Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Fret leveling yer tele.......101

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Ronkirn, Feb 27, 2010.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2010
    Central California
    It's not just humidity. Even if you have constant, unchanging humidity it would still be a problem. You would also have to have constant temperature. Aluminum has a much greater expansion/contraction ratio than granite also. But at "normal" tempertures it is not a problem. Wood can grow/ shrink as much as 1/16-1/8" in a span as small as two feet between 32 and 120 degrees depending on wood type. Then there is swelling due to humidity/dampness. MDF is probably less, but then again it is formed under pressure, and it's made of wood. Toss a piece of particle board in water overnite and see what happens. 1/2" can become 1 1/2" thick as those sawust particles remember the size they were before getting crushed by boocoo tons/sq inch :eek::!: The change in "typical" granite between those temperatures is a few microns over the same span, and is not influenced by water at liquid temperatures. But water that gets in granite's fissures and freezes eventually turns granite into sand:!: Remember that the next time you go to the beach....:cool: And don't put a granite countertop on you barbeque island if you live in Alaska...............

    There is a lot more involved with stoneworking than most would imagine. Seems like all the various materials have their pros and cons. What works with wood........what works with metals..........what works with stone.......what works with composites,resins, plastics etc...........all very different. There are also many commonalities too. Knowing a material's properties are key for purposes of application/suitability.

    My purpose here is nothing more than a FYI..........for those interested. Has next to nothing to do with a Telecaster, or guitar building either.But then again, many problems with guitar necks/frets are a direct result of "properties".The musicality(resonance)/workability/price/profitability/beauty/tradition (not necessarily that order) of wood superceeds it's shortcomings, or something else would be used.:D
     

  2. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2010
    Central California
    One more thing, for those considering using granite (or marble) for a fret leveling beam:

    2cm (3/4") granite is not very strong at 2" wide. Granite is full of fissures, as it is a conglomeration of different minerals that solidified from a molten,liquid state (igneous rock). There will always be a "divide" between the various minerals. It's kind of like a rock version of "head cheese". Also, granite can warp with time, and specially a narrow piece. If you are going to use granite to level your frets, I would STRONGLY advise checking to see if it is still flat prior to putting it to your frets.:eek:

    The strongest granite is Absolute Black (all black). It is also the heaviest color (may or may not be good). But it is sadly more prone to warping.:rolleyes:

    Just thought you might want to keep that in mind when weighing decissions on what to use for a beam. For a stone tool, Quartz Surface is the way to go: none of the (above) problems, REALLY strong - nite and day difference:D
     

  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL

  4. nadzab

    nadzab Friend of Leo's

    Mar 23, 2009
    New England

  5. KevinB

    KevinB Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 4, 2007
    New Jersey
    I bought one of Marty's beams too.

    It's very nice - finished better than I expected and it arrived safely and promptly.
     

  6. TNTales

    TNTales Tele-Meister

    147
    Mar 26, 2010
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Thanks so much for this information! I have just one bad fret on my guitar (5th fret; G string). There's a groove in the fret and it's not too deep but it's deep enough that I feel it when I fret and the string almost hangs. Would this fix the problem or do I need to do something more drastic (playing around it while exciting is not what I'm going for).
     

  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Fret leveling is something any guitar would benefit from. It's much like tuning a car, it only makes things better. (assuming someone that knows what they are doing does it)

    As for the 5th fret, it depends on how badly it's grooved. I can't see it from here.... ;)

    r
     

  8. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2010
    Central California
    It's 'Scoring your Rock to Fret Level Yer Tele 101'

    Now let me say this up-front: I'M NOT TRYING TO SELL ANYTHING HERE! I'm a firm believer in that people need choices.............:D

    I just want to let everyone know that I'm almost ready to unveil the "type 2" new design. This one is 1" wide and laminated for 1 1/2" tall, and with both 1" edges calibrated. The tool weight is identical with Ron's 2" wide beam. This one should be better for compound necks, and can be used one-handed. Gonna cost a lot more; lotsa work goes into this one. I will continue with the 2" wide also, and have a few more surprizes in store for flat tools too.

