I've recently acquired a beautiful Fender Mexican Standard Stratocaster (used) and it had .12 gauge strings installed which obviously destroyed my fingers. I replaced them with .11 which gave me a fret buzz in the middle of the neck, which is normal I presume, since there's less tension. After inspecting the neck from bottom up, it looked to be completely straight which meant I had to bow it a bit.

So I began to turn the truss rod counter-clockwise to put some back bow on the guitar to remove the buzz, but the rod kept turning with no resistance. After a few more turns, the truss rod nut itself came out "attached" to my hex tool. It had a bit of dried glue-type thing around the bottom of the nut, but the threads on both ends are otherwise intact. It can screw back in and out of the rod with ease. It can also release tension from the rod, adding forward bow to the neck.

My question is: if I can screw the nut back into the truss rod and it can tighten it, but when I go counter-clockwise it only goes for so long until it screws off - does that mean that my truss rod is no longer fixed in the other side (bottom) of the neck, inside? As in, the other end might've dug into the neck wood inside, letting it move when trying to bow it? If so, this even fixable without replacing the entire neck?

I will provide additional info about the gear and how it behaves, if asked.
I can't really afford a new replacement neck / truss rod replacement (which seems to cost more than a new neck), and really wish to find a solution to adding back bow into my neck without resorting to medieval lottery solutions like clamps, moisture or bending it myself.

Thank you very much.
Last edited by Axore at Jun 21, 2017,
The fact the guitar came to you with 12's should be a red flag. Obviously the previous owner knew there was something wrong with the neck, so they slapped a set of 12's on it to try and compensate for the back-bowing neck. This is probably the reason why he sold it to you in the first place.

This has probably happened because the previous owner hasn't been adjusting the truss rod frequently enough to maintain enough neck relief for the strings. Thus the neck has been allowed to creep into a backbow and take a set in that position.

What needs to happen now is that the neck needs to be forced into a forward bow with clamping pressure for several days, in the hope that the fibers in the neck will be crushed back into the correct shape. To do this, I suggest taking the guitar to a tech and demonstrating the nature of the problem to them.
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Quote by Axelfox
I also would try clamping to get a forward bow. One way is a couple of blocks, a beam and a clamp, but I've also wondered if it could be done simply by slackening the strings and putting a block between the strings and the fret board. Then tighten the strings to get a bending force like an archery bow.
Thanks for the suggestions! So the logic here is, because I only have the ability to straighten it I should manually bow it with clams and/or tension and if it bows too much I can adjust the rod, but only in one direction.
Little update, although a bit redundant: A wonderful person from Fender customer support has told me that my assumption is for the most part correct, but it's still fixable if the truss rod is still intact, and that I have to take it to a technician for further investigation.

Didn't disappoint, great customer service from Fender, just as I've heard many times before!