#1
Hi all
I need to fret dress my guitar (some frets buzz although the truss rod is adjusted fine).
I really don't want to put a lot of money into it because it's a cheap guitar and I don't have enough money to buy the new guitar I plan to buy and don't have any incomes so...
Anywhere I look I see another method, plus anyone who posts a video on youtube is a professional who uses expensive stuff or a total noob trying to do that with scissors or something.
This is what I thought I can do for cheap:
I'll buy a wooden 8" long radius block from Stewmac, get some 300 grit in my city for 5$ instead of 40 from Stewmac, cut it to fit the block and glue it to the block.
Then I'll just run it on my frets only one way (to get equal results) as long as I feel the frets still have some of their original top layer.
Then I'll take a crowning tool (I'm not sure if I must buy one from Stewmac or any simple tool will do) and use it say 5 times on every fret from either directon.
And then I'll just take say 1000-1500 grit and run it fast for 10-20 seconds on every fret.
Am I missing something ? Or this is the best way to do this for cheap?
Thanks guys.
#2
You sure are an enthusiast. Maybe it's worth it taking your guitar to a professional?

I had fretjob on my first guitar for about 20 bucks...

Your method might work fine only if you know for sure that your neck is PERFECTLY staight atm.
Kombat Gear:



          #3
          Quote by some1fat
          You sure are an enthusiast. Maybe it's worth it taking your guitar to a professional?

          I had fretjob on my first guitar for about 20 bucks...

          Your method might work fine only if you know for sure that your neck is PERFECTLY staight atm.

          The only two professionals in my country take 150$ for this :\
          And what method can I use to ensure my neck is straight?
          Thanks
          #4
          Quote by some1fat
          You sure are an enthusiast. Maybe it's worth it taking your guitar to a professional?

          I had fretjob on my first guitar for about 20 bucks...

          Your method might work fine only if you know for sure that your neck is PERFECTLY staight atm.


          A fret leveling for $20...you must be trolling, it's not some kind of simple easy task like stringing up a guitar, it takes time and experience.

          I had a fret leveling on my guitar done, it cost about $120, which is actually pretty decent price.

          It's more than just sanding the frets down, you have to polish them too, and you have to make sure you have enough fret material left to do the job.

          The luther who did my guitar did something special, and near the 12th fret he slowly declined the rest of the frets to prevent fret buzz when fretting higher, cause the higher frets would be lower than the rest, it works great.
          #5
          Quote by ethan_hanus
          A fret leveling for $20...you must be trolling, it's not some kind of simple easy task like stringing up a guitar, it takes time and experience.

          I had a fret leveling on my guitar done, it cost about $120, which is actually pretty decent price.

          It's more than just sanding the frets down, you have to polish them too, and you have to make sure you have enough fret material left to do the job.

          The luther who did my guitar did something special, and near the 12th fret he slowly declined the rest of the frets to prevent fret buzz when fretting higher, cause the higher frets would be lower than the rest, it works great.

          Yeah I heard about that, really sounds like a great idea
          maybe before the 1000-1500 grit I'll take a 600 grit and rub it rapidly on 1-12 frets for say 5 seconds and from 12-22 I'll do 6 seconds then 7 then 8 hahhahhaa I doubt it'll do something good.

          So what do you say folks, my way should work (not what I posted now) ?
          #6
          You have to be very careful when leveling frets, you can ruin your guitar if you have no clue how to do it properly.
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          #7
          Quote by Robbgnarly
          You have to be very careful when leveling frets, you can ruin your guitar if you have no clue how to do it properly.

          Sure I know that but honestly this comment couldn't have been less helpful.
          #8
          Hey I'm just trying to give you a bit of advise, I have ruined the frets on a guitar and had to shellout an extra $190 for a total refret.
          If your going to have a go at it yes yo really sould get the "specialized" tools for the job.
          You do have the right idea, but take your time.
          2002 PRS CE22
          2013 G&L ASAT Deluxe
          2009 Epiphone G-400 (SH-4)
          Marshall JCM2000 DSL100
          Krank 1980 Jr 20watt
          Krank Rev 4x12 (eminence V12)
          GFS Greenie/Digitech Bad Monkey
          Morley Bad Horsie 2
          MXR Smart Gate
          #9
          Quote by ethan_hanus
          A fret leveling for $20...you must be trolling, it's not some kind of simple easy task like stringing up a guitar, it takes time and experience.


          Nah, I just live in eatern Europe. If it costs 120 bucks where you live, then yeah, it's better to do it yourself .
          Kombat Gear:



                  #10
                  Quote by some1fat
                  Nah, I just live in eatern Europe. If it costs 120 bucks where you live, then yeah, it's better to do it yourself .