    I have gotten just tremendous feedback on the tools from nadzab and KevinB to luthiers with 40 years of experience telling me they are setting aside there pro steel leveling beams for the Quartz Poly because it is really working for them...........and I thank you all! I am just happy to offer everyone a low cost alternative that also happens to work great! And being a fabricator, I know exactly what you are going to encounter when you wander in to a fabrication shop looking for stuff to make leveling beams out of.

    Let me coach ya:

    1) look up Zodiaq or Ceasarstone Authorized Fabricators. Bypass the Sales Dept (looks like a store and different location from the shop) Go straight to the fab shop were the stuff in turned into countertops etc.;)

    2) DON'T WANDER AROUND IN THE YARD! Go straight to the office, or ask the 1st guy you see to talk to who's in charge.

    3) Ask the boss if you can buy/have a small chunk of Zodiaq/Ceazarstone ANY COLOR 20"+ by anything. Let him take you to look (if he wants to). And don't forget ANY COLOR!:idea:

    4) Check-out the big, loud machines most of which are the size of 2-3 car garages spewing water and rippin' it up on the stone. Stoneworking equipment makes a cabinet or furniture building shop look like a bunch of little dainty machines in comparison! (you don't have to do this but why not since you're there!):twisted:

    5)Ask him if he can rip your piece down to 2" (or as many as you can get outta the chunk) if ya spring for lunch etc and (VERY IMPORTANT) '....I'll come back and pick it up WHENEVER it's ready.........' Don't forget to say that WAY before you talk $$$ !;)

    6) If you pull off everything else smoothly, ask about buying some sandpaper. If ya got a disc sander, he will probably have 7" discs w/o PSA or velcro (standard of the industry), otherwise buy a sheet or two of 120 grit silicon carbide paper off him. He will probably sell it to you for way less than store price and it's special for stoneworking to boot.:cool:

    7) Reminder: DON'T GO WANDERING AROUND IN THE YARD WHERE ALL THE SLABS ARE WHEN YOU 1st GET THERE! Unless you want to get kicked out and empty-handed:oops:..........slab yards are inheirantly dangerous and you have no business there unaccompanied! Ditto w/ climbing in the dumpster!!!:mad:
     

  9. TNTales

    TNTales Tele-Meister

    147
    Mar 26, 2010
    Knoxville, Tennessee
    Ok, here ya go:

    [​IMG]

    this is a close up:

    [​IMG]

    It's on the half of the fret nearest the headstock.
     

  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    That's gonna take a lotta grinding to get them all down to that level... you may want to replace the fret then level them.,

    r
     

  11. alfaphlex

    alfaphlex TDPRI Member

    4
    Mar 27, 2010
    Philly
    I'm sorry to bump this thread up, but I want to give a huge thank you to Ronkirn and tdpri. I'm no stranger to building/modding things, but I've never leveled frets before.

    Anyway, I have a 20th anniversary squier strat that I decided to mod with some GFS parts, so I figured "wth, might as well learn now".

    Bought me the crowning file he linked to and for leveling, I used this. They also sell a roll of 180 grit sandpaper with adhesive for that bar, so I got that too.

    So how did it go? Let me start off by saying that I have all my guitars set up for 2mm on the low E and 1.8-ish on the high E at the last fret. Well, after leveling the frets, I decided to play some limbo and see how low I could go before getting fret buzz.

    I was at 1.1 low E when I hit the buzz. That says enough. Anyway, I now have this Squier set at 1.5mm low E and 1.3mm high E, with about .12mm with about .3mm relief. This baby is so easy to play now, it's almost cheating, lol. Shred, np. I can even strum hard and not get any buzz at all. It's crazy.

    Also, with new pickguard and the "Jimi" reverse stagger GFS pickups, this squier is a completely different animal. It plays smoother now than my 60's Classic Vibe and has the same punch, but different bite. I love it.

    Gonna do this to each of my guitars whenever they need modding or string changing.... *looks over at the 50's CV Tele*:twisted:

    Again, thanks to all you guys for all the tips posted, especially the fallaway bit. I would have never thought to do that and this is the only site I've seen it mentioned.
     

