I'm back with a question, this time about the truss rod position.

It's for a set neck Les Paul style guitar.  I was wondering how much the adjustment nut has to be back in the channel. Also, does anybody know where to get the right tool to counterbore the area of the adjustment nut, since the nut is slightly wider than the channel?

Tags: adjustment, installation, rod, truss

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So far, you've asked questions about your LP build every step of the way. Might I suggest that you do MUCH more research BEFORE you begin. RESEARCH as in YOU buy the DVD's & books on how to do this.

Also, since you indicate that you will eventually sell these instruments, may we bill you as consultants?

No offense, but getting info from us and then applying it to a commercial venture without at least offering compensation is a bit (IMO) unethical.. There's a big difference between helping an individual with a few aspects of a repair or single instrument build and using this forum as a building guide consultation service for a commercial venture.

Might I also suggest trying to find a local luthier under whom you could train. Or, enroll in an established Luthier School.

Sorry if I seem cross, but any perception of questionable ethics is a very sore point with me. It tends to sully the craft.

Come on!  I'm 100 percent amateur, but if I didn't sell my builds, I'd have no room left  in my house (as Kathy Wingert once said she "had a steaming pile of builds").  I get your point (and a good one) that Micha needs to read-up first, but I recommend you re-consider your response. I think you over-reacted a tad and would probably chase noobs off.

Everyone has gotten help before, Pros and non.

Not to pile on here, I think that our friend Paul's comments are very much to the point but here are a few things to add.

That truss rod, the Stew-Mac "Hot Rod" sucks in my humble opinion.  I've seen at least three of these split out the back of the neck on new builds.  One was a commission that was to sell to it's awaiting lucky steward for over $6K.... and also a LP styled guitar.  And of course the split out the back of the neck had to also happen after the instrument was finished and undergoing final set-up.

Not saying that these rods suck mind you and splitting a neck is also a function of how thick the builder leaves the neck but, well..... maybe these rods do suck.... ;)  Anyway three near fatal mishaps was enough for me to see to keep me up at night so I prefer the Allied rods.

As for how much of the adjustor needs to be sticking out, none of it, it just needs to be easily accessible and free to function.

As for widening the slot where the adjuster is there are LOTs of ways to do this task from a wimpy, king-of-runout Dr*mel tool with sanding drum to chisels and hand tools.

Consider using a different rod though especially if you are into really profiling the necks for maximum comfort and minimal material...

Back to Paul's comments.  These wonderful folks here on FRETs contribute to others here out of the kindness of their hearts AND a shared affinity for advancing the trade of Lutherie.  There is nothing in this for them/us usually and most of these questions we have seen over and over again.  It's not that we know it all, far from it...., but what it is is that many if not most questions for us we have dealt with a trillion times prior.

So we like members who want assistance to at least make an effort to help themselves and then come to us if they can't find answers by searching the forum, archives, etc.  Once we think that we are dealing with someone who has tried to help themselves most of us will go to the ends of the earth to help each other.  Paul is one of my role models in this respect and one of the very few who nearly everything that I read from him is concise, uber accurate, and very complete.  He's taught me many things too.

So all we are asking is that before firing off questions, even basic questions, please either attempt to search for answers yourself since there is a wealth of info here on the forum already or at least indicate that you have done so in your post, even if you have not.... ;)  That's what I would do..... :)

I'd like to second what you said about those rods. I've seen one of those rods pop a fingerboard off before.

Sorry guys if I "offend" anybody here by asking too simple questions. Not my intention.

Simple questions are usually answered with a simple short answer, and I guess I thought that you guys would be willing to help out a person that is very interested in building guitars with half a minute of your time and a piece of information.

I am definitely not going to pose as an experienced luthier or a guitar company and "use" your advice against you by stealing all your clients away after I finally know how to install that truss rod! I don't know IF I will ever sell a guitar at all. It was actually here in this forum that people assumed I want to sell these very instruments and become a boutique guitar builder. Should not be of anyone's concern but mine to start with anyhow.

