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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:08 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
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First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
State: WI
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Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Hey everybody,
So I am doing a cost spreadsheet of what I need to make my first electric guitar, minus strings and electronics. It is going to be a walnut bodied telecaster and I was wondering what length and what type of truss rod I should get for this guitar. I have been looking at LMII, as I found stewmac to be a bit more pricey (money is a big concern as I am a high school senior).
Thanks,
Benjamin


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PostPosted: Sun Nov 20, 2016 6:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 8:35 pm
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Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
Last Name: Smith
City: Round Rock
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Country: USA
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Ben,
I use 16-17" rods.
The SM is pretty dang long at 18".
I use China rods I buy through Amazon, usually cost under $10.
You can get bridges, control plates and other hardware cheap.
Look at the customer ratings.
I bought a $7 set of p90 pickups that sound amazing through my tube amp.
China tuning keys are not all that good.
Guitar Fetish sells some stuff at reasonable prices.
I like their Wilkinsen tuners and bridges.
Good luck!
Dan

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:37 am 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
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First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
State: WI
Zip/Postal Code: 53005
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
dzsmith wrote:
Ben,
I use 16-17" rods.
The SM is pretty dang long at 18".
I use China rods I buy through Amazon, usually cost under $10.
You can get bridges, control plates and other hardware cheap.
Look at the customer ratings.
I bought a $7 set of p90 pickups that sound amazing through my tube amp.
China tuning keys are not all that good.
Guitar Fetish sells some stuff at reasonable prices.
I like their Wilkinsen tuners and bridges.
Good luck!
Dan

the ones at LMII are 17 3/4 inches. Can these work or is it a tad bit too long?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:45 am 
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Joined: Fri May 18, 2012 8:35 pm
Posts: 2366
Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
Last Name: Smith
City: Round Rock
State: TX
Zip/Postal Code: 78681
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Marn99 wrote:
dzsmith wrote:
Ben,
I use 16-17" rods.
The SM is pretty dang long at 18".
I use China rods I buy through Amazon, usually cost under $10.
You can get bridges, control plates and other hardware cheap.
Look at the customer ratings.
I bought a $7 set of p90 pickups that sound amazing through my tube amp.
China tuning keys are not all that good.
Guitar Fetish sells some stuff at reasonable prices.
I like their Wilkinsen tuners and bridges.
Good luck!
Dan

the ones at LMII are 17 3/4 inches. Can these work or is it a tad bit too long?

It should be fine for a Fender scale length.

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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:11 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
Posts: 79
First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
State: WI
Zip/Postal Code: 53005
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
dzsmith wrote:
Marn99 wrote:
dzsmith wrote:
Ben,
I use 16-17" rods.
The SM is pretty dang long at 18".
I use China rods I buy through Amazon, usually cost under $10.
You can get bridges, control plates and other hardware cheap.
Look at the customer ratings.
I bought a $7 set of p90 pickups that sound amazing through my tube amp.
China tuning keys are not all that good.
Guitar Fetish sells some stuff at reasonable prices.
I like their Wilkinsen tuners and bridges.
Good luck!
Dan

the ones at LMII are 17 3/4 inches. Can these work or is it a tad bit too long?

It should be fine for a Fender scale length.

And which would work better, a double action or standard welded rod?


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 12:40 pm 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
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Marn99 wrote:
Hey everybody,
So I am doing a cost spreadsheet of what I need to make my first electric guitar, minus strings and electronics. It is going to be a walnut bodied telecaster and I was wondering what length and what type of truss rod I should get for this guitar. I have been looking at LMII, as I found stewmac to be a bit more pricey (money is a big concern as I am a high school senior).
Thanks,
Benjamin


Marn99 wrote:
And which would work better, a double action or standard welded rod?


Marn, a couple of comments. First, before you go any farther, get Melvyn Hiscock's book "Making Your own Electric Guitar". He has a good chapter on making a tele clone and shows the truss rod routing in some detail.

Second, get a good set of tele plans off the internet somewhere - even tho a tele is a simple guitar in concept there are some critical measurements that you will need to get from plans (or another guitar)

Next, you need to decide if you want a separated fretboard or one piece maple neck with the frets slotted into the neck. If you want a one piece neck you are pretty committed to a Fender style curved rod inserted from the back (skunk stripe). If you was a separated fretboard you can install the rod from the top and use a dual action rod or you can do the traditional curved rod. Whatever rod you decide on, you also need to decide whether to put the adjuster on the headstock end or in the heel - that will somewhat dictate the length of rod you use. Having the adjuster in the heel makes the neck a little stronger (and you don't have the hole in the headstock) but they are a hassle to adjust the relief since you have to take the neck off.

