General tech questions

Truss rods and The cold

1

Anyone notice if the action gets higher when the weather gets cold? My Jet needs tweaking, just need to find that stupid tool

Would have guessed the neck might bow BACK in cold conditions but mine appears to bend forward so thought I’d see if anyone here has a clever opinion

2

That does seem weird. I'd think it's dryness of winter that causes the back-bow. My guitars have about a 20 degree difference in temp from summer to winter, but the humidity is kept the same at 48% year round. My necks stay the same all year. Prior to controlling humidity I was adjusting truss rods every season. Why yours would concave?? Maybe your truss rod is super loose and it's just now starting to bend the wood?

3

To be honest, I notice things change a little with the seasons on all my guitars. Just need to find The pesky tool and see where it’s at. Man.

4

As hilosean said, check the humidity. It will drop to unhealthily low levels indoors in cold winter temperatures.

5

Yep, checked the weather and it’s cold. Not hot or humid. Conditions are dry.

So I’m m curious to know if anyone notices their action getting high under similar circumstances ?

6

Here in Canada the humidity can go from under 20% to way over 50% over the course of a year. Truss rod tweaks are routine for some guitars. I've had one develop a string buzz.

7

I've noticed this on mine before, as well. My thought process tells me that they're made of wood and they're still trying to be trees, when it comes to the weather. JMO.

8

I deleted yesterday’s post on this because it could have seemed confusing.

Vince:

The FB wood reacts to moisture, typically to a greater extent than the neck wood.

Further, Ebony reacts more than rosewood.

As the air dries in the winter (which is very common in much of indoor North America), the FB shrinks slightly.

The FB also shrinks slightly more than does the neck.

Even on the longitudinal axis (up and down the FB, along the wood grain) the FB shrinks in winter.

For many guitars this means that you will see more relief (aka “forward bow”) in the winter vs. the warm humid summer.

There is some very slight change with temperature as well, but it is for the most part an effect of humidity.

So, some guitars do best with a slight truss rod tightening in winter, and a similar loosening in summer.

This will be a VERY slight adjustment.

Wood does not grow, eat, breath, vote, fantasize, or try to return to the forest. It does react to changes in moisture. It shrinks slightly in drier air.

This change, and the differential in change between the FB and neck, results in the neck moving slightly toward greater relief in drier seasons.

Many guitars move so little that no adjustment is required. Some absolutely play best when adjusted twice per year.

Chris

9

Wood is not alive. It is not alive in a tree either. Disney and guitar players assign wood human emotions, but there are none.

It does not need to be fed. It is dead. Even in the living tree the wood is dead.

10

Anyway, your observation of more “forward bend” at this time of year is absolutely normal.

11

While on the subject - For those with sharp protruding fret ends, early February is typically the ideal time to get the ends dressed and smoothed.

The FB actually shrinks far more laterally, and through its thickness, than it does longitudinally (up and down the FB along the grain).

So get them fret ends taken care of when the FB is at its smallest - which is about 6 weeks into the driest winter air, which arrived here about a week ago.

Blah, blah, blah,...

12

Wood is not alive. It is not alive in a tree either. Disney and guitar players assign wood human emotions, but there are none.

It does not need to be fed. It is dead. Even in the living tree the wood is dead.

– chrisp2

Got it.

13

Anyway, your observation of more “forward bend” at this time of year is absolutely normal.

– chrisp2

Interesting. Echos my suspicion that things would be on the move a little (but not in a procession of marching trees back to the woods!)

It happens a couple of times a year as commented. I may be very wrong, but it’s almost as if the whole neck angle has moved slightly. The relief isn’t crazy off, just a slight bow rather than d ad straight.

I’m ok with adjusting truss rods and can do this ok. I usually work towards what seems to work best for the individual instrument. Will find pesky tool, have a little turn and see what gives

14

I’ve never needed to adjust my 2013 6120DSW. I did have it set up by TV Jones though. Although I know he does regular set ups before tours by Brian Setzer and John Fogerty. I have adjusted the action/trusrod on my 2006 Powerjet. But that has not coresponded with weather, just my tastes in action.

15

Vince - not sure if this is what you meant, but don’t go by the outside humidity. As the cold air comes inside and is heated, it expands, greatly reducing the humidity level. This is why cold temperatures can result in very low indoor humidity. (And by the way, low humidity is also not good for people.)


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