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Mar 1, 2021 - 5:45:02 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

I have a new-to-me 20 year old Huber that probably hasn't been played in awhile. When I received it, it was buzzing a bit on the 4th string when fretted at the 5th fret. The fret looks fine and when sighting down the neck, it looked like it could use a little relief. I tried to adjust the truss rod but it wouldn't budge in either direction. I tried a tiny bit of CLR on the allen head under the truss rod cover and tried to let a little run down the sides of the allen head. I let it sit for a day and tried again. Still wouldn't budge. I did the same process 2 more times with no luck. Over the weekend I did the same with a tiny bit of Kroil. Still no luck.

It's actually fixing itself as it acclimates to my house and is now hardly buzzing but I'd like to get this truss rod freed up. Any other tricks? I guess one of the things I'm confused about is where to actually put the oil. I assume putting it in the allen head slot (the actual hole for an allen wrench) does nothing as that doesn't allow access to the truss rod threads? Should I get a syringe and try to get a little more past the allen head? The total amount of CLR I used may have been a drop (but I don't even know if it got to where it needs to be). I used maybe a drop of Kroil on my 4th and last attempt.

Mar 1, 2021 - 7:02:48 PM

74240 posts since 5/9/2007

I would guess it doesn't need any more oil.
It should "loosen" to add relief if it works like a Cox 2-way truss rod.
There should be no need to "tighten" it,imo.

Mar 1, 2021 - 7:29 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

Yea. I was trying to loosen (counter-clockwise when looking from the head stock end). I just tried the other way to see if maybe it was maxed out in the one direction.

Mar 2, 2021 - 4:53:11 AM

4604 posts since 11/20/2004

A two way rod threads through two different blocks, one at each end. I doubt the likelihood of ever getting oil to both. I would contact Huber for suggestions as he may have encountered this before. The last thing you want is the head to break off the rod. It could be corrosion or glue that got in there during assembly. Steve should have an idea of what is causing it.

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:16:12 AM

1603 posts since 7/2/2007

Where are all those guys from the thread last week "Rant against adjustable truss rods" who said they wouldn't build or buy a banjo without an adjustable truss rod? They must know how to fix this.

Stuck and broken truss rods are one of the problems with them.

Some times the only way to fix them is to remove the fingerboard.

One way to avoid problems is to build with stainless steel truss rods but they are more expensive.

Definitely call Huber for advice. You don't really want to soak the wood in the slot with oil.

Good luck and please let us know how you resolve this.

Mar 2, 2021 - 6:42:31 AM

Alex Z

USA

4190 posts since 12/7/2006

"When I received it, it was buzzing a bit on the 4th string when fretted at the 5th fret. The fret looks fine and when sighting down the neck, it looked like it could use a little relief. I tried to adjust the truss rod but it wouldn't budge in either direction."

Adjusting the relief has the most effect near the nut, then less and less up the fretboard.  By the time you get to the 7th fret, there will be very little effect.

So if the 4th string is not buzzing at the 1st-4th frets -- and neither are the other strings -- it is unlikely that the buzz on the 5th fret (and no buzz for other strings on the 5th fret) is being caused by insufficient neck relief.

What's the measurement of the neck relief now under the 4th string and under the 1st string?  (Standard measurement is from by fretting the string at the 1st fret and after the 22nd fret, and measuring from top of 7th fret to bottom of string.)  That would provide more information on what's going on.   If it's on the order of .020 + or -, relief is probably OK.  .010 would be very low, and .025 would be on the high side.

Mar 2, 2021 - 8:19:09 AM

74240 posts since 5/9/2007

With the "automatic" response of tightening a fastener to fix a problem my guess is that someone at one time tried to add relief by tightening the rod beyond all reason and possibly even stripping the threads to where they will no longer engage.

Just an "armchair" guess.

Mar 2, 2021 - 3:39:36 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

What's the measurement of the neck relief now under the 4th string and under the 1st string?  (Standard measurement is from by fretting the string at the 1st fret and after the 22nd fret, and measuring from top of 7th fret to bottom of string.)  That would provide more information on what's going on.   If it's on the order of .020 + or -, relief is probably OK.  .010 would be very low, and .025 would be on the high side.


