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Old 12-05-2012, 04:26 AM   #1
ibanez350mdx
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Join Date: Sep 2008
Any Tips on Fret Leveling?

I'm in college and I'm going to be starting a co-op job this month, so I figured I would buy some fret leveling tools with my extra money and clean up the frets on my guitars. I was wondering if anybody can give me some pointers on how to do it and what tools I will definitely need.

I've done a bit of research but I am stuck between several similar tools for some of the tasks. My electric guitars are mostly Ibanez RG's (obviously) and they have have jumbo frets. StewMac has several different crowning files but I have no idea which one I need to use. Also, has anyone used a radius block to level the frets, I'm worried I'll mess up the radius if I don't use one. What straightedge is best to use, one that has fret cutouts and sits on the board, or just a flat one that sits on top of the frets? Finally, how did you go about polishing the frets after you leveled and crowned them.

I realize that I could pay someone to get this done, but I have several guitars that I would like to level the frets on. So, if you've leveled your frets yourself, tell me how you did it and how it came out.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Old 12-05-2012, 06:16 AM   #2
Speckled_Hen
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All from my own experience doing fret jobs:

Go with the diamond crowning file if you have to do this more than once. You'll only end up buying it eventually anyway. The offset one would make set necks and neck thoughs easier, but its not essential.

The radius deals with itself mostly. I've never had any problems levelling with a flat surface. I use a spirit level that happens to be perfectly flat. Also, you can do a compound radius in the frets near the body, you really have to try to stop them still being the same radius though, if you get my drift.

Get a couple of normal 600mm rulers and cut the notches in one with a hacksaw. It'll save you some cash. The notched one is better for checking whether the neck is flat.
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Old 12-05-2012, 09:22 AM   #3
Robbgnarly
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Go to Sullys Guitar Garage on youtube. The guy is really good at showing and explaining how to do just about everything related to guitar building/repair. He's funny as hell too.
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Old 12-06-2012, 03:19 PM   #4
ibanez350mdx
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Appreciate all the help guys. Especially the file tip I was looking at the diamond files and was going to just go with the normal one but I see where almost all the reviewers said they would get the diamond one next time.
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