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  1. #1
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    Stew Mac Straightedges to measure Neck Relief for Truss Rod Adjustments

    Hi,
    I was on the stew mac web site to see about getting a straightedge for use with regular guitar maintenance to measure neck relief and such for possible truss rod adjustments.

    Seems like they have various sizes, 12" on up. What size should I get for archtops, semi hollows, and Fender type solid bodies?

    Also: are the cheapo straightedges on Amazon as good as the ones on Stew Mac? Which would you recommend ? Thanks!
    Navdeep Singh.

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  3. #2
    Those look like serious rip offs. I'd get a regular one. In my case, I use the capo on first fret trick to make the string into a straight edge
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  4. #3
    You can go to any Home Depot or Menards and get straight edges measuring that will work. Check the price. StewMac is notorisly high priced for ordinary things that can be obtained at local hardware stores. It is also easy to modify an ordinary tool to do what a dedicated guitar tool will do. It is all hit or miss with stewmac on their tools. Some are quite good and do an excellent job others are not so great really just look at the neck jig thread. I have straight edges that go from 6 inches to 4 feet but the ones I use the most are 24 inch machinist rulers that get the neck relief. I also have one cut out that will go over frets to the board. This was curtesy of Hollenbeck he made his own from a machinist ruler notched out for frets......

    On thing I may try from them though next order will be some binding tape with high tack. I need some stuff that will really hold down binding and ordinary tape I have been using is not cutting it in all cases.
    specializing in repair and setup, does your guitar play like it should?

  5. #4
    filament tape is very strong and not expensive.

  6. #5
    To answer your question. I use an 18" long straight edge. I know Stew Mac gets taken to task for its prices and especially the shipping costs but in the case of their beveled edge precision straight edges, the cost is not that high. Go check out Starrett for example. Now one doesn't actually need a straight edge that precise for a guitar. I own the 18" model. It is a good quality beveled edge straight edge that compares well with the Starrett models. I own a 36" Starrett that I've had since my days as a inside machinist in the 70's. I will

    As far as the notched straight edges go. I went to a big box store and bought 3 of these types straight edges and notched them for the 3 common scales i.e. 24.75",25" and 25.50".

    Access Denied

  7. #6

    Stew Mac Straightedges to measure Neck Relief for Truss Rod Adjustments

    I bought the Starrett AR-24 24” straight edge at Amazon’s $5.72 “add-on” price. I don’t now how precise it is, but it looks well made and seems good enough for basic tasks like adjusting the truss rod.

  8. #7
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    there's no magic wand..you just want a well crafted "straight" edge...an 18" will handle all truss-rod measuring...if you want to check neck angles..then a 24" will do it...

    tho, if you're just after a basic truss-rod adjustment, you don't even need a ruler...just hold down the low e at the first fret and the fret where it meets the body...then just eyeball the space between the string and the top of the fret at the midway point...i.e. if your neck joins the body at the 18th fret...you want to look at the string height at the 9th fret...

    you can double check your findings with the high e string as well, (in the rare case you have a twisted neck...not too common these days)

    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 03-13-2019 at 09:11 PM. Reason: sp-

  9. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by KirkP View Post
    I bought the Starrett AR-24 24” straight edge at Amazon’s $5.72 “add-on” price. I don’t now how precise it is, but it looks well made and seems good enough for basic tasks like adjusting the truss rod.
    StewMac Precision straight edge is comparable to this Starrett Straight Edge only 18" vs 24". I'm not saying you need to use the one below but one is a thin straight ruler and the other is a thick beveled straight edge. I used the beveled straight edge to measure using feeler gauges.

    385-18 Steel Straight Edge with Bevel Edge

  10. #9
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    For just measuring relief, a string works well. I just fret a string at the first and 14th, or whichever joins the body, and instant straightedge, showing relief. A string under tension is as straight as you can get. Even if those frets aren't exactly the same height, you can see the relief. Straightedges have their uses, but measuring relief with the strings installed isn't the best use of one, IMO. There is an easier way.

  11. #10

    Stew Mac Straightedges to measure Neck Relief for Truss Rod Adjustments

    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell View Post
    For just measuring relief, a string works well. I just fret a string at the first and 14th, or whichever joins the body, and instant straightedge, showing relief. A string under tension is as straight as you can get. Even if those frets aren't exactly the same height, you can see the relief. Straightedges have their uses, but measuring relief with the strings installed isn't the best use of one, IMO. There is an easier way.
    That’s pretty much how Frank Ford does it.
    Truss Rod Adjustment FRETS.COM

  12. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by deacon Mark View Post
    You can go to any Home Depot or Menards and get straight edges measuring that will work. .
    Absolutely. I thought Menards was what a pirate yells after getting kicked in the crotch though....

    Quote Originally Posted by rob taft View Post
    As far as the notched straight edges go. I went to a big box store and bought 3 of these types straight edges and notched them for the 3 common scales i.e. 24.75",25" and 25.50".

    Access Denied
    Exactly what I did too. My g/f's son has a Luna acoustic that needed fret work, which is when I priced out the StewMac ones. Infinitely cheaper to roll your own. I got a 48" aluminum straightedge for $9 and change, IIRC. Cut two pieces out of it and made one notched with 24.75 and 25, the other got 25.5 and unnotched.
    1948 Gibson L-7N
    1981 Epi Emperor T (MIJ Matsumoku)
    1998 Epi Zephyr Regent (Peerless)
    1992 Gibson Les Paul Studio
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    2013 Squier Affinity Telecaster, BSB
    (among others)

  13. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Brian B View Post
    Absolutely. I thought Menards was what a pirate yells after getting kicked in the crotch though.... .
    Reminds me of a favorite dad joke.

    A pirate walks into a bar, and the bartender can't help but notice the pirate has a small steering wheel sticking out of the front of his pants. The pirate sits down and orders a drink. and the bartender's curiosity gets the better of him and he says:

    "So I gotta ask...what's up with the steering wheel?"

    To which the pirate replies: "Arr...it's driving me nuts."
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