood instead of the nitro'ed neck finish - sort of like a Fender or my Jackson maple neck... I want this guitar to be something that if it gets hit by something, gets a ding... don't care. I can plug it in, holds a tune, and sounds good - all I want. Basically a performing instrument is only concern.

Overall, my value from the purchase came from the electronics and hardware. For under $300, 3 "vintage" pickups, original hardware, not too bad... I was wondering if anyone had issues with a neck that couldn't get relief into it and seeing what this guitar may have to go through. How much does it cost, what was the outcome, etc. I have never had this situation occur to me before with any of my guitars or anyone else's.
- Vintage Sunburst 1993 Nighthawk SP3
- Ebony 1994 Nighthawk SP3
- Fireburst 1995 Nighthawk CST3
- Fireburst 1996 Nighthawk CST3
- Sapphire Blue 1996 Les Paul Studio Gem
- Translucent Amber 1996 Epiphone Nighthawk (MIK ST3 Replica)
- Fireburst 1997 Nighthawk ST3 w/ Floyd Rose
- Snow White 2006 Jackson Dinky DK2M (MIJ)
- Tri Burst 2015 Les Paul Custom

- Peavey 5150
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#6 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 01:34 PM

Seems like I read about a similar truss rod problem somewhere and the answer was to sort of extend the truss rod with washers and such so that you could get some bite on tightening it up.

Search some Dan Erlewine videos on truss rod issues and I hope you'll find the solution.
2017 Custom Shop 356 Mahogany/Maple Antique Natural
2017 Les Paul Standard T Honeyburst
2013 L5-CES Natural (Maple/Spruce)
2013 Les Paul Custom Lite (Mahogany/Maple) Ebony
2007 Taylor Solid Body Custom (Sapele/Walnut)
2010 Fender Telecaster (Ash)
2006 Taylor Grand Symphony (Rosewood/Spruce)
1981 Ovation Balladeer
1963 Walthari Mittenwald Classical
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Blackstar HT-5R (1 X 10) Combo
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#7 User is offline   Johnny 6 String 

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Posted 24 November 2017 - 07:31 PM

 Twang Gang, on 24 November 2017 - 01:34 PM, said:

Seems like I read about a similar truss rod problem somewhere and the answer was to sort of extend the truss rod with washers and such so that you could get some bite on tightening it up.




The washer trick is if you've got compressed wood and cant straighten the neck because you cant tighten the truss further. Chris is backed off all the way and still cant get relief. The heavier strings may get some relief/bow into the neck.


Johnny
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#8 User is offline   NighthawkChris 

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Posted 27 November 2017 - 09:31 AM

 Johnny 6 String, on 24 November 2017 - 07:31 PM, said:

The washer trick is if you've got compressed wood and cant straighten the neck because you cant tighten the truss further. Chris is backed off all the way and still cant get relief. The heavier strings may get some relief/bow into the neck.


Johnny


Yes, this is my issue. I have read that one can use some sort of heating method to add relief into the neck. I don't know how to do this, so I believe I will give to a "pro" to do this. Increasing the gauge of string overall used doesn't seem to be significant, so time to hand it over to someone who knows what they are doing Posted Image Thanks for the help!
- Vintage Sunburst 1993 Nighthawk SP3
- Ebony 1994 Nighthawk SP3
- Fireburst 1995 Nighthawk CST3
- Fireburst 1996 Nighthawk CST3
- Sapphire Blue 1996 Les Paul Studio Gem
- Translucent Amber 1996 Epiphone Nighthawk (MIK ST3 Replica)
- Fireburst 1997 Nighthawk ST3 w/ Floyd Rose
- Snow White 2006 Jackson Dinky DK2M (MIJ)
- Tri Burst 2015 Les Paul Custom

- Peavey 5150
0

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