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Old 10-06-2017, 05:59 PM   #1
Jase
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Right I'm filling my eBay basket up with some basic tools to do my own fret job, and here's what I have so far.

Fret pullers, and fretboard protector.
Crowning file
9.5 radius sanding block.
Neck support.

I'm looking to buy the wire precut, and also a leveling beam. I'm unsure what size beam to get, but imagine the longer the better lol. Also eyeing a fret press caul, and relative insert. I'll be hammering the frets in using the caul unless I can fashion some sort of press.

I'm looking to spend around 100 to begin with. Anything else you think is a must have?.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:01 PM   #2
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Half of that stuff you are ordering is only going to be used once and then thrown away. Somebody gave me a recrownig file and I tried it ONCE. I can recrown the whole neck faster and better than that thing by using two different grit sanding sponges. Even with the recrowning file, you're still going to have to sand the file marks out and then polish the frets. Seriously, I actually have found a use for the recrowning file, but it had nothing to do with recrowning. The most useful thing you can buy is a set of 6 nut files from 10 to 50, and they ain't cheap. About $60 US. Cut the rat tail off of a fine toothed file and grind the ends round so there are no sharp edges on the ends and you've got your fret leveler. The file, when finished should not be longer than 8".
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:07 PM   #3
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I think that fret pliers and a good crowning file are essential for fret work, I also have a radiused block. I use a sandbag or padded block as the neck support, and made a bevelling block for the fret ends. I also use masks for the frets, I have the Stewmac version, and have also made them from brass shim metal and aluminium drink cans.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:34 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by PKVeazey View Post
Half of that stuff you are ordering is only going to be used once and then thrown away. Somebody gave me a recrownig file and I tried it ONCE. I can recrown the whole neck faster and better than that thing by using two different grit sanding sponges. Even with the recrowning file, you're still going to have to sand the file marks out and then polish the frets. Seriously, I actually have found a use for the recrowning file, but it had nothing to do with recrowning. The most useful thing you can buy is a set of 6 nut files from 10 to 50, and they ain't cheap. About $60 US. Cut the rat tail off of a fine toothed file and grind the ends round so there are no sharp edges on the ends and you've got your fret leveler. The file, when finished should not be longer than 8".
I have some other guitars that I'd like to work on so hoping to use these tools more than once. Grit sanding sponges for recrown?, will search for them. Not ideal, but I've used an old set of strings to cut the slots for a new nut.

What do you recommend for polishing?.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
I think that fret pliers and a good crowning file are essential for fret work, I also have a radiused block. I use a sandbag or padded block as the neck support, and made a bevelling block for the fret ends. I also use masks for the frets, I have the Stewmac version, and have also made them from brass shim metal and aluminium drink cans.
How long is the radius block?. I've read that short radius blocks are not as good as ones covering most of the frets, but I don't know in practice. Masks?..Is that for protecting the fret board like I've seen some taped.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:40 PM   #5
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The block I bought would be about 9"long, the standard Stewmac variety. I don't think that a long block is essential, but I'm not looking for a super low action anyway.

Tape is used, but I feel more comfortable using masks in case the file slips, especially when doing fret ends.
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Old 10-06-2017, 09:50 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
The block I bought would be about 9"long, the standard Stewmac variety. I don't think that a long block is essential, but I'm not looking for a super low action anyway.

Tape is used, but I feel more comfortable using masks in case the file slips, especially when doing fret ends.
Just looking on stewmac. Are you talking about the fingerboard gaurds?. How do you hold the ones you make down?, Elastic bands?.
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Old 10-06-2017, 10:52 PM   #7
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Just looking on stewmac. Are you talking about the fingerboard gaurds?. How do you hold the ones you make down?, Elastic bands?.
I see that the Stewmac ad shows elastic bands, I just hold them down with my fingers. I also bend the one end over on some so that they sit over the end of the frets. You can make them with drink can, using a pair of scissors.
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Old 10-07-2017, 09:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Tony Done View Post
I see that the Stewmac ad shows elastic bands, I just hold them down with my fingers. I also bend the one end over on some so that they sit over the end of the frets. You can make them with drink can, using a pair of scissors.
Yeah sounds good. Do you still tape between?.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:30 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jase View Post
I have some other guitars that I'd like to work on so hoping to use these tools more than once. Grit sanding sponges for recrown?, will search for them. Not ideal, but I've used an old set of strings to cut the slots for a new nut.

What do you recommend for polishing?.



How long is the radius block?. I've read that short radius blocks are not as good as ones covering most of the frets, but I don't know in practice. Masks?..Is that for protecting the fret board like I've seen some taped.
I use a Dremel tool with Jewelers rouge on a buffing pad. If you use a Dremel tool, be careful to stay off the fretboard. If you use a radius sanding block, you are limited to that radius only and certainly can't use it on a Compound Radius neck. I use 3 different grits on my sanding sponges. Medium, Fine, and Very Fine. I get them from Lowe's or Home Depot for about $3. The sanding sponge form fits any radius and lets you feel what you are doing. It also closes the grain of the fret board and makes it much smoother. If its a Maple neck, you can't close the grain. Then you'll have to mask the frets to protect the clear finish from the sanding sponges. I put masking tape along beside the neck at the body to protect the body finish from the leveling file and the sanding sponges. ALL guitar tech work must be done with great care. Don't allow yourself to rush or be distracted.
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Old 10-08-2017, 07:47 AM   #10
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Yeah sounds good. Do you still tape between?.
No, but that is being a bit lazy.

Those masks are good insurance when using a dremel. I use one for buffing, a thick, hard leather disk with polishing compound, the white grade, whatever that is.
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