Weather Related Instability

yardbird mac

Member
Messages
1,383
Is anyone else having neck/fretboard instability issues due to this winter we're having? Both of my GIBSON Les Pauls have gone from rock solid stable (tuning/playability) to ... not so much. We've had a little bit of a rougher winter here in central Ohio than has been usual for the past 4 - 5 years.

At first it was my 2004 R9. I've had that guitar for a little over 9 years and have never had ANY neck/fretboard problems with it. The truss rod has only been adjusted twice (2005 by Dan Erlewine, and 2007 at LAY's in Akron). Beyond that, it has been an awesome playing guitar.

Three days ago my 2003 Standard got "snake bitten". I've never had to adjust the truss rod on this one. It resides in Ohio, but I've travelled with it to several (drier) western states in years past without any adjustments necessary. Now, it too, is temperamental. It won't stay in tune and there is some fret buzz. Even with raising the action on both guitars, the problem is not alleviated.

Truss rod adjustments are not something I like to do myself and I'm wondering if I should wait to see if changes in our weather will bring these instruments back to "normal" before I drag them off to a tech.

Both guitars have little, if any, fret wear so I'm leaving that possibility out of the equation.
 

InkStained

Member
Messages
3,891
If you're not comfortable tweaking your relief, learn how to do it or leave it alone. It's not hard. But neither is it worth worrying about.

Adjusting the truss rod everytime there's a weather-related change will drive you crazy.

I'm probably 200 miles away from you. I haven't seen any dramatic relief changes due to weather or anything. I have a 2008 Martin 000-28 whose truss rod has never been touched.
 

phazersonstun

Member
Messages
3,117
With the exception of fretwork, I do my own setup / electronics work.
Its pretty normal for me to have to make minor tweaks when the seasons change on most of my guitars. Usually it's just a trussrod tweak.

I'm in PA so the swings in temperature can be pretty drastic. Particularly the last few years.
While I was recording some ideas last night on a favorite partscaster, I could feel the fret ends. I had previously filed these down smooth & they were unnoticeable a couple of months earlier. Shrinkage, its not just for guys in cold water.
 
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ClassTone

Member
Messages
257
My '59 roundback tele neck did add a bunch of relief from the cold and more so the dry here in the NE this year. I usually have to give it an 1/8 of a turn form time to time anyway. Haven't done it this winter, the relief it added seems to have really let the tone ring. Some guy I let use it last night says "you really got the action way up there" I didn't think it was all that high but hey tone first....
 

TDJMB

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,586
I need to do a bunch of adjustments but I'm going to wait until the weather gets closer to normal and stays there. I've got a humidifier on the furnace and in-case humidifiers but they can't keep up with this weather.
 

strumnhum

Member
Messages
1,321
Went to play my Strat and noticed something off--guess the cold dry weather shrunk the wood in the neck--took a pretty good twist to get it back where I had it--probably be loosening the truss come spring when humidity returns.
 

jrh_67

Member
Messages
88
I started a similar thread just yesterday about my Wolgang! I noticed a couple days ago that my neck "shrank" and my fret ends are sticking out almost to the point they would cut you. I've had this guitar a couple years and have never had this problem but I guess soon it will be off the the shop to get the frets filed down unless it just magically fixes itself when it warms up.....
 

thelatrobe33

Member
Messages
202
I'm in OH also and I just had to adjust the truss rod on my LP for the first time since buying it years ago. There's been a 50 degree swing in the weather just this week.
 

JWDubois

Member
Messages
7,944
I haven't done any adjustments yet, but two of my guitars that I pulled out in the last couple of days were a half step flat. Normally they might be just a little off.

They could stand to have the truss rod tightened, but I'll wait until it warms up next week.

My little cheap banger acoustic also has developed a bad case of sharp fret ends.
 

Ape Factory

Member
Messages
2,504
We have crazy jumps in temps and humidity levels down here in Florida. During the summer, when the A/C is on 24/7, everything's stable. But we'll get a 30 degree jump in temps within a day and it plays havoc on guitar setup. I've gotten really good at setting them up quickly. But I usually check once a week or whenever something seems amiss while playing. My quarter sawn wenge neck telecaster seems to be the most stable.
 

yardbird mac

Member
Messages
1,383
Thanks for the responses... I'm going to check the fretboard tomorrow and adjust accordingly. As I sit here typing this, we are starting to get some moisture back in the atmosphere and the temp. is above freezing. I don't want to tweak either Lester any more than I have to!
 




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