I'm trying to decide how to route for the truss rod on a strat neck.

This is my first complete from scratch build and I am not sure what to do. What's common practice, routing a truss rod channel straight or curved?

Thanks in advance for your replies, I appreciate the help I get here a lot!

Tags: neck, rod, routing, strat, truss

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Are you using a one way (single) rod? what type? Using a separate fretboard  or looking to  rout in the trussrod from the rear?

The traditional single rod uses a curved channel, modern types are often straight.


If I were you I'd go with the two way trust-rod that has a straight channel for the trust rod. Plus, you can't run out of adjustment like the traditional single trust-rods. If it ever broke, which I doubt you can just slide it out and replace it with a new one. It doesn't get any better. I get mine from Stew Mac's.Just a thought,


Either a curved or straight channel will work fine with a conventional compression rod. Gibson actually curved their rods in reverse for many years, and they still functioned just fine because the curve is a far secondary influence to it's position within the neck. As long as it is reasonably far to the back side of the center of material, it still serves to pull counter to string pull on the other side.

Whether a compression rod needs to be curved or not more often depends on where you want the nut access. If it's adjustable at the heel you'll be perfectly fine with a straight slot. If you want headstock adjustment then you will likely need to curve the rod to brig it's end further up to provide access above the face of the headstock.

Yes I figured it depends - I really like the dual action truss rod with the spoke wheel at the heel end (Stew Mac has it, I have a handmade guitar from Germany that has that, I really love it)

But then I like having 22 frets too, and in that case the extended fretboard is sticking out and would cover up the spokes wheel.

So for let's say a Les Paul the truss rod channel would always be curved? Makes sense, because it has to curve upwards to come out at the headstock, right?

A straight truss rod channel seems just easier for a beginner like me. How do you guys rout the curve though? How doe your jig look like? I hop I don't ask too many questions, haha. I make a living playing and now I want to full fill my childhood dream and start building!

I'll assume you are talking separate fretboard.

A curved channel is quite simple on a router table

Draw up the crossection you want

Just rout the whole length at minimum depth, then take shorter cuts progressively deeper keeping within your crossection, then blend the base of the cut to a smooth curve with chisel or scraper.

No jig required just a fence on the router table

Got you! Yes, all of my scenarios have a separate fretboard indeed!

The method you describe sounds good, I wouldn't mind building a jig either... I am lucky I have a pro furniture maker that is helping me out in his shop for my first couple of builds... I have to find some drawings online though to understand what I would be going for with the curved channel...


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