The two styles of rods work on different principals and both will work fine. I happen to like the LMII dual action rod and that is all I use any more, they are actually simpler to install because you don't have to route the curved channel and then fit the skunk stripe. While your neck still has parallel square sides just run the router down the center and you've got your channel. Dual acting rods are very powerful and give you great control over your relief - my recommendation unless you want to be accurate to Fender's design.

Last comment, I know costs are important but don't cut cost if it means compromising your guitar. I tell people not to build a guitar to save money - you will often spend far more than you can buy a nice guitar - something like a MIM tele. Unless you have access to a pretty well equipped shop you will buy a lot of tools (again, all of this is covered in Hiscock's book).

Good luck and keep us posted with your progress


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PostPosted: Mon Nov 21, 2016 3:07 pm 
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Mahogany
Mahogany

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
Posts: 79
First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
State: WI
Zip/Postal Code: 53005
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Freeman wrote:
Marn99 wrote:
Hey everybody,
So I am doing a cost spreadsheet of what I need to make my first electric guitar, minus strings and electronics. It is going to be a walnut bodied telecaster and I was wondering what length and what type of truss rod I should get for this guitar. I have been looking at LMII, as I found stewmac to be a bit more pricey (money is a big concern as I am a high school senior).
Thanks,
Benjamin


Marn99 wrote:
And which would work better, a double action or standard welded rod?


Marn, a couple of comments. First, before you go any farther, get Melvyn Hiscock's book "Making Your own Electric Guitar". He has a good chapter on making a tele clone and shows the truss rod routing in some detail.

Second, get a good set of tele plans off the internet somewhere - even tho a tele is a simple guitar in concept there are some critical measurements that you will need to get from plans (or another guitar)

Next, you need to decide if you want a separated fretboard or one piece maple neck with the frets slotted into the neck. If you want a one piece neck you are pretty committed to a Fender style curved rod inserted from the back (skunk stripe). If you was a separated fretboard you can install the rod from the top and use a dual action rod or you can do the traditional curved rod. Whatever rod you decide on, you also need to decide whether to put the adjuster on the headstock end or in the heel - that will somewhat dictate the length of rod you use. Having the adjuster in the heel makes the neck a little stronger (and you don't have the hole in the headstock) but they are a hassle to adjust the relief since you have to take the neck off.

The two styles of rods work on different principals and both will work fine. I happen to like the LMII dual action rod and that is all I use any more, they are actually simpler to install because you don't have to route the curved channel and then fit the skunk stripe. While your neck still has parallel square sides just run the router down the center and you've got your channel. Dual acting rods are very powerful and give you great control over your relief - my recommendation unless you want to be accurate to Fender's design.

Last comment, I know costs are important but don't cut cost if it means compromising your guitar. I tell people not to build a guitar to save money - you will often spend far more than you can buy a nice guitar - something like a MIM tele. Unless you have access to a pretty well equipped shop you will buy a lot of tools (again, all of this is covered in Hiscock's book).

Good luck and keep us posted with your progress

Thanks for the detailed response.
I am doing a rock maple neck with an east indian rosewood fingerboard by the way, so I don't need to worry about channeling that you would have to do if you did a one piece neck. As for the rod, I have basically narrowed it down to LMII one way wrapped truss. In terms of material, I don't think I am compromising quality too much, as all of my materials are coming from either LMII, Stewmac, or Guitar Fetish.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:36 am 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:40 pm
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Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
First name: Roger
State: Oklahoma
Focus: Build
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For all of the 19 guitars I've built, I use the 18" double-action rods from Bitterroot guitars. If you're doing a separate fretboard, there's really no good reason to use a one-way rod, especially on your first guitar.

Here's how I do my truss rod channel

I drill start and end holes on the center line at either end of my truss rod slot. These holes are the same diameter as my router bit which is the size of my truss rod.

Image

Image

I then stick my neck blank to the work surface with double-sided tape. Then I place my router in each of the holes to line up my fence. That makes sure it's parallel to the center line.

Image

I then rout in several shallow passes. The first one being very shallow just to verify that everything is lined up properly.

For a good tele plan, download the file here:
http://www.tdpri.com/threads/d-size-tel ... ere.74504/


As dzsmith noted above, the Wilkinson tuners and bridges at Guitar Fetish are very good quality. If you're doing a standard Tele bridge pickup, this is a great bridge because not only is it dual load (top load or string-through), but it has compensated saddles which are a must if you stick with the traditional 3-saddle tele design.