I think it's actually rather rude to call me "unethical" for asking a question in a forum that I have applied for and have been approved. It's supposed to be a "meeting place for Instrument Builders, Repairs and Players" - RIGHT? I teach guitar for 20+ years and even now that I work with very highly regarded musicians I still teach (sometimes) and gladly give simple or complicated advice to anybody, beginner or college. That's a matter of keeping one's good style up, I guess ;-)

Maybe I should claim some money from my students that sold a couple of albums after I showed them the pentatonic scale... hehe :-)

Also, why do people assume that I don't research, read or google my questions at all? I have not come to you guys "every step on the way" like Paul claims - you very well know how much steps building a guitar has, and I think I have asked about 3 questions in 6 months here since I have been starting the project? I am researching, reading and talking to people on the phone about my project a bunch, and sometimes I though it would be great to hear a few angles like the very useful part of Hesh's reply when he talks about the Hot Rod.

Somebody once said that the noise ratio on this forum is so low and quality info and good times is what everybody is after here. Well, we created a lot of noise right here, a lot more than usable info for sure.

Again, sorry for offending anyone, it seems I have underestimated the grumpyness and snappyness factor of this forum's members. At the same time thanks for the advice that non or half-grumpy members are willing to give :-) I will better myself in the future.


I totally agree with you. So what if you are selling them. How many guys on this forum have repair shops that ask questions and make money off there repairs. I thought this forum was to help the other guy no criticize them for questions. It's different if your try to sell on this site in my opinion. Those guys where totally unfair to criticize you and StewMac like they did. I'm with you. Have a great day and try not to let it get to you. Just a thought.


Thanks for your reply Mike!

I'm not taking it too seriously. I'm just trying to learn. Building guitars is too much fun to be stiff and protective about it. I also want to respect this forum and members, and if we all behave in good style we are having a great time doing that :-)

Greetings from sunny LA!

Hi Micha,

  I don't think the issue brought out by Paul's post is intended to create "noise", ( and I would respectfully remind you that the "noise" you refer to is generated by one of the most helpful people on the forum.) but it seem clear to me that you are unaware of just how much you are asking the members of this forum.


Since you don't seem to remember and haven't looked, I checked for you. You posted your first thread about 9 months ago and have started sixteen threads so far. Thirteen of those threads, starting on December 22, 2013 have been about this build. As you can see if you look, you have started many more threads with questions about this build than the "3" you think you have. On those 13 threads there are 117 responses. Some of them are yours and some are off topic but the fact remains that there are a lot of posts here that are directed at answering your questions. I think if you consider these numbers, particularly in view of the realization that you were, previously, unaware of how often you come here for advice, you can see how it is possible to think that there could be a lack of respect for the time and efforts of your fellow posters.  


As I have followed these threads, it seems clear to me that you were not as well prepared for this build as you could have been and you appear to be flying by the seat of  your pants a lot. Consider this; you started a thread about where to locate wood for the neck and another asking how to go about routing the slot for the rod and now, a third asking for advice about fitting the rod to the slot. It seems pretty clear to me  that you are building with little preparation and learning as you go rather than planning out things ahead of time. In my opinion, you are very enthusiastic about your project but it's also just as clear that you jumped into it before you really understood what you were going to do.  

There's nothing wrong with doing it this way if it is the way you want to approach it but answering your "short" questions often take considerable time and effort.  When they often appear to be requesting information that you probably could have or should have dealt with much earlier in the build if not before you started the project and which some research time probably would have answered for you it's not hard to see that you're using the forum as a "school".  Again, an example; If you're going to make a neck from scratch, the type of adjustment rod, how the slot is designed, and  access the adjustment nut should probably be determined before you start making the neck or better yet when you plan the guitar. The approach you are taking comes across a bit like a series of crisis in the making to me as you seem to be building until your stumped then go looking for how it should be done.  

My point is that you don't appear to have done much planning or spent very much time studying up on the processes you undertook and it appears that you are trying to use the knowledge of the people here to compensate for your lack of preparation  The resources you request from the other forum members is freely given but shouldn't be taken for granted and it sort of feels like that is what you are doing. If you were only discussing "how-to" issues, there would be time to make recommendations for you rather than the feeling that your request for information are almost too late. Early on, you probably would have been advised to slow down, study up on the process and plan the ONE guitar you were going to build in your first attempt. Your choices aren't "wrong" but I'm not too sure that your assumption that this forum would be willing or even able to compensate over and over again for what appears to be a lack of knowledge and planning on your part, was realistic.  

