Gibson neck/trussrod ?


Gold Supporting Member
Got a killer Historic LP today, 2001 I believe. Plays really well. I am a pretty darn good setup guy, but have a ? I could use some further insight to please.
The neck is set perfect per most people's specs, slight relief/bow as is the typical norm.

I however prefer my guitars to have basically zero or a wee under relief, straight or wee bit under. My last two LP's I set this way as well.
So as I got to tweak the neck a hair, I notice the trussrod nut has been cranked on before, (rounded/slightly stripped) typical, no biggie I just have to be careful to get a good fit with the wrench.

So, the trussrod is basically darn near as tight as it is going to get, I got in maybe 1/8-1/4 turn, I would prefer maybe 1/4-1/2 more turn to get it perfect for me. Surely don't want to overtighten it and snap that sucker! I have never broke a trussrod, nor do I want this historic to be the first one I do snap. Should I go for the extra little turn or leave well enough alone? How much more can they go once they are at the point of being fairly tight? I guess I'm aksing for the "give" factor.

Now most of my guitars do tend to bow in the winter here in Ohio, we did just add a humidfier to our furnace which has been helping the overall air itself in the house. In summers, I usally have to loosen my trussrods a tad as they tend to backbow. Guitars I've had for some time I know them to a T and can basically tweak their necks each season by memory. I am hoping once summer gets here (we do have to use a dehumidifer in my guitar room/furnished basement in new house) this LP will do the typical backbow on me and I'll be good to roll.
I love the guitar, darn near best feeling LP I've owned or played. So I do not want to return it to the guy I got it from, whom by the way is more than cool about it and offered right away to undo our deal no probs. that's not what I want to do, you all know how hard it is to find a great LP that fits you.

So, if worse came to worse and a few years down the road the neck was totally tightened and it was bowed beyond how I would be comfy with, what would need to be done specifically? How many options at that time?
I have used a heat press before, but sure as heck would hate to on this guitar. Could a luthier reset the neck or readjust the trussrod? How in-depth are those processess? Or, am I totally missing something small here I could try? Totally loosen it and start again?
Any help or suggestions are greatly appreciated!


Platinum Supporting Member
ok, stupid suggestions first:

lube with a bit of oil on the rod's threads & wax in the nut's threads?

replace nut with non-rounded one?

drop a little washer behind the nut?

i'm with you on liking them as straight as i can get away with.


Gold Supporting Member
Interesting, but what will any of that do? I ask that respectfully and inquistively sir.
The nut itself is not the issue, it can be turned and has some edges left, would ideally be enough (if very careful) for many, many years to come.
Washer behind nut sounds interesting, but what would that help?

David Collins

Stacking a washer or two is useful if the nut is bottoming out on the threads of the rod. Not too terribly common with Gibsons, but certainly not unheard of either. If it feels like it's coming to a rather abrupt stop, this is likely to help. If it just feels like it's reaching maximum torque as any truss rod will, then the washers won't typically have much to offer.

If that doesn't work, I've been experimenting with what I guess you could call a pseudo-compression fretting technique over the past year, and have been very happy with the results. Ends up as just a bit more time than a fret dress, but as far as I can tell so far has just as good of results as a full compression refret. I don't heat treat to straighten cases like this anymore. Or of course there is also the standard compression fretting if they are worn or you want a different size anyway.

First though, Walter's first suggestion of lubricating the nut is where to start. It's sometimes surprising how much more room a truss rod will offer when the nut is lubricated.


Gold Supporting Member
Dave, thanks, as to Walter as well sir.
The compression technique is new to me, I don't do frets! Hate it and am too sloppy at that and wiring stuff, so that I leave to the gusy who can.
Any links or mor einfo on the compression though, I don't quite get it?
FWIW, it does feel like the torwue is at it's near maximum.
My plan is to check this thread for a few dyas, play the heck out of it, and see if it has settled or changed any, etc after a few days after shipping and my tuning (1/2 step down).

So, could be bootoming out, never heard of that, then again guess I've never really had to take too many steps further than the norm.
So, take the nut off, put a washer on, put nut on, tighten and adjust and see where that gets me? Simple enough.
Thanks so much you two!~


Making UPS, FEDEX and USPS richer every day!
Gold Supporting Member
to slack and see if the nut will tighten a bit more. No need to fight those strings.


Gold Supporting Member
Good news, and Wlater's suggestions were right on!
Took off the nut, the rod threads were rusty. I put alittle WD40 on the threads to clean that, then took some of my Harley grease and put a wee tiny bit on it, added a small single washer an it worked! Wow, never would guessed it!
Thnaks for everything and all the tips! Truly appreciated.

Trending Topics

Top Bottom