How to fit a non-adjustable 'truss rod'

I thought I would share a technique with you which I picked up from a great builder who is not a member CBN. I think you can argue that a 3 or 4 string CBG doesn't really need any additional neck strength, but I've  found myself making thinner necks recently, and I'd like to make sure they stand the test of time. I am also gearing up to have a go at making a 6 string from scratch so this is a technique I will need to learn sooner or later.

So, to do this you will need some mild steel bar. I got 3x13mm. A 4 metre length cost me about £4. The postage cost twice that but it was almost worth it to see the look on the delivery driver's face when he handed over a 4m long cardboard tube. You also need a router, and a bit of the correct width and depth for the bar.

I used the parallel guide on the router to slide along the side of the neck to cut the channel. I used a high speed and 4 shallow passes to get the finished depth (which needs to be a tiny bit deeper that the width of the bar)

It fits. Now time to glue it in. I used epoxy with a long curing time. Getting the glue in the channel is quite tricky.

I held the bar in place with clamps and left it overnight. Make sure you put something between the clamps and the neck so you don't glue them together!

Once the epoxy had set I lightly sanded the surface to remove any residue.

Then just glue on your fretboard as usual and you have (hopefully) a super strong bow-resistant neck that you can shape a bit more aggressively than one without a strengthening rod.

Have fun!

RK

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Comment by john w on November 14, 2015 at 11:38am

I've used 7/16"aluminum bar stock  in single and double configurations and it works well.  I use the same approach gluing the bars into the slots with epoxy. 

Comment by Preston J. Laisure on June 27, 2015 at 4:57am

A router table is included in almost every project I've been involved with in one way or another, hence my choice. My table saw is too. What ever floats your boat.

Comment by Richey Kay on June 27, 2015 at 12:45am
Yep, a router table would be easier, but this is totally doable with a hand held router and a parallel guide.
Comment by Preston J. Laisure on June 26, 2015 at 6:54pm

Thank you for the info. I've had thoughts about rods, but hadn't known that one could be adjustment free 'til now. My experience level being a woodworker first & cbg builder 2nd, I could use either saw or router but my choice would be router mounted in a router-table to ensure stability of cut and the ends of the cut being vertical.

Comment by Rooster on June 25, 2015 at 11:34am

You can see how it just clamps to the bench with 2 clamps.........very very solid to work on. Even put a port on the fence for the shop vac. The router and shop vac plug into the power strip for easy on and off of both. When not using it I store it in the bottom of my table saw cabinet.

Comment by jabes on June 25, 2015 at 9:47am

today I saw a router table and 1350 watt router in Aldi for around £50 the two. I already have a router but was tempted all the same..

Comment by Rooster on June 24, 2015 at 11:36am

My router has 2 bases....a fixed and a plunge base. I just mounted the fixed base to the underside of the table and use the plunge base for free hand work. Takes less then 5 mins to set up. I will try to post a pic later to show you how it looks.

Comment by Richey Kay on June 24, 2015 at 1:39am

Thanks guys. Like I said this wasn't my idea but I always enjoy sharing the techniques I pick up along the way.

Rooster - sadly I don't think my router (Bosch POF1400) can be mounted in a table. Could be a good excuse to buy another one, I just need to convince my wife...

Comment by Rooster on June 23, 2015 at 12:57pm

Thanks for sharing Richey..........very easy to follow guide, as always :)

I saw a guy do something similar to this on youtube............he wanted to use pine for the neck and added the bar to keep it straight. A router allows so many possibilities in our builds. I built a small table for my router that clamps to the work bench............takes less then 5 mins to set up. Lots of plans for these on the net ;)

Scott.......great work on the banjo:)

Comment by ProfWaldo on June 23, 2015 at 12:30pm

Great post !.. clear, straight-forward directions and real nice pics. 

I've done the same using 1/8"x3/8" steel bar. Most common table saw blades cut a 1/8" slot very nicely. Although I made 2 passes to make the slot "slightly" wider to allow for adhesive.

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