I don't think anyone wants you to fail but you should realized that most of us have spent a lot of time learning what we know. Most of us can remember the first build or repair we undertook and a lot of us had almost no resources to help us understand what we can't understand  or help us avoid simple, common pitfalls.  A lot of us are here now to continue to learn but many of us are also here because we are willing to share the what we have learned so it is not so hard to learn how to do "this". I think that a lot of the issue I see here is that  I don't know of anyone that is here to run a guitar building school and your posting has the feel of someone more in need of a guitar building school than advice about some points of confusion. Questions are good but it's often the case that the best questions are the one's asked after some personal time in research and preparation. These questions are usually more focused, along the lines of " I don't understand this.."  and and not so much "teach me how to do this."    

The forum is a great place to get advice but it's not really the sort of place to get "schooled" and it's my impression that "school" may be more what you need than advice. 


I am taking a lot of time planning and reading up on my build. I don't understand people assume I don't. If this forum is not welcoming new builders you guys should announce that more clearly. I do not use this forum as a school, neither are my questions stupid or asked impolitely. I am starting out and I am not hiding that. 13 posts? Oh my, I must have really overdone it. And I certainly did not force anybody to answer them one way or the other. People can't just ignore a guy who's posting questions that are so below their standards that it upsets them? I see how hard that is, since I am posting with the horrendous frequency .5 posts per week!

I'm sorry you feel so slighted, Micha.  I pulled the numbers because you brought them up in an earlier post so I assumed that they were important to you. It was your contention that you have "asked about 3 questions in 6 months... ".  Clearly, you had no idea how often you have come here to get answers so I simply gave you the facts. It was your "proof" not mine, I just corrected your mistake.

I also though it would help you understand my opinions better if you realized that your perceptions were not correct. It's troubling to see that you seem unaware of the amount of help you have already received. I can't help thinking that you may not appreciate the fact that you have had a fairly extensive amount of help from people on this forum already and that makes me think you do not respect their efforts as much as you could.  Personally, I don't think the number of  questions you ask is the issue so much as the idea that you don't appear to be to be trying too hard to avoid the problem in the first place coupled with the feeling that you're unaware of just how much effort has been expended on your behalf .

What I wrote is my impression based upon reading your threads as it was written. In other words, I didn't just come up with this today, I've been think this way for some time. If you can slow down a bit, and read my post again it should be fairly clear that I am giving you my impression of your approach as witnessed by the posts/questions you make. Clearly, you are not completely ignorant on the topic but the questions you are asking cause me think that you are not as well prepared as you could be and that some more attention to researching details could pay you big dividend. I believe it's fair to say that you confirmed this opinion in your last post to me where you indicate that you are "taking a lot of time planning and reading up on my build."  I noted that this is in the present tense which appears to supports to my conclusions that you are planning on the fly.

Again,  I'm not saying that it's "wrong" to approach your build in this manner but it's a pretty sure bet that this way of working will bring you problems that could be have been avoided and I believe it is fairly presumptive to assume that your fellow site members are willing to devote lots of time and effort to solving problems that better planning and preparation may have avoided completely.  

I'll end with a couple of points you seem to be missing;  I think you are missing the idea that YOU might have a better time of it and a better out come if you were better prepared and had a better grasp of the details before you start. You've already stumbled over a couple of fairly big issues that probably could have been avoided with better planning up front. It's not too late to slow up and reassess how you are approaching the project.  It could be that you can answer some of your question for yourself before you're in the middle of something and wondering how to do it. It's easy enough to do this even with good planning and forethought. I just doesn't seem fair to you or to the friends you are building for to not do the best job you can, which in my book includes good planning and a sound knowledge base.

The last thing is something I believe you should think about; You are absolutely right, we don't have to read your threads and we don't have to respond but just think about where you would be now if people here hadn't read and responded. 