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Wilkinson-C ... p_873.html


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:31 am 
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Mahogany
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
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First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
State: WI
Zip/Postal Code: 53005
Country: United States
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Status: Amateur
RogerC108 wrote:
For all of the 19 guitars I've built, I use the 18" double-action rods from Bitterroot guitars. If you're doing a separate fretboard, there's really no good reason to use a one-way rod, especially on your first guitar.

Here's how I do my truss rod channel

I drill start and end holes on the center line at either end of my truss rod slot. These holes are the same diameter as my router bit which is the size of my truss rod.

Image

Image

I then stick my neck blank to the work surface with double-sided tape. Then I place my router in each of the holes to line up my fence. That makes sure it's parallel to the center line.

Image

I then rout in several shallow passes. The first one being very shallow just to verify that everything is lined up properly.

For a good tele plan, download the file here:
http://www.tdpri.com/threads/d-size-tel ... ere.74504/


As dzsmith noted above, the Wilkinson tuners and bridges at Guitar Fetish are very good quality. If you're doing a standard Tele bridge pickup, this is a great bridge because not only is it dual load (top load or string-through), but it has compensated saddles which are a must if you stick with the traditional 3-saddle tele design.

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Wilkinson-C ... p_873.html

I was hoping to do a one way rod so I didn't need two holes, I want to do a traditional style tele where the truss rod is at the base of the neck. If I may ask, why do you not suggest that I use a one way rod?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 11:47 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Thu Nov 04, 2010 1:46 pm
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First name: Freeman
Last Name: Keller
Focus: Build
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I do mine a little differently than Roger, but same idea. While the sides of my neck blank are still square and parallel I simply run it down a router table to cut the slot. This happens to be a Gibson style (slanted headstock) but a Fender would be similar. The blue tape marks the end of the channel - I stop when I come to a reference mark on the router table. You could easily turn this around and put the adjuster in the heel (warning, its a real hassle to set up)

Image

Image

You can, of course, use a single acting rod - the channel is not as deep. All I use are doubles so I can't really compare.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 12:05 pm 
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Cocobolo
Cocobolo

Joined: Sun Jan 27, 2008 1:40 pm
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Location: Stillwater, Oklahoma
First name: Roger
State: Oklahoma
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Marn99 wrote:
I was hoping to do a one way rod so I didn't need two holes, I want to do a traditional style tele where the truss rod is at the base of the neck. If I may ask, why do you not suggest that I use a one way rod?

I'm sorry, but could you clarify some things?

What do you mean by needing two holes?
With either rod style, you need an access hole (whether it's at the heel or at the headstock is irrelevant).

By "base of the neck", do you mean having the adjustment at the heel?
You can do that with a two-way rod as well.

I don't recommend a one-way rod for newbies simply because it doesn't give you as many adjustment options. Let's say you get your neck all done, get everything wired up, and for some reason you've got a little back bow in your neck. With a single action rod, you're kinda outta luck since that style is only designed to introduce back bow. It has no way of counteracting it.

With a two-way rod, you can adjust a neck either forward or backward depending on what you need.


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:38 pm 
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Mahogany
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Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:46 pm
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First name: Benjamin
Last Name: Marn
City: Brookfield
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RogerC108 wrote:
Marn99 wrote:
I was hoping to do a one way rod so I didn't need two holes, I want to do a traditional style tele where the truss rod is at the base of the neck. If I may ask, why do you not suggest that I use a one way rod?

I'm sorry, but could you clarify some things?

What do you mean by needing two holes?
With either rod style, you need an access hole (whether it's at the heel or at the headstock is irrelevant).

By "base of the neck", do you mean having the adjustment at the heel?
You can do that with a two-way rod as well.

I don't recommend a one-way rod for newbies simply because it doesn't give you as many adjustment options. Let's say you get your neck all done, get everything wired up, and for some reason you've got a little back bow in your neck. With a single action rod, you're kinda outta luck since that style is only designed to introduce back bow. It has no way of counteracting it.

With a two-way rod, you can adjust a neck either forward or backward depending on what you need.

Sorry I worded that poorly. do mean the hole at the heel, will the double action welded nut Truss from LMII work?


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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:44 pm 
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If you are planning to glue the fingerboard to the neck before fretting, you definitely want a two way rod. Fretting will frequently cause a little backbow, and there's a pretty good chance that a maple neck with a rosewood fingerboard will be too stiff for string tension to pull enough relief.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 22, 2016 1:55 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Marn99 wrote:
Sorry I worded that poorly. do mean the hole at the heel, will the double action welded nut Truss from LMII work?

Yep


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