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Thread: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

  1. #21
    Ultimate Tone Slacker Dave Locher's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    I can attest that wood moves: I bought three kiln-dried walnut neck blanks a couple years ago and nevef got around to using them. They were dead flat when I got them. A couple years in my climate-controlled house and all three have developed slight humps and/or twists! Not excusing the manufacturers, just agreeing with DavidRavenMoon.

  2. #22
    Mojo's Minions
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Quote Originally Posted by Mincer View Post
    I've always had others do this, and I appreciate the very cool instructions provided. I'd want to be around someone who does it a few times before I tried it myself. How long does it usually take?
    Not difficult at all -and kind of fun to dial your own guitar.

    The basics are available at Stew Mac but honestly Home Depot has everything you actually need.

    I re-fretted 2 of my guitars -both in hotels over a summer of travel -mainly to learn how and for the experience -it's worth learning to.

    I don't do it myself every time at all, but worth it.
    “For me, when everything goes wrong – that’s when adventure starts.” Yvonne Chouinard

  3. #23
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    There is a lot of stress in wood due to the grain...how the tree grows. After a piece of wood is cut, those stresses will slowly cause the wood to warp. After time (after those stresses have been relieved) the wood will be stable.

    Like Dave said, Had a perfectly flat and straight piece of wood 7/8" thick that I needed to trim for a fretboard (about 1/4" thick). As soon as I cut it to thickness, some of those inner competing stresses were relieved and the 1/4" piece was warped. It was correctable with clamping and drying over time.

    But, yes, wood warps.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  4. #24
    OH THE GLAZE! Clint 55's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Don't friggin use a flat sanding device to initially level the frets, use a radius block. It does a perfect job whereas with a flat block, you're guessing.
    Keemsta meha
    Ham hit a dog!!

  5. #25
    Mojo's Minions masta' c's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Agree with the radius blocks...$30 from StewMac and worth it. Not as convenient on a compound radius board, however.

  6. #26
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    I've got several radius sanding blocks, but my all time favorite for absolute accuracy is this one...
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...m_18_Long.html

    Yes, it's very expensive. But if you want accuracy and want to spend less time getting it, then this is worth its weight in gold. By the way, the neck is the most important part of the guitar where accuracy is a must. Don't skimp here.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  7. #27
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Quote Originally Posted by GuitarDoc View Post
    I've got several radius sanding blocks, but my all time favorite for absolute accuracy is this one...
    https://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tool...m_18_Long.html

    Yes, it's very expensive. But if you want accuracy and want to spend less time getting it, then this is worth its weight in gold. By the way, the neck is the most important part of the guitar where accuracy is a must. Don't skimp here.
    I *love* Stew-Mac, but I purchased a (shorter version) of this from Philadelphia Luthier Tools, and it's accurate and super heavy-duty, for around half the price:
    https://www.philadelphialuthiertools...-520mm-length/

    Larry

  8. #28
    Toneologist Open lane's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    I bought my lp special used. Holy freakin cow, dead spots on bends anywhere past the 15th fret on the high e. I honestly don’t think guitar center would have known how to take care of it properly. Spent $75 additional and had it fixed up professionally.

  9. #29
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Quote Originally Posted by larryguitar View Post
    I *love* Stew-Mac, but I purchased a (shorter version) of this from Philadelphia Luthier Tools, and it's accurate and super heavy-duty, for around half the price:
    https://www.philadelphialuthiertools...-520mm-length/

    Larry
    Yes, I have several shorter ones too (8" long wood blocks), way less money, but I had no idea what I was missing until I got this long one. Now I will never buy a short one again. I only use my short ones for roughing-in the radius or for spot sanding small high areas. They can't even come close to doing the precision job that the long aluminum blocks can do.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

  10. #30
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    My point is that their 20" (I prefer longer blocks, as well) is about half the price of the long Stew-Mac.


    Larry

  11. #31
    Bacteriaolgoist GuitarDoc's Avatar
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    Default Re: If you can't level frets yourself, don't buy a new guitar....

    Quote Originally Posted by larryguitar View Post
    My point is that their 20" (I prefer longer blocks, as well) is about half the price of the long Stew-Mac.


    Larry
    Oh, yes, I got ya. That's a very good beam and as you say, about half the cost of StewMac. Next time I need one (perhaps of a different radius) that's where I'll go to get it.

    Thanks for the heads up.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.

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