                  150
                  But I thought most of Europe is pretty expensive, isn't it ?
                  #11
                  You can do a proper leveling with one of these(the 6 inch): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Leveling/Fret_Fingerboard_Leveling_Files.html

                  One of these(medium wide): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Shaping_and_crowning/Double-edge_Fret_File.html

                  Some masking tape, sandpaper(300-600-1000-2000), and steel wool(000-0000).

                  It's not a difficult task, but it does require a pretty good understanding of what you're doing and what you're looking for. If you want more specific instructions, I can provide some, but if you don't consider yourself to be good with your hands and with careful, tedious work, I would not recommend it because you can level too far and need a total refret.
                  Last edited by W4RP1G at Jul 10, 2011,
                  #12
                  Quote by W4RP1G
                  You can do a proper leveling with one of these(the 6 inch): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Leveling/Fret_Fingerboard_Leveling_Files.html

                  One of these(medium wide): http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Shaping_and_crowning/Double-edge_Fret_File.html

                  Some masking tape, sandpaper(300-600-1000-2000), and steel wool(000-0000).

                  It's not a difficult task, but it does require a pretty good understanding of what you're doing and what you're looking for. If you want more specific instructions, I can provide some, but if you don't consider yourself to be good with your hands and with careful, tedious work, I would not recommend it because you can level too far and need a total refret.

                  But what do I need those tools for ? For the leveling itself?
                  I can't ensure a proper radius with those tools and my original radius is pretty much gone, plus they cost too much, so can you tell me exactly what's wrong with the way I suggested ?
                  Thanks
                  #13
                  Quote by gnr_tb
                  But what do I need those tools for ? For the leveling itself?
                  I can't ensure a proper radius with those tools and my original radius is pretty much gone, plus they cost too much, so can you tell me exactly what's wrong with the way I suggested ?
                  Thanks

                  I'm just offering my personal experience. You don't need a block with a radius to level the frets, you just take your time and pay attention. Personally, I have one of those radius blocks, and I wouldn't use it for leveling, it's too wide and doesn't really allow the control I need to do a good job. The fret leveler I recommended is the one I use, and it's not very wide at all, allowing me to go with the radius naturally just by keeping it flat.

                  Your way would work as well, but I would use something non-radius and thin, like this http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Leveling/Fret_Fingerboard_Levelers.html for example, but if you can find something cheaper, then good on you.


                  But you should know that you gotta be careful, if you don't have equal force applied the whole time, you will have some uneven frets, so just be careful. And I wouldn't worry about a specific amount of strokes each way, you don't need to take it down too much, so just do until every fret is flat on the top(I mean has a noticeable flat spot) and you are ready to crown.

                  I do my leveling 6 inches at a time, but I would prefer more like 10 inches. I don't see how people can use that 24 inch block, that's just too big to me. Maybe if I worked in a factory and didn't care about the guitars that I leveled.

                  Like I said, it's not really hard or anything too complicated, you just gotta pay attention and know what you're looking for so you don't sand to far. I'm not sure if there's a way to do a crown without a crown tool though. Maybe a file, but since crowning is the longest part, I prefer something that's kind of quick.
                  Last edited by W4RP1G at Jul 10, 2011,
                  #14
                  Quote by W4RP1G
                  I'm just offering my personal experience. You don't need a block with a radius to level the frets, you just take your time and pay attention. Personally, I have one of those radius blocks, and I wouldn't use it for leveling, it's too wide and doesn't really allow the control I need to do a good job. The fret leveler I recommended is the one I use, and it's not very wide at all, allowing me to go with the radius naturally just by keeping it flat.

                  Your way would work as well, but I would use something non-radius and thin, like this http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Leveling/Fret_Fingerboard_Levelers.html for example, but if you can find something cheaper, then good on you.


                  But you should know that you gotta be careful, if you don't have equal force applied the whole time, you will have some uneven frets, so just be careful. And I wouldn't worry about a specific amount of strokes each way, you don't need to take it down too much, so just do until every fret is flat on the top(I mean has a noticeable flat spot) and you are ready to crown.

                  I do my leveling 6 inches at a time, but I would prefer more like 10 inches. I don't see how people can use that 24 inch block, that's just too big to me. Maybe if I worked in a factory and didn't care about the guitars that I leveled.

                  Like I said, it's not really hard or anything too complicated, you just gotta pay attention and know what you're looking for so you don't sand to far. I'm not sure if there's a way to do a crown without a crown tool though. Maybe a file, but since crowning is the longest part, I prefer something that's kind of quick.


