Carbon Fiber and No Truss Rod?

Q&A Woodworking Forum IndexCategory: Guitar MakingCarbon Fiber and No Truss Rod?
Westfarthing Woodworks asked 6 months ago

Hello, I began making acoustic guitars a few years ago, after retiring as an engineer.

The one aspect that seems to me is the idea of the truss rod.

It seems bulky and heavy and as an engineer, it seems to me a strong neck of lamination’s of opposite grain woods with a T beam of carbon fiber epoxied in, should prevent warping and twisting.

What is your opinion on this?

Paul

1 Answers
Westfarthing Woodworks answered 6 months ago

Thank you Paul. There are plenty of guitar makers who use alternative methods for keeping their necks straight. Lamination and carbon fiber are used quite a bit, and some people even use hollow metal tubing.

The latter is not going to save on weight, but it’s still an alternative to the truss rod. The nice thing about having a rod is having the ability to make adjustments.

If the neck is too stiff, you can relieve it. It the neck is too weak, you can straighten it. This is of course with a rod that allows you to torque it in both directions.

Most classical guitars do not have a truss rod at all, but this is mainly because the nylon strings do not pull with as much force as steel strings. This has been the design for a long time and it has not changed much.

If you build a laminated neck, and use carbon fiber to reinforce it, I am sure you can make a strong neck that will last a long time. The only thing that worries me a little bit is if you end up needing to make any adjustments to the relief.

With a rod, adjustments are as simple as the turn of a wrench.

Please let me know if you have any more questions and I will be glad to help. Enjoy your new hobby, you are going to love it. Happy building.

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