#1
I'm really getting the itch to try learning how to do some work on guitars. Figured I'd start with frets and nuts. Thinking about picking up a cheap guitar on ebay (bullet strat or epi special) so it won't matter if I screw it up too much anyway. As far as tools are concerned, I'm thinking I need a notched straight edge, fret rocker, fret leveling file, and crowning file at a minimum. Quesiton then is can a beginner pick up the cheap tools on ebay and have enought to learn from? Or, is it just a waste of time and money to not just go to Stewmac in the first place and drop the cash for some quality tools?
#2
Some of stew-macs stuff is just rebranded Chinese imports. I'm kinda disappointed that my diamond files from them cost so much compared to the same thing I can buy at Princess Auto.
..I was watching my death.
#3
depends what you mean by cheap! I think quality also matters when it comes to crowning tools , I have found that crimson tools are good I like there crowning files they have, I find the hardest thing to master is fret crowning but this will only come with practice trial and error , Also one big point is preparation protect the guitar in everyway you can before starting any work even if its cheap -
#4
Avoid Stewmac's tools. They're well made, but stupidly overpriced.

Crimson's tools are a lot cheaper and just as good.
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Quote by Axelfox
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#5
Quote by columbiar
Quesiton then is can a beginner pick up the cheap tools on ebay and have enought to learn from? Or, is it just a waste of time and money to not just go to Stewmac in the first place and drop the cash for some quality tools?


possibly. i went the stew-mac route and picked up a ton of stuff on sale in a kit because it was basically just easier, but one can cherry pick if one knows what one is doing though.

i suggest getting a small kit of tools from wherever and getting busy. in time you'll find out what gives you your results and what doesn't.
#6
Tangentially related question:
Are there any affordable alternatives to nut files? I've tried using small coping saws but they left a very rough slot.
Nut files are stupidly expensive and I can't justify buying a set since I'll rarely use them.
#7
Quote by sashki at #33637873
Tangentially related question:
Are there any affordable alternatives to nut files? I've tried using small coping saws but they left a very rough slot.
Nut files are stupidly expensive and I can't justify buying a set since I'll rarely use them.

Torch tip cleaners. Google it.

You get a dozen tiny needle files that are perfect for chasing nut slots. They're very cheap.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#8
Quote by sashki
Tangentially related question:
Are there any affordable alternatives to nut files? I've tried using small coping saws but they left a very rough slot.
Nut files are stupidly expensive and I can't justify buying a set since I'll rarely use them.



for the dedicated professional not really, but for diy folk there are many techniques.

currently trending now is cutting teeth onto the edges of feeler gages with a dremel cut-off wheel.
Last edited by ad_works at Oct 15, 2015,
#9
Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Avoid Stewmac's tools. They're well made, but stupidly overpriced.

Crimson's tools are a lot cheaper and just as good.

Ya, I've watched a number of their you tube videos on guitar repair. This brings up a question. At Crimson, the guy hates the dedicated crowning files, the ones that fit over both sides of the fret. He much prefers just using a three sided file. But, for a beginner, the crowning file looks easier. What are the thoughts from you guys on this?
#10
Quote by columbiar at #33638360
Ya, I've watched a number of their you tube videos on guitar repair. This brings up a question. At Crimson, the guy hates the dedicated crowning files, the ones that fit over both sides of the fret. He much prefers just using a three sided file. But, for a beginner, the crowning file looks easier. What are the thoughts from you guys on this?

Get a crowning file. If not using one works for him, then whatever. But crowning files allow you to crown frets much more consistently than rounding each one with a regular file. That's why they exist.
Roses are red
Violets are blue
Omae wa mou
Shindeiru



Quote by Axelfox
Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee
#11
I have the three sided file from crimson I first mark my fret with black ink and then I use the file to start it off, I try and get the line as thin as I can then I use a crowning file to finish to get the line really thin and smooth . this is just the way I do it and I like using both . I try my hardest to get the line really thin with the three side file but just can't do it yet - I would love to see some one do that .
#12
Quote by columbiar
Ya, I've watched a number of their you tube videos on guitar repair. This brings up a question. At Crimson, the guy hates the dedicated crowning files, the ones that fit over both sides of the fret. He much prefers just using a three sided file. But, for a beginner, the crowning file looks easier. What are the thoughts from you guys on this?


i'm fine with crowning files. in fact i used one yesterday on a 99' schecter c7+ re-dress. they make a consistent radius every time on every fret. the file teeth do tend to pack with chips (pinning) which if you don't tap out of the file or brush out often will leave scratches in the fret.

one way to help with this is to put some chalk on the file. this will help keep the filings from sticking to the file teeth. i can't comment on the diamond plated ones. the chip generating method with those is a bit different compared to the regular files.

those using triangular files -more power to them, but they will not make a fret profile as geometrically accurate as a radiused crowing file. indeed it does take a bit more skill to use them and to produce a good result, but ime romantic sweat equity doesn't equal quality -it's just unnecessary effort imo.

kinda like value stream mapping. would you pay a gardener more because they trim the lawn with scissors and claim "quality and craftsmanship" vs. a gardener who uses a mower and gets a superior result in 1/1000 the time
Last edited by ad_works at Oct 16, 2015,
#13
One of the first things you should buy is the book "Guitar Player Repair Guide" by Dan Erlrwine. How to setup, maintain, and repair electric and acoustic guitars.
It will teach you when and how to use the tools.
There's a guitar setup kit nut file set on ebay that's great, much better than torch tip files. Good luck.
Last edited by Guitbuilder at Oct 16, 2015,