Hello all of you knowledgeable instrument builders,

After building three four string guitars, a three string guitar, an eight string mandolin, an ukulele, and a diddley bow I feel ready to graduate to building a six string.

The only problem is that I'll need a truss rod for that and I do not have any power tools (except for a drill). So how do I cut a straight and even truss rod groove without a router?

Any suggestions?

My only idea so far is to make a three part laminate neck with the middle part the same width as the square metal rod I want to use as a nonadjustable truss rod. Something like the sketch below.

Do you think that would work? Has anybody done this successfully?

Thanks!

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I've built 15 guitars. I don't use truss rods. I bury a length of 1/2" square tube in the neck. None of them have moved yet.

If there is a high school in your area that has a wood shop, ask the teacher if someone could rout out your neck for a truss rod.  You could offer to give a talk on what you are doing.  There might even be students who would be interested in building cigar box guitars.  I think most shop teachers would be interested in community involvement.  

You can get double-action adjustable truss rods quite cheaply on Ebay.

Although I routed out the slot on my 6-string, from the rear, I don't see any reason why you couldn't laminate a neck around the truss rod.

Access to the adjustment screw is via an Allen key through a hole in the front of the headstock.

Tim

It'll work with two pieces (2) as well, can be done with a dovetail saw, regular or Japanese... For a smaller builds a cross-grain laminate (1) is more than enough...

You sir are correct, cross grain laminate is strong enough to leave out the metal bar,., but I guess this thread is about installing a bar...

Well, you could always redneck it and chuck your drill in a vice, zip-tie the trigger and run it by hand under the bit. may not be perfect, but aint that kinda the point of a CBG?

Hi, Just done this job today and it fits in with this thread, so I thought I would post my process.

The finger board was off due to the neck bowing up, so after straightening the neck I hand cut the slot sides with hand saws and chiselled out the waste  to fit the reinforcement infill. I made a depth gauge out of brass to fit the 1/16 chisel so I could scrape the bottom of the slot flat and level.

Easy peazy. Taff

I suppose you could use a chisel, then fill the trough with epoxy for a tight fit?

Inspired by this thread I've just completed a neck for a 'normal' 6-string guitar, using an adjustable truss rod within a laminated neck.

The guitar had yet to be completed, but it looks OK so far!

Tim

I taped little bits of card to the top of the rod to increases its apparent depth. This allowed me to true up the top of the neck with a little bit of leeway.

An access hole for the 4mm Allen key for adjustment.

#

Hi Tim, that all looks good, but an observation if I may. I feel it would be more beneficial to use a wood infill on top of the rod. Over time the cardboard is liable to compress and leave you with a loose rod. Also the rod is then pushing against the fingerboard and not, maybe, the air gaps.

Just a thought Taff

My fault Taffy,

I did remove the bits of card prior to gluing it all together.

Any rattles can be eliminated by adding a little bit of tension to the rod.

Tim

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