#1
I've got a cheap and crappy SG that I built from a DIY kit and when it arrived the frets weren't level meaning I had to have a pretty high action to prevent fret buzz on two or three of the frets.

Because it's a cheap and crappy guitar it's not worth giving to an expert to level the frets, the guitar only cost 50-odd quid lol. So I was looking at getting the bits and pieces and doing it myself and found this site and this method.

Has anyone tried using this method to levelling frets? Did it work and how easy was it to get it done..?

Only cost me £25 to order it so thought I'd give it a go.
#2
Ive looked at that system before, its interesting. The only thing that might be an issue is since its such a wide and flat block you might have trouble depending on the radius of your board. If you have a flatter board it might work pretty well. Seems like it might take to much out of the middle if you have a rounder board or compound radius. I would love to hear from anyone that has used it, that also has used traditional methods though.
#3
Well; that is basically the way that everyone levels frets: a good sanding block, various grades of sandpaper (though some people use fret files), and a final polish with a polishing ("crocus") cloth abrasive. The only difference is that this method leaves the strings on the guitar, rather than removing them.

As has already been said, you will have to pay careful attention to the radius of your fretboard so that the frets are properly leveled along the radius of the fretboard. This would be more difficult if you had a guitar with a compound-radius fretboard, but your SG does not. Just pay careful attention to what you are doing, go slowly, and you should be fine.

I wonder if that company offers a special kit for leveling/dressing stainless steel frets? Many technicians claim that they are a nightmare to level because the steel is so damned hard.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#4
It looks like it would have problems with the crowning, or potentially be really inefficient at correcting frets that are really bad.

I must warn you that I'm not a Luthier by any stretch, but I had basically the same problem and I was also willing to try making my own repairs. I did manage to improve the fretboard. It still isn't a great player after the work that I did but it is better than it was.

On to the method:
The first part seems good because it allows you to maintain some string tension while you're leveling, but it could be bad if you have to use sandpaper to level a more "extreme" fret problem. Then it might take a while. I used a standard flat metal file and a very light touch. Maintaining string tension is not necessary but it seems helpful and I think that I would prefer to have the neck properly bowed rather than trying to set it perfectly flat with the strings removed.

The crowning part concerns me because I think that crowning deserves individual attention. I bought myself a fret crowning file and managed to get each fret fairly consistent with each other. I bet that if you try to crown frets all at once as demonstrated in the video that it would be pretty likely that you'd miss a few spots here and there. Might as well crown the frets the proper way.

I'd be interested in hearing about it if you decide to give it a try.
Last edited by paul.housley.7 at Jun 24, 2014,
#5
I've seen this done --
I think it's good that you're using a cheap guitar for the process.
My assessment (after a single sample run) was that it was less than useful and probably not worth the money and the time invested), but since it's a relatively small amount of money and a cheap guitar, you're not wasting that much money or damaging an important instrument. And who knows, yours might actually be level when you're all done!
#6
Well I'll certainly keep you all updated on how it goes when it arrives in the post!