Broken Truss-rod: Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop

This Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop ’68 F series was in serious trouble when its truss-rod snapped off at the end.

Gibson Les Paul '68 Custom F


It is owned by a guitarist who just couldn’t “get on with it” because of its high action. It was put away and forgotten about. Several years later an acquaintance and Les Paul enthusiast offered to buy it. But firstly, before any deal was struck, the potential new owner wanted to lower the action and make the guitar more playable. On tightening the truss-rod disaster struck, the rod snapped at the top!

This photograph shows a straight edge against the frets around the 7th and 8th fret area of the fingerboard. This reveals a very high action; because of this high action adjustments to the truss rod were attempted.


Without a working truss-rod this guitar was destined for the scrapheap because the guitar could never be adjusted for optimum playability.

The next sequence of photographs shows how a broken truss-rod problem can be resolved.



Nut and washer removed


Specialised boring tool for removing material around the truss-rod


Specialised tool for extending the screw-thread further down the truss-rod


Load-bearing washer is fitted into place


A new adjusting nut is attached and the truss-rod adjusted


The repaired truss-rod end


The straight-edge now shows a truss-rod that is working


Truss-rod adjustment is a fairly rudimentary and simple alteration to make, but could end in disaster!

If your truss-rod feels stiff or locked in place there is a danger of it breaking if over tightened.

If in doubt seek professional help.

More about truss-rod adjustment here…

4 Responses to “Broken Truss-rod: Gibson Les Paul Custom Shop”

  1. Eric Says:

    Amazing repair! Saved from the jaws of death

  2. daniele Says:

    How it is possible that a strong piece of steel brake so easy? Could be a bade made? Or can happen to every guitar?

  3. Carlos Ozuna Says:

    What should i do if the truss rod is totally relaxed and the neck has a back bow??? Thanks!

Leave a Reply to Eric Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: