#1
hi,I have two guitars and would like to lower my action but am afraid of doing damage to my neck.on one guitar i have the action is perfect and it is perfectly intonated but unfortunately needs new machine heads and some electrical work done to it.(and i'm skint ££££ the other is a guitar i purchased off the internet without ever trying it(big mistake)and this is the one that needs its action lowered.if i just drop the bridge and tailpiece obviously the intonation will be out(re-intonating i can do)but I am worried about the effects on the neck,would the truss need re-adjusted(if so i would have to take it to a luthier-i won't touch the truss)one of the posts on my tailpiece is also leaning towards the neck on the bass string side and this is one of my worries wether there is too much tension on the neck.both necks at the moment are level.can anyone help?
#2
It would really help to know what type of bridge you have. Also, unless you are using a really heavy gauge string and tuning to C, you shouldn't need to adjust the truss rod. Check to see if it bows...
#3
hi, it's a gibson style tunomatic bridge,I use medium guage and just standard tuning.
#5
thanks for the help avianoguitarist,I was just worried about damaging the neck.any ideas as to what is causing the post on the tailpiece to lean towards the neck on one side while the other is flush?
#6
Quote by Allycuk
thanks for the help avianoguitarist,I was just worried about damaging the neck.any ideas as to what is causing the post on the tailpiece to lean towards the neck on one side while the other is flush?


How high is it sticking out above the body? Sounds like, without seeing it first, the post threaded bushing hole was not drilled properly (might be rounded out a bit).
#7
Yeah, I think aviano is right. Check that out next time you put on new strings. Grab the post firmly and see if it has some wiggle. It shouldn't budge, but since you say it's leaning, my guess is it will. Worst case scenario is you'ææ have to fill the hole with a snug-fitting dowel and redrill it.

And you'll pretty much never need to fiddle with the truss rod for action adjustments, assuming the neck relief is completely perfect like it is- if it's not then you'll have to mess with the truss rod, but not because of the action adjustment. The thing is- with lower action, improper neck relief will be way less forgiving.

Try to visualize which direction the strings are pulling, starting at the nut. Lowering the bridge by a few fractions of an inch is barely gonna affect the direction of the string pull, and hence (as per the rules of leverage) the forces the truss rod will have to overcome will pretty much not change, unless you're a total fuddy-duddy that measures everything under laboratory conditions.
#8
thanks guys,yeah the post is slightly loose (hole is slightly to big i think)i thought thats what it was but feel comfortable with a second opinion.I'm gonna drop the action and if the neck bows i'll just need to take it to a pro to set it up for me.I just wanted to make sure I'm not gonna damage my neck.thanks for the help guys
#9
Why is everyone scared fo the bloody truss rod? I keep hearing all these doomsday scenarios about necks breaking and suchlike but the fact is, it's near impossible to damage a guitar when making adjustments to the neck. As long as you stay within a reasonable adjustment range, don't make ridiculous amounts of turns or - god forbid - go postal with a power screwdriver, it'll be fine.

Assuming your neck's straight(ish) you shouldn't need much adjustment after lowering your action. Occasionally I add a quarter-turn or so of relief to my tele when I've lowered the action, otherwise bends can feel a bit rigid in the higher frets. After all, very few instruments are comfortable to play with an arrow-straight neck....
#10
hi ,I was just wondering if anyone could give me some information about truss rod adjustment,i haven't lowered my action yet but the action is very high and has to come down drastically and i'm pretty sure it will have an effect on the neck tension.e.g what does a clockwise turn do to the neck and what does cc do?will lowering the action put more strain on the neck?and how do i relieve the tension if it does?
#11
Clockwise (tightening) makes the neck bend back more, and counterclockwise (loosening) will make it bend in towards the fretboard side.

Lowering the action may make the strings pull the neck a bit less 'forward', making a slight ack bow, calling for the truss rod to be loosened. But if you're not changing the action by much, it may not even need adjusted.
#12
thanks for the info james,i was worried that lowering would increase tension(i got it wrong way around but if lowering relieves tension then as you say i may not even need to adjust the truss(i think it has too much tension on it at the moment maybe thats with the action being so high on it,the action is nearly as high as an acoustic),after i get the action set up i'll check the neck after a few months and see if it develops a bow.I was checkin your project out earlier on today and was mighty impressed by the way,looking forward to seeing the finished article.I would love to build a guitar but don't have the woodwork skills or the confidence to do it.In the future when i get some cash together i wanna put a strat together with parts any ideas as to how much i could put a quality guitar together for if i could pick up some bargains on ebay?anyhows thanks again for the info,much appreciated!
#13
It's not so much the tension, but the angle the string pulls the neck at (as Pikka Bird mentioned). With the bridge much higher than the nut, the strings will 'pull' the neck up more than if the bridge was at an even height with the nut.
But you probably won't need to adjust it, anyways...

And thanks, I actually did a bit of work on my project today
#14
hi again all. well for the leaning bridge post i wrapped some thread round it and some glue and put it back in,left it to settle for a couple of days and then dropped the action.I took it as low as i can get it without buzz.I re-intonated it and left it overnight,and it all seems fine.the tailpiece on both sides is leaning by about 2mm on each side,is this ok?also on 2 different frets on my 3rd string i am getting a buzz,well maybe more of a choking sound and this is all i gotta sort now,any ideas anyone?