Not enough relief with lp custom, please help

greenhorn

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Hi folks.

I'm no amateur when it comes to building certain guitar styles from scratch. I am however, pretty amateur when it comes to repairing certain guitars.

I have an LP here that doesn't have enough neck relief with the rod completely loosened. I don't know much about the lp necks so I would like some advice if you don't mind. I'm used to necks that join the body near the last couple frets like an SG.

So this LP has about 5 thousandths relief with 10s with the TR as loose as it gets. Player wants to use 8s.

Haven't tried but I'm willing to bet that with 8s there will be back bow or close.

My plan is to pull the frets, add some relief to the board (10-20 thousandths), refret it, and add some relief to the frets (5-10 thousandths), and fall away on the last frets, then crown and polish.

My questions are: where should the relief be and where should the fall away start on an LP style guitar/neck? On top of that, is this even the proper way to tackle this issue?

Of course, if I'm completely off base on this then by all means please let me know how you would address this issue.

I thank you all for your time and suggestions.

Cheers!
 
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Skyjerk

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Hi folks.

I'm no amateur when it comes to building certain guitar styles from scratch. I am however, pretty amateur when it comes to repairing certain guitars.

I have an LP here that doesn't have enough neck relief with the rod completely loosened. I don't know much about the lp necks so I would like some advice if you don't mind. I'm used to necks that join the body near the last couple frets like an SG.

So this LP has about 5 thousandths relief with 10s with the TR as loose as it gets. Player wants to use 8s.

Haven't tried but I'm willing to bet that with 8s there will be back or close.

My plan is to pull the frets, add some relief to the board (10-20 thousandths), refret it, and add some relief to the frets (5-10 thousandths), and fall away on the last frets, then crown and polish.

My questions are: where should the relief be and where should the fall away start on an LP style guitar/neck? On top of that, is this even the proper way to tackle this issue?

Of course, if I'm completely off base on this then by all means please let me know how you would address this issue.

I thank you all for your time and suggestions.

Cheers!
Id string it up with 8's and see what you have.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your description, the heavier strings will definitely pull more relief into the neck.

You probably wouldnt have to do anything.
 

Skyjerk

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Id string it up with 8's and see what you have.

Unless I'm misunderstanding your description, the heavier strings will definitely pull more relief into the neck.

You probably wouldnt have to do anything.
yes, I know. I read that wrong :)

I work with steel a lot over the weekend. With steel, smaller gauge number = thicker material

My addled brain had going from 9's to 8's as an increase in thickness.
 

ARandall

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Is it your guitar, or a client's?
Given the level of work needed, you'd expect it to be something incredibly special or 'a present from a deceased loved one' to consider not just selling the guitar and buying one that does have the TR range to allow the use of 8's

The other option is if there is a deal of fret height to play with, putting the guitar's neck in slight backbow and levelling the frets in that position. Then you'd have some loosening possible on the TR without strings on there.

Its just a lot of work to be doing the re-fret and then re-levelling of the fretboard. Of course that might allow the installation of stainless frets and the ideal fret shape, so there are upsides to the work too.
 

greenhorn

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Is it your guitar, or a client's?
Given the level of work needed, you'd expect it to be something incredibly special or 'a present from a deceased loved one' to consider not just selling the guitar and buying one that does have the TR range to allow the use of 8's

The other option is if there is a deal of fret height to play with, putting the guitar's neck in slight backbow and levelling the frets in that position. Then you'd have some loosening possible on the TR without strings on there.

Its just a lot of work to be doing the re-fret and then re-levelling of the fretboard. Of course that might allow the installation of stainless frets and the ideal fret shape, so there are upsides to the work too.
It's a close friends guitar. His number 1 for 20 years and he can't use 10s anymore due to arthritis and a recent wrist injury a few years ago.

We help each other out a lot so I don't mind doing this for him on the cheap... maybe even as a gift.

I did think about doing what you said but I'm not sure if I can get enough relief just by leveling the frets with the neck in a back bow since I've never had to do anything like this before. I'm not sure what the difference in tension is between 10s and 8s.

I suppose to start I should just put some 8s on and see what I have or don't have for relief huh?

Then, I'd still need to know where to put the relief. Should it be only up to 12 or the 15th fret? Then, where to start the fall away? 17 to 22?
 

Joe Desperado

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Not saying this is what you should do, just yet… but if all else fails

When trying to add relief to a neck by modifying the top of the fingerboard, the best way to accomplish this is to remove the frets and tighten the TR to create a .020 back bow (up bow). Then with a radius block, sand the area where the back bow was prevalent (5-9 fret area) until completely flat. When you you loosen the rod, you should have a .020 relief with no tension. This will allow you to add some relief with room for some adjustment.
 

greenhorn

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Thanks folks. Those are the procedures I had in mind.

Any tips or tricks I should be aware of?
 

Hecubus

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Has your friend tried 9s? Going from 10s to 8s seems pretty drastic to me and might create more of a challenge in adjusting his playing than he expects. 9s might be easier to achieve the desired relief too.
 

greenhorn

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Thanks for the reply. Not sure why everyone is so quiet with this thread. Usually there are lots of replies.

Yeah he has tried 9s but he's got sever wrist/tendon problems and 9s are too big and there is nearly 0 relief then.

He actually uses 7s on his strat style guitars so I suggested 8s on the LP due to less tension with the shorter scale. He would still prefer 7s though, but I figure, if I can get it to work with 8s then it should be good with 7s.

So he's not really going from 10s to 8s. He's been using 7s for years on other guitars. Only reason he's had 10s on the LP is because that's the only way it plays with his preferred relief but he can no longer muscle through and needs something lighter for one of his favorite guitars.
 

the great waldo

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A neck heating jig would solve your problems. You could try using a couple of infra red heat lamps while stringing up with heavy guage strings tuned high (you normally do this with a neck heater and clamps, but not many people have one of these) protect any finish with Ali foil. As it's a LP Custom it'll have an ebony fingerboard which being black should soak up the heat from the ir lamps. Once you have a curve in the neck leave it to cool and adjust truss rod to taste. If your friend has hand problems maybe higher frets might help as som lp's had low frets that made them hard to play with 10's. Good luck!
Cheers
Andrew
 


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