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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Edit: I would like to also add could you also explain how you use the tool(s) and how they are helpful, or some explanation of their application?

I have decided I am going to start doing my own guitars. I have no luthier tools yet. What will I need to have to do top notch fret work?

Things I think I need:

Radius gauges
Fret files
Fret crowning files
Straight edges
Fret rocker
Fret nipper
Fret end file

I know there are more...

Thanks
 

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StewMac sells these thin, metal fretguards that only expose the tops of the frets for easier polishing without damaging the fretboard. You may also wish to consider their fret erasers for quick touch ups.
 
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Discussion Starter #11
Please post a thread when you start.
I'd like to see a step by step process.
 
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Discussion Starter #13
Funny how I am not really getting many tool recommendations...
 

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I think you've got it covered.

You will need nut files if you're refretting a bunch with really worn frets you'll probably have to redo a few nuts too.

I wouldn't bother with the fret rocker, use an old tims card.
Straight edges can be a 24" ruler or a good quality level.

Whats the difference between Fret files & Fret crowning files??

Or does fret files mean the ones to clean up the ends?

Nathan
 

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Whats the difference between Fret files & Fret crowning files??
There are fret levelling files that you use to lower high frets (generally filing over the tops of several frets at once), and then fret crowning files are used to restore the rounded top shape. There are some fret crowning files that makes the round shape for you, or you can get other flat files to create the crown yourself.

A couple of other "tools" you might want to get are masking tape for the fretboard (when doing the whole neck, probably easier to mask everything rather than using those Stew Mac fret guards), a sharpie to mark high frets, and #0000 steel wool for polishing the frets when you are done. Lastly, if you have the time, patience, and extra fret wire, maybe you want to get a cheap spare neck to practice on first.
 
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Discussion Starter #17
IMO - Get the fret rocker - you can put a lot more pressure on them which will help you find very small variances
I was thinking about going into a metal fabrication shop and getting them to cut me some different shapes with a big metal cutting press. Straight edges as well as fret rocker style tools.
 

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Buy a cheap guitar and practice on it. That's what I did. Better to make mistakes and learn from them on a $50 guitar than your pride and joy!!
 
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Discussion Starter #19
Buy a cheap guitar and practice on it. That's what I did. Better to make mistakes and learn from them on a $50 guitar than your pride and joy!!
I think $50 is way too much to pay.
 

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a soldering iron with a nice flat tip. You'll need that to heat up the old frets before you pull them. It really helps keep damage of the board down, and if someone glued the frets in, it will help release them. As a bonus, it smells good too. :)

Radius blocks are good for sanding the board. and a straight sanding beam also. Next Gen is selling pre-cut, pre-radiused fret sets now. They work great.
 
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