Thanks Hash,

I am very grateful for the advice received. I got a lot out of the answers out of this forum. I think you guys have to stop assuming though what level of preparation I went through to get my guitars build. The reason why I am asking simple questions is because I want simple answers. I am doing very well on my first 3 guitars, and there is a lot more that I have to learn since I started with zero tools and supplies. If somebody does not like my approach on building guitars, well what can I say.

I am a professional guitar player (meaning making a living) for all my life. I know a thing or two about guitars since I look at them for hours daily. One thing that is really disappointing me here is that people want to invoke the feeling in me that I misuse or abuse the forum, or that I don't show respect to the older members accomplishments.

Well, in the professional music scene, the better and more successful the players get, the more open they are and they will give you advice on ALL LEVELS freely. BECAUSE they know only because they tell you what scale Joe Pass uses on that chord WILL NOT MAKE YOU play as good or sound like Joe Pass. THERE IS NO REASON to keep information secret, or having an attitude about who asked and how many books that person read before.

I am not going after any special trade secrets that any of you guys developed or anything like that. I am asking basic questions to you guys because a straight short answer is all I need to progress and understand. And you all certainly know, that 13 questions about basics will not build you a complete guitar. I researched my questions OF COURSE (so please don't say I didn't because this is getting ridiculous) and sometimes (13 times) since December I also posted my question here if I STILL WAS UNSURE.The attitude some members of this forum have towards this issue is in my opinion very disappointing. We all come here because we are serious about guitars and about building guitars. Your approach is not the same as mine? Well I am sure there are many ways to build a guitar, and there are no stupid questions, just stupid answers... This discussion is leaving a bad taste in my mouth and I build guitars for FUN and as an outlet of my devotion to the instrument. SO I will continue routing some neck pockets on my porch now, that feels much better than to continue talking about this....

Micha your replies are perfect examples of some of the points that have been made by others and you don't seem to recognize this.  You apologize and then in the same post claim folks are snapping at you and are grumpy....  That's personal and an overstep on your part.

So out of over 20,000 posts that I have made on this and other forums where rarely have I asked for anything for myself but insteady usually posted solely to help others I have an apology for you.

I apologize to you, Micha, for assuming that my contributions to you were well placed.  They clearly were not.  You seem to feel entitled to the assitance of others, that's my view now, and when others take issue with your attitude you lash out.

So I apologize to you for assuming that you are the sort that I want to help - you clearly are not and this was my mistake and mine alone.  

Regarding assisting beginners we have done so countless times and will continue to do so countless more times because we a) wish to advance the trade and b) remember what it was like for us and the value, the great value that we placed on any assitance that was offered to us.  In my case rarely did I not  attempt to see the "value" in the assitance provided favoring to get personal with those helping me out of the kindness of their hearts because I found fault with not the message but the delivery.

We are imperfect, at least I most certainly am and as such I make mistakes.  I read Paul's comments and agreed with him, more so now than ever because you Micha filled in the blanks for me.

Now my interest is in resolution and a resloution that serves you as well as it serves everyone else including me.  You have a choice to take my comments for what they are worth and take an honest look at how you approach us, what your questions are, the effort that you contribute to finding your own answers before asking questions that indicate that you may not be using your own reasoning abilities.  I'm sure you have these reasoning abilities, I can clearly see this in your posts.

Please also consider why some of us offer help to others....  What's in it for us?  Could it be that we are actually providing a service to you and others?

Maybe too you can show me the last time that Paul or I asked the forum to help us with something?  Maybe that will get you searching the forum or you can start a thread titled "Hey Everyone, Please Help Me Find Posts By Paul Or Hesh Where They Shamelessly Ask For Help Being Too Lazy To Search The Forum On Their Own....."  ;)  My hunch is that you won't find any posts like this where we ask others to help us with money making advice.  The comment regarding money making advice is directed at Michael...

Or you can continue to claim that somone was mean to you and that as such we are a bunch of grumps who stay up late at night plotting the next attack on a newb builder.....

My hope is that you consider respecting this forum a bit more and most importantly the good people here who make this great forum what it is.  If you do see my point I am happy to help you if I can.  If not I'm done with you.


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