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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2001, 04:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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fret leveling

although the tech section is very informative,
the time ive spent here I get the sence that there are some total experts here! WAY perfectionistic
so i was hoping someone could tell me the best way to level my frets for supreme action!
tools/jigs/method etc
thanks guys
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-07-2001, 11:05 AM
 
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fret leveling

The best way to level your frets is to take it in to a tech and let them do it. Leveling is very difficult.

I've cround frets before. That's pretty simple, but leveling requires a spescial jig, files and what-not.

Spend the money and have it done right. Shops will normaly include a crowning and polishing in the cost. They may even clean the fret board as well.

J>
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 07:50 PM
 
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fret leveling

Actually, replacing the frets is what's hard. Levelling them isn't that hard. Start with some masking tape and mask off the pickups (the metal shards will want to attatch themselves to the magnets) and the fretboard. Then get some #000 steel wool and go to work. Don't get too carried away though, you don't wanna take too much off the frets.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-08-2001, 08:00 PM
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fret leveling

Leveling isn't that hard, but I've never heard of using steel wool to do it. Pretty much straight from the chapter on Fretwork in Jim Donahue's book "First, take a black marker and mark the top of each fret. Take a block of wood wrapped in 180 grit (although I'd use a milder grade), with the neck off and the truss rod adjusted so the neck is perfectly straight, use the sand block and run it over the fretboard in long strokes from 1st to last. When all the frets have lost the black marker you're ready to move on to a milder paper like 400 to remove the scratches from the courser paper. Next (after masking off the board, best done to begin with) take a broomstick handle wrapped in welting (very think felt) and the same 400/600 and run it up and down the board to put a crown back on the frets and further remove scratching."
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2001, 01:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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fret leveling

leave it to rich to set me straight! what *FU to da KIN planet are you from dude you know alot of sh> it lol
thanks alot but *hey what about the radius? i was thinkin i had to radius the block somehow first no?
thanks again
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2001, 01:57 AM
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fret leveling

I always thought you needed to use the radiused blocks too, but Jim says he only uses them for shaping the fretboard itself and uses a flat block (about 1 1/2" square x 8" long piece of mahogony in his case) for leveling. I still would rather use a radiused block as it'll leave less room for error (being a novice at the 'full process', I'm used to spot leveling), but of course Stew Mac only has an 18" block that's comparable (Jem and JPM's are 17" radius), his advice is just make sure it's at least 8" long.
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2001, 02:01 AM
 
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fret leveling

The way I've done it (learned from a friend) was to just take a flat file and place it inline on the already flattened fretboard and run it up and down the neck with very little pressure. *The longer the file, the easier it is to get all even frets. *This will acheive a uniform radius on the frets. *Use a smaller file for compound radius fret profiles and only wear down the neck in smaller areas.
Then take a rattail file and crown each of the frets. *Rattail files have triangular cross section, so leaning it against a fret and scraping keeps you away from the fretboard itself. *Tape the board anyway just in case. *Then steel .0000 wool for that shine!
Then treat the fretboard from time to time with something so the wood doesnt dry out.

(Edited by tomizm at 1:04 am on Jan. 9, 2001)
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2001, 08:45 PM
 
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fret leveling

I've used the steel wool method on 2 guitars now. Since its so flex-able, you won't need to worry about the radius. Rich's method sounds pretty complex. I think I'll stick with the steel wool.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-09-2001, 09:11 PM
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fret leveling

Because it's so flexible, how is it going to truely level your frets??? Using sandpaper on a flat block guarantees the final result will be true. It's not my book, it's Jim Donahue's, I'd highly recomend it to anybody thinking about building, doing custom work, or repairs.

http://www.comcat.com/~alnico5/book.html
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-10-2001, 03:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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fret leveling

very sweet rich! thanks a whole lot im gonna do an old rg LB 770 maple for test?
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-15-2001, 11:33 AM
 
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fret leveling

What is exactly "crowning" the frets?
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 01-24-2001, 12:36 AM
 
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fret leveling

Guys, I'm with Rich on this one. *The most effective way to level is to use a block to level with. *Doing the whole thing by eye with a file or steel wool (steel wool won't work anyway) would take hour upon hour, and would be much more susceptible to human error. *If you are using a flat block however. it needs to be PERFECTLY FLAT and LEVEL. *If you are "leveling" with something that is not level...well, go figure. *I don't think it would be too bad of an idea to level with a flat block instead of a radiused one. *Then your bends wouldn't fret out at all. *And how in the world do you crown frets with a rat-tail file and not a fret file??? please enlighten me
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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Re: fret leveling

Josh Blagg, this is just an "old school" way to crown frets. The flat surface requires more skill, but its what many guitar techs are used to. I agree that the fret file is the better option, but by the same token, the radiused blocks seem to have a similar superiority dont you think?
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 10:26 PM
 
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Re: fret leveling

Quote:
Originally Posted by duwhtsrite View Post
Josh Blagg, this is just an "old school" way to crown frets. The flat, or convex
surface requires more skill, but its what many guitar techs are used to. I agree that the fret file is the better option, but by the same token, the radiused blocks seem to have a similar superiority dont you think?
Sorry, i meant to say flat or convex file as opposed to the concave modern fret files :/
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 05-08-2011, 10:39 PM
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Re: fret leveling

Quote:
Originally Posted by duwhtsrite View Post
Josh Blagg, this is just an "old school" way to crown frets. The flat surface requires more skill, but its what many guitar techs are used to. I agree that the fret file is the better option, but by the same token, the radiused blocks seem to have a similar superiority dont you think?
I think in the past 10 years since he posted that, Josh has figured it out by now...



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