                  Thanks for the very detailed comment !
                  So you recommend the 6"/10" tool? Although I ruined the original radius already?
                  And a few more questions-
                  Do I have to buy a grit paper or this tool does that?
                  What cheap crowning method and tool would you advise me (from Stwemac)?
                  Should I do anything after crowning ? Go with a 1500 grit on every fret so they'll be smooth ?
                  Thanks again!
                  #15
                  Quote by gnr_tb
                  Thanks for the very detailed comment !
                  So you recommend the 6"/10" tool? Although I ruined the original radius already?
                  And a few more questions-
                  Do I have to buy a grit paper or this tool does that?
                  What cheap crowning method and tool would you advise me (from Stwemac)?
                  Should I do anything after crowning ? Go with a 1500 grit on every fret so they'll be smooth ?
                  Thanks again!

                  How did you ruin the original radius? I'm sorry, I didn't notice where you said your radius was gone. I thought you were just having a problem with uneven frets.

                  Here's a good thread I found on doing a leveling yourself on a budget: http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?t=168216

                  He does it in a manner that makes it hard to mess up, just so long as you don't get carried away. He also used sandpaper to do the crowning, which is a method I know about but never bother to do since I have a crowning tool. You should just follow his tutorial, it's pretty much about as cheap as possible and nearly idiot proof.

                  But if your radius is truly screwed up, then maybe you will need that radius block.
                  #16
                  Quote by W4RP1G
                  How did you ruin the original radius? I'm sorry, I didn't notice where you said your radius was gone. I thought you were just having a problem with uneven frets.

                  Here's a good thread I found on doing a leveling yourself on a budget: http://www.seymourduncan.com/forum/showthread.php?t=168216

                  He does it in a manner that makes it hard to mess up, just so long as you don't get carried away. He also used sandpaper to do the crowning, which is a method I know about but never bother to do since I have a crowning tool. You should just follow his tutorial, it's pretty much about as cheap as possible and nearly idiot proof.

                  But if your radius is truly screwed up, then maybe you will need that radius block.

                  Thanks I'll check this out now.
                  About my radius - I tried to level my frets with a whetstone before. Actually it did make them way smoother and easier to play but I'm afraid it ruined the radius, although it's not that rough. It's like 300-600 grit I think.
                  And I play this guitar 4 years so it's maybe ruined naturally ?
                  Should it be good enough despite those facts ?

                  Okay I read that but honestly it doesn't make any sense. How can I know all the frets have the same level if I just work on one fret every time ? I don't think this will work for me, I want 1.5-2mm action to play fast without buzzes and sustain lost
                  Last edited by gnr_tb at Jul 10, 2011,
                  #17
                  Your original idea would work pretty well, actually. You will need a straight edge and need to do your best to clamp the neck down straight. Then put black marker on the tops of each fret. Then, instead of doing a prescribed number of rubs and timings, do a couple and observe. It's easy to go too far. Redo the frets with marker as you need. Once all the marker is gone evenly, you should have pretty level frets.

                  Then use the same approach to crowning. I rarely use sand paper finishing frets, but I use up a lot of fine steel wool. Becareful crowning not to make the frets uneven again. Use the marker.
                  Last edited by Razbo at Jul 10, 2011,
                  #18
                  Quote by gnr_tb
                  Thanks I'll check this out now.
                  About my radius - I tried to level my frets with a whetstone before. Actually it did make them way smoother and easier to play but I'm afraid it ruined the radius, although it's not that rough. It's like 300-600 grit I think.
                  And I play this guitar 4 years so it's maybe ruined naturally ?
                  Should it be good enough despite those facts ?

                  Okay I read that but honestly it doesn't make any sense. How can I know all the frets have the same level if I just work on one fret every time ? I don't think this will work for me, I want 1.5-2mm action to play fast without buzzes and sustain lost

                  He uses a mill file to level 8 inches at a time straight across. It's exactly the same as an 8 inch block with sandpaper.

                  Razbo, has the same idea with using a permanent marker, I'd do that.
                  #19
                  Quote by gnr_tb
                  Quote by Robbgnarly
                  You have to be very careful when leveling frets, you can ruin your guitar if you have no clue how to do it properly.

                  Sure I know that but honestly this comment couldn't have been less helpful.


                  Yeah, its quite an overstatement. You might ruin your frets, but thats certainly not a ruined guitar! It just means you have more work to do. And when you're done you wont brag about just doing a crown, you say you completely re-fretted your guitar to get it just the way you like it. Pretend that was what you planned at the start.
                  #20
                  So eventually everyone told me his own method and other ideas
                  What I need is that you tell me exactly what tools I need to get a cheap yet good job. And I want to level the frets relatively to each other, not just one fret at a time because this will probably give me worse results than doing nothing