  12. soulfixinman

    soulfixinman Tele-Meister

    120
    Jul 21, 2009
    Summerville, SC
    I just stumbled upon this thread like I do many searching from one idea to another...I thought I had the ultimate, I had found a friend of the family that gave me a perfect piece of corian that I had cut to 24 by 2" and a short piece 6 by 2"
    Now after reading this I feel like I need a piece of quartz polymer resin,
    tell me it isn't true that my nice flat piece of corian that won't pass light
    sitting on top of a flat cast jointer table is nothing but junk!

    thanks to Ron and all who contributed.
     

  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Corian will work fine if ya don't want to make the jump to the man made stone... just don't apply excessive downward pressure in any one spot, it can distort slightly... just easy force sliding it up and down the neck will do fine.

    Ron
     

  14. davidos

    davidos TDPRI Member

    28
    Sep 8, 2008
    new york
    Just have a few questions before I tackle my Strat...

    Should I leave the neck connected to the body and support the neck with my Stewmac neck rest (the truss rod is at the butt end so I'll have to remove the neck a few times while I am trying to straighten the neck) or should I get one of these neck holders http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Frettin...Support_Caul.html?actn=100101&xst=3&xsr=10498

    Just trying to figure the best way to support the neck...

    Also, before I begin should I make sure the neck is straight (w/o strings on) using a straightedge in the middle of the neck (along the dots) or use a notched straightedge on the fingerboard?

    Just worried about getting the neck straight...

    Thanks!
     

  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    I would remove the neck; you don't have to worry about messing up the setup because leveling the frets will do the "messing" for ya... you will need to do a setup (see other threads) after the leveling is completed.

    The "marker" on the frets will allow you to see if the neck is "level”. If the tool removes the ink from the middle frets, loosen the truss rod, (turn counterclockwise). If it takes it off the extreme end frets. . tighten it a touch. You may have to re-apply the marker ink to get it right, and close is good enough.

    If it's a very old neck, there may have been anything done to it over the years, then referencing off the fingerboard's surface to achieve "level" would be the way to go, but on most of the necks today, the magic marker method is fine.

    Ron
     

  16. davidos

    davidos TDPRI Member

    28
    Sep 8, 2008
    new york

    Thanks Ron! Should I get that Stewmac neck holder I linked to or just prop the neck on a folded towel and try to keep it still?
     

  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Just make ya something like i use in post #6 it's pretty simple.

    Ron
     

  18. bubba105

    bubba105 Tele-Meister

    159
    Mar 11, 2009
    New York City
    The thing I find comical about this thread is that about 8 months ago I was on Building Inspection (a fireman thing) & the local countertop guy was on the menu for the day, so to speak. He had a potload of 2 to 3 inch wide cutoffs in lengths up to 4 feet. The owner explained that he had to pay to get rid of them & I should help myself. So naturally I grabbed 3 of every size with just this in mind. Funny thing is I've been trying since then to figure out why it would be wrong to use them. Being a noob at this fretting thing, I did a lot of fretting about grits, granite being too heavy & such. Think I'll try a neck with the granite now but I'm starting with 320. Slow & steady. Thanks for the push Ron.
     

  19. JPanichella

    JPanichella Tele-Meister

    290
    Apr 11, 2010
    Cincinnati, OH
    Why is this not stickied?!
     

  20. 4string

    4string Friend of Leo's

    Feb 11, 2010
    Central California
    Yup. We take the equivelent of 3 to 5 tons of scrap to a near-by concrete recycler PER WEEK. Not to mention the roll-off debris-box that gets dumped every two weeks. We toss everything smaller than 1/4 slabs (approx 12 sf) within one month after installation was completed.

    Of course, smaller shops do not have this degree of scrap output, but there is still a sizeable amount of "leftover" material inheirent in the trade. If we cannot get a project out of "x" number of slabs, we have no choice but to purchase "x + 1" slabs to do it. Sometimes it could be we needed one 4" by 24" side splash and had to buy a 50 sf slab to do it!

    Keep in mind there is a huge difference between granite and quartz/poly. I wouldn't put a pc of granite to one of my necks until after I 1st determined it is still flat prior to each use.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.