singlereed wrote:You can buy ball end allen wrenches with a T handle - that's what I'm going to get hold of.
A sensible approach, but I wanted to see if I could do something with one the (large collection) of #5 allen wrenches I already had. Unfortunately all but one have only square ends, and my efforts to make those go into the truss rod nut proved completely fruitless.
I didn't use the one with the ball end to begin with because it was too long (about 5") to fit inside the soundhole and provide a straight shot at the nut. So after convincing myself that the other wrenches weren't going to work, I decided to saw off the ball-ended one. But, oh gee, the metal in that sucker is *hard*! After sawing 1/2 way through it in about 10 minutes (and turning the hacksaw blade I was using into a butter knife) I got a better idea, which was to use my grinder to saw through the thing. I was planning on using that anyway to smooth out the sawed edges, so why not?
The grinder cut through the wrench quickly, but now I just had a straight-line allen wrench: hard to get any turning power. After loosening and carefully wrapping separate rags around the top 3 and then bottom 3 strings and using the rags to cover and protect the edges of the soundhole and the surrounding area, I tried using a pair of locking pliers as a handle for the Allen wrench but soon concluded that this approach had way too much potential for a slip and damage to the guitar.
I put the project aside for a little while and then got the idea to use the grinder again to grind the non-ball end of the allen wrench into roughly the shape of a flat-head screwdriver. Then I drilled a smaller hole through a piece of 3/4" diameter broom handle (so it wouldn't split), then pounded the allen wrench into the handle. The idea was for the flat end to prevent the wrench from turning in the handle. It worked!
The final chapter of this happy story is that, when I finally got down to adjusting the truss rod, which needed to be loosened slightly, I first turned the wrench counterclockwise, then for some unknown reason (brain fart) decided that was the wrong way and went back clockwise. The strange thing is that the result of these two semi-random adjustments was to change the action perfectly, eliminating the buzz I was getting on string 6 when it's tuned down below E without raising the action too much. I can count on one knuckle the number of times I've experienced success like that on a mechanical project through sheer dumb luck.
Of course, the guitar could still spontaneously explode while I sleep tonight, but so far I'm feeling pumped.