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Parts and Technical Information
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Hagstrom viking truss rod

Hi Folks
I have took my viking for a set up today and he tells me that the truss rod will not turn.He says the allen key is very small and he does not want to break it.He is basicly scared to put a lot of force on to it.
I got allen keys with it when I bought it and one is 2mm and the other is 3mm .Would the 3mm one be for the truss rod.

Thanks Chris

Re: Hagstrom viking truss rod

A good quality 3mm one is the one - if it is original Swedish then great - cheap modern ones might round off.

If you use the 2mm you'll likely round out the truss rod then you'll never be able to change it.

Yes it frightened the life first time I did it on my old 12 string!

Re: Hagstrom viking truss rod

He does not want to try and turn it any more.
So I will be getting the guitar back from him.
So you are saying that it is very hard to turn.

Many thanks Chris

Re: Hagstrom viking truss rod

Chris,

Some support from the field, or the Rocky Mountains to be exact.

Let's first note that the truss rod itself will not "turn". The rod is lying in the tubular slot in the H-shaped rail. The rod is tightened by a "set" screw and it is actually this screw that turns.

The screw is 6mm in diameter with standard metric threading. The screw has a tip on the rod end and a 3 mm hex or Allen slot on the visible end. The screw is threaded for "normal" turn with clockwise action being tightening. Some call it righty tighty - lefty losey.

I had "frozen" or actually rusted screws on my Viking and Concord. The remedy I used was to apply a minimal amount of lubricant, e.g. 5-56 or WD40, with a saturated cotton swab. Dab the swab onto the set screw, push out some lubricant and remove the swab. Then stand the guitar upside down. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes, turn around and with a clean swab remove any oil and grit. Now try to turn the screw again, starting first with a counter-clockwise (lefty) turn in an effort to extract the set screw. If the screw is still stuck, try some minimal clockwise (righty) force and then directly back to counter-clockwise. If the hex key starts to bend, then stop, lubricate and clean the screw and work it again. Don't force the key past a slight bending, as you will either strip the key (OK) or the slot (disastrous). If you strip the screw, you'll have to take the neck off and remove the screw with a screw extractor.

Note that the screw is a standard "set" screw and can be replaced, but they are hard to find in the US since they are metric. You UK guys should find them at your local Iron Mongers.

WARNING! Remember to never try to adjust the rod/rail tension with the strings in full tune or even partially tightened. The pull of the six strings will exert around 100 lbs of tension on the neck. Don't "screw" with that, just loosen the strings or remove them all together and clean the fingerboard at the same time.

Good Luck.

David has a great page for more details on the neck and rail.
http://www.hagstrom.org.uk/expander_stretcher.htm

Here is a big picture of the neck assembly.
http://www.vintageguitars.org.uk/hagstrom66p2.php

Keep on strömmin'
ATL

Re: Hagstrom viking truss rod

Excellent post Arthur.
I always loosen the truss rod screw completely (if possible) before applying WD40.
When I tighten the truss rod screw I hold the guitar between my legs and force the head stock lightly back with my left hand to induce some back-bow.
(not too much force, you don't want to break the neck)
I never tighten more than 1/8 of a turn a day since the neck needs time to settle.

Cheers

Benjamin

Re: Hagstrom viking truss rod

Hi,
Just a little more on this subject. The Allen key size is actually 3.32 mm which is closer to a 1/8 inch than the 3mm. But even with this key there still can be problems. An easer solution is to use a 20T torque key, which is star shaped and grips the Allen head in the neck better tham the Allen keys. As before, once the slug is loosened and removed completely, clean and lubricate before refitting.
All Allen keys no mater what quality fairy in size slightly, and even if the key is exact the female key is not manufactured to engineering quality. Use the 20T torque key.
Good luck.