4th is .010  -  1st is .007

So, definitely quite low.

Mar 3, 2021 - 8:55:14 AM

74240 posts since 5/9/2007

I keep mine at .015" @ 7.You're not far from that.
Any adjustment would be slight.
A small"encouragement" by hand might help.Hold down at the 9th fret and gently pull up under the volute,then measure at 7 again.

Mar 3, 2021 - 2:15:34 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

I emailed Steve. He said he didn't know what could cause it. He did say, "Try bearing down on it."

Looking down the neck, there's definitely no relief. It's pretty darn flat down there. I used the lower coordinator rod to increase the action a tiny bit which has improved things. Ultimately, I'd like to get it resolved so I can put the rods back to neutral. Although, the tone didn't seem to suffer from the adjustment.

Edited by - Brian on 03/03/2021 14:16:10

Mar 3, 2021 - 6:36:26 PM

Alex Z

USA

4190 posts since 12/7/2006

"4th is .010  -  1st is .007"

"So, definitely quite low."

Agree.  You might want it up in the .015-.020 range.    .005 might seem like a tiny number, yet the difference is significant when setting neck relief.  

Do you loosen the strings when turning the truss rod nut?

Mar 3, 2021 - 8:23:18 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

quote:
Originally posted by Alex Z

Do you loosen the strings when turning the truss rod nut?


No. Never have before. Do you think it'd make a difference?

Mar 4, 2021 - 7:25:13 AM

Alex Z

USA

4190 posts since 12/7/2006

Some luthiers and manufacturers say to loosen the strings.  Some say it doesn't make any difference.

Since you're having difficulty turning the nut, and nut is applying pressure on the rod, and the rod is applying pressure on the neck, and the strings also apply pressure on the neck, you might try loosening the strings -- removing one element of pressure -- and see what happens when turning the nut. 

Loosening the strings removes one element of the unknown in solving the difficulty here, which is to get the nut to turn.

Since the purpose of the truss rod is to counteract the tension of the strings, when both are applying pressure to the neck, turning the nut is in fact countering pressure from the strings.  So we remove the string pressure, and see what happens.

[And, yes, there will be responders who say they never loosen the strings, and you don't have to, and it doesn't make any difference.  And to them I'd say, the immediate point here is not to adjust the relief on the neck -- that's for later.  The immediate point is to diagnose why the nut cannot be turned with a reasonable effort.]

Edited by - Alex Z on 03/04/2021 07:30:55

Mar 4, 2021 - 11:36:53 AM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

I will try it !

Mar 4, 2021 - 3:12:57 PM

8385 posts since 8/28/2013

This may be a bad idea, but I'll throw it out there anyway.

If somehow something got in there, like glue or finishing material, it might be possible to loosen it with a little heat. To do this, you could touch the Allen screw rod with the tip of a small soldering iron. (It would need to be small (and held with a very steady hand) so that nothing else gets burned. Glued in frets and recalcitrant 5th string tuners are sometimes loosened with heat.
 

Mar 4, 2021 - 6:28:39 PM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

I tried moving it with the string tension removed. I also combined that with Steve's advice "to bear down on it". It felt like it moved but I think it was actually the allen wrench turning without the nut moving. The wrench fits fairly snug but there is a slight bit of play. I'm guessing the 9/64" wrench I'm using is correct as I think I tried a 4mm and it was too big.

Anyway, it probably stripped and only complicated the issue because I don't see any relief and the issue is still there. Might have to send the neck off to someone or have Steve make another if it becomes a huge issue. Although I am annoyed that the issue exists at all.

Mar 6, 2021 - 9:14:50 AM

Brian

USA

3535 posts since 1/21/2003

Today I marked the nut with a marker to see if the wrench was slipping or the nut was turning. The nut is turning! I was able to add relief so I put the coordinator rods back to normal.

It took considerable effort Thursday to break it loose. I was willing to break the neck or rod to make something happen. I would normally be very uncomfortable putting that much force on it, but between Steve Huber's advice and some folks here, I said, WTH, if it breaks it breaks.

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