How to Fix a Bowed Guitar Neck without a Truss Rod

Getting a guitar bowed is a common phenomenon among guitarists. This normally occurs when we need to adjust the cords. As we adapt them to our needs, The strain on the cord causes the guitar neck to curve. Are you looking for a DIY solution on how to fix a bowed guitar neck without a truss rod? Then this article will be your best mate!

Although this is a simple fix with the aid of a truss rod, the harsh reality sets in when one isn't accessible. Furthermore, no one wants to rush to the technicians any time their guitar bends. As a result, we'll concentrate here on how to get started by fixing a bowed guitar neck without a truss rod on your own!

Fix a Bowed Guitar Neck without a Truss Rod: Required Pieces of Equipment to Get Started

While heating is one method for relaxing the neck, we must recognize that there are numerous other methods for straightening it. However, not all of them are successful. Those that appeal to the masses is more trustworthy than those who have the potential to cause more damage. 

So, before we begin, we must first gather the necessary equipment to begin the repair task. Among such things are:

  • A couple of bench clamps
  • Tape measure
  • A piece of tidy cloth
  • Clothing press
  • Winder of cords (elective)

How to Fix a Bowed Guitar Neck without a Truss Rod?

Release the cords

Never hold your guitar's cords loose at all times!  When you put your hands on a bowed guitar, this is the most classic error you'll make. You must detach them from the guitar before going through the process, rather than loosening them up. You can still do it by hand, individually, or even with the aid of a cord wider if necessary. Even if it isn't crucial, it will assist you in the process.

If you're using a cord winder, you'll need to tie it to each device face one at a time. Twist the winder after that until the cords are loose. With the cord winder, your job can be completed in a fraction of the time.

Detach the top of the cord from the muzzle of the device face when the cords are loosened. Then, using wire cutters, simply cut the cord and pass the residual out through the bridge.

A suitable working environment

You'll also need a wider space, including on the floor or top of a large table, to complete the operation. Since this process necessitates caution and precision, the larger the working surface, the simpler the process will be. You can also keep the materials organized, which will make it easier to access them when needed.

Gauging the distance

The next move is to measure the distance between the bench and the bottom of the neck after you've placed your guitar on the table. To eliminate inconsistencies, try measuring several times. Make a note of the measurement.

Using of clamps

In this step, you'll also need some clamps. If you don't have any clamps yet, you can still go to your local store or use your credit card to shop online. Clamps can be found for a reasonable price on the internet through a variety of e-commerce enterprises. They do, of course, delivered to your doorway. So, if you want to shop from the comfort of your own home, they will deliver your product to you.

Clamps are a very valuable tool that must be used during this procedure. Set the clamps apart, covering the gap between the bench and the bottom of the neck that we measured earlier.

Preparing your clothing press

To begin, you must first prepare your clothing press. Explore the options available on your device. If there is a heating regulator, try not to change the temperature to too hot or too cold. It's fine to keep the heat on a medium setting. Allow it to build up the heat before use. You'll need to use heat to release the additive that secures the neck to the neck pocket.

Swathing the neck

It's a good idea to cover the neck of the guitar in a piece of cloth before pressing the iron on it. You don't want the iron to come into contact with your neck. This is because pressing the iron directly on the neck will harm the guitar even further. Moreover, it also has an impact on the guitar's varnish. 

To avoid direct heating, wrap a piece of fabric or even a shirt around the neck of the guitar. If you can loop several pieces of cloth around the guitar's neck at the same time, that'll work as well. Wrap an another piece of cloth around the guitar's body to keep it cool.

Pressing on the neck

It's now time to apply the iron to the neck. Consider the area where you glued, which is about halfway between the body and the neck. For at least 2 minutes, run the iron gently over the frets' tops. By pressing the iron there, the glue will melt and the wood stretches. This will allow the glue to set and fix the bowed portion of the guitar.

Necessities of more clamps

At this stage, you'll need another piece of the clamp to position it between the other pair of clamps. Make sure the third clamp is securely fastened, but not overly so. All it has to do is keep the guitar from moving around at random. After that, place the guitar so that it is facing the ceiling. Then tighten the clamp closest to the body as the adhesive melts and begins to adjust the neck.


After ensuring that the preceding steps were followed correctly, it's time to let the glue set and reattach the body to the neck. You should leave the guitar for a few hours to allow the glue to defrost. It is preferable to let it cool overnight. This way, you'll have your healed guitar by the time you wake up, and you'll know the glue has done its job perfectly.

Other choices that exist to fix a bowed guitar without a truss rod

As previously mentioned, there are several other options for resolving the problem. However, they often necessitate more expertise and commitment, preventing them from being the top priority.

1. Cauls and cork sheets, for instance, can be used to repair bowed guitars. Place them between the clamping teeth and the neck inverter in the center. You'll need to use the clamps once more in this process. Although the cauls are normally made with two separate adhesives, the aim here is to harden and mimic the structure of the neck.

You'll also need a heating medium in addition to clamps. All you have to do with the clamps is tighten them around them to apply pressure to them when heating. To prevent snapping the teeth, make sure the clamps are synchronized. It's also possible that you'll need more than two clamps at times. When all is in place, let the guitar cool down as instructed above, and you're ready to go.

2. Many people do not prefer to contact technicians to get their bowed guitars repaired if the guitar is inexpensive. This is because repairing with technicians is prohibitively expensive for a low-profile guitar. However, this is unquestionably a different approach to get your guitar fixed.

3. Another choice for repairing your bowed guitar is "heat bending."  In this operation, the neck is bent using a device called a neck straightener. The neck straightener is an elongated metal bar with a heater inside that must be clamped to the neck to begin the procedure. The clamps, in addition to the shims, are used to bend the neck. While such neck straighteners are hard to come by these days, they do take a certain level of expertise to use. Furthermore, they must be heated several times before use.

4. Guitar bending devices are also used to repair bowed guitars. This system is designed to apply heat and pressure to the guitar simultaneously to straighten the bent neck. This, in my opinion, is also a costly option. I still prefer the wrapping and pressing method because it is a less expensive, less complicated, and efficient procedure. 

However, this procedure is only for back-bowed necks, which are caused by defective truss rods. The neck is bowed forward in these situations by adding more pressure to the top of the neck.

As a result, we can conclude that, while the aforementioned processes can also be used to repair a bowed guitar, the classic method is more straightforward and convenient to use than the others.


It's not as complicated as you would imagine to fix a bowed guitar without a truss rod. You can heal the guitar on your own with care and persistence. 

Also, there's no need to be discouraged if you don't succeed on the first try. If you have an older guitar, you can still practice the method with it. As a result, once you've mastered the technique, you'll be able to repair your own bowed guitar without the use of a truss rod!

You can also read: How to Play Purple Rain on Guitar

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