DIY Guitar Building – Day 5 – Truss Rod Channel Repair (2 of 2)

Welcome back.  This episode of DIY Guitar Building explains and shows what we did to repair the guitar necks after our unfortunate mishap while routing the truss rod channel.  In it I show a few of the pictures I took of the process and explain what’s happening, as well as a little footage of Bob using our new router setup to route the channel.

Basically, what we did (instead of scrapping the whole project and starting over) was a patch-up job.  We used the same router bit that we used for the truss rod channel to route all the way through the neck creating a long, straight hole.  Then we could insert a piece of wood cut to the exact same width and length, and glue it into place.  This proved to be not as difficult as I thought it would be.  But we were left with the wood we used to patch up, protruding now into the truss rod channel we had previously routed.

Before doing any of this we devised a new routing jig that we thought would be more reliable than the shaper we were using initially.  This consisted of mounting the router upside down on a flat piece of plywood and punching a hole through it with the router bit.  We essentially made a makeshift router table.  We used the same straight thin piece of wood as our guide fence and routed away.  This time everything went as planned, and the truss rod channel is now routed perfectly.

The patch job on the Maple necked guitar is hardly noticeable (and may be painted over anyway).  For the Mahogany necked guitar we used a piece of ebony to patch the hole creating a “skunk stripe” looking feature on the back-side of the neck.  It all turned out much better than I anticipated and was a huge sigh of relief.

Once the truss rod channel has been routed we can move on to attaching the “wings” of the body, cutting and shaping, and routing the pickup and electronics cavities, and all that exciting stuff.  There are obviously other methods to routing a truss rod channel but this made the most sense and seemed the easiest to do, and once we had a setup that performed as expected it was in fact a piece of cake.  However, it has to be done before attaching the body wood because this method relies on making use of the side of the neck as a guide to set the router bit so that it routes the channel right down the center line of the neck.  Enjoy the video!!