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

Fret refinishing kit?????

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by guitarzan13, Feb 2, 2007.

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  1. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    Fret refin kit or not??

    I just got a new neck in a trade. Great neck, however it has a few high frets and I can't get the action as low as I like it. Has anyone here tried the Thomas & Ginex Fret Refinishing Kit?? The neck only needs a slight level and crown. This looks as if it would work. This is the site
    http://www.fretrefinishing.com/

    I know that I will still have to polish after I use it though.

    EDIT: After looking deeper, I have descided to level and crown by hand. I feel that I have the ability to take this on. Now my question is.... If the frets are new and only need to be "kissed" on the top. Is it necessary to use a crowning file or can I use the hand/sandpaper method used here???
    http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Frets/00028Refret/00028refret02.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2007

  2. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    Unless you really know what you're doing...
     

  3. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    I just found another thread.... my first two searches turned up nothing....
     

  4. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    Question edited in first post....
     

  5. magicguitar

    magicguitar Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    69
    Aug 23, 2006
    Fallon, Nevada
    I picked up the Thomas & Genix fret leveling kit and their fret polishing kit. It does work for leveling but when it comes to the crowning part get ready for lots of scratches on the fretboard. I tried it out of curiosity and on a neck that it didn't matter if it got messed up. So I would not reccomend using that kit. You can get the tools you need at Stewmac for between $75-100. You also might ask Ron Kirn (he's a member here) if he still has his Setup book for sale. It is an EXCELLANT book for setting up your guitar and goes into great detail on fret leveling, recrowning, etc. Hope this helps and good luck.
     

  6. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA

  7. jazzguitar14

    jazzguitar14 Tele-Meister

    241
    May 19, 2006
    Get some kind of crowning file... It will pay for itsself in the long run...

    final crowning / polishing: use decending grits light sandpaper - wrap aroung a rubber eraiser and sand in single neck lenght strokes -- finish w/ steelwool and wool sock...

    DO NOT DO THIS if you have a finished maple F-board, as it may / will sand off the fretboard finish!!! but rosewood is fine and re lube w/ some lemon oil
     

  8. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    According to the eBay ad the inside width of the file is 2.9 mm. Looking at the StewMac website I see their widest fret wire is 2.79 mm wide. Sounds very good deal especially for a diamond file with free shipping. Be aware that the price is only for one file.
     

  9. jeffhigh

    jeffhigh Tele-Meister

    184
    Dec 1, 2003
    Australia
    Just bought one,(the crowning file not the pos refinishing kit) will see how it goes. Should have got one long ago but baulked at the price from stewmac.
     

  10. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    Great I was worried that would be too wide for medium fretwire. Thanks!
     

  11. Jack Wells

    Jack Wells Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Oct 19, 2003
    Albuquerque, USA
    What I posted above was StewMac's widest fretwire. Their medium fretwire ranges from 2.03 mm to 2.41 mm.
     

  12. guitarzan13

    guitarzan13 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    52
    Jul 25, 2006
    LaGrange, GA
    I was thinking that you could use a wide file on medium frets....just not on small ones.
     

  13. mgfretman

    mgfretman Banned

    18
    Feb 7, 2007
    New Jersey
    I used the kit on my Strat that buzzed at the 7th and 13th frets, 2nd string on the 7th and 3rd string at the 13th. I followed the instructions and taped the fingerboard so there wouldn't be any contact between the abrasive and the rosewood when I did the crowning step. When I finished all three steps
    I removed the tape and the string lift and tuned up. The buzzes were gone, and the neck felt new. It did have a certain amount of grittyness to it at first when I bent a note but that conditioned disappeared after a few days of playing. I loved the way that kit did the job...and I saved a ton of money.:D
     

  14. abraxas

    abraxas Tele-Meister

    331
    Nov 27, 2006
    Greece
    From what I can understand, this kit is meant to "protect" the novice from accidentally screwing up a perfectly good fretboard.

    I personally got some tools from both Rockinger and Stewmac, and mainly followed Rob D's excelent instructions... I've done 4 boards thus far, with the results on the latest one, far exceeding my expectations.

    Sure, it takes a lot more patience and attention to do things using "regular" tools, but it's better to acquire a few good skills on the way than resort to a "recipe" of sorts.

    Just IMHO and YMMV as always.
     

  15. mgfretman

    mgfretman Banned

    18
    Feb 7, 2007
    New Jersey
    My experience with Stewmac's tools goes back 25 years. When I got this kit I was very skeptical that it would work at all. But when I realized what these guys designed into the method it blew me away. I didn't have to set the neck straight, I didn't have to buy any expensive tools or jigs and what used to take me at least a couple hours took me minutes. And I'm not alone according to their ebay feedback. Pretty impressive. I can understand why guys who do setups for a living would put this kit down. I would probably do the same thing.
     

  16. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    If you apply any amount of abrasive pressure to fret tops, the fret tops need to be recrowned. Crowning fret tops with a file is almost an art. Most modern luthiers and techs use radiused diamond crown files - and there is no way in h3ll I'd ever go back to crowning with a flat file. There are also crowning burrs (the most notable is the Gurian), but steel is NO substitute for diamond dust. At least for me.

    I dunno yet what to make about the T&G Fret Refinishing Method. I don't fully understand how anyone could do all the things mentioned with 22 buck$ worth of tooling and wind up with leveled, crowned and polished frets that actually work well. Not enuf site info and I sure as heck ain't gonna buy the Kit until I fully understand that process and the tools used.

    There are lotsa valid ways to skin the level 'n' crown cat. I like Rick Turner's take on "dynamic tension" leveling (using a 3/4" alum L with sticky backed abrasive and leveling under string tension AFTER the board is leveled with truss rod adjustments) - great stuff and sure beats spending a fortune on fancy schmancy neck tensioning jigs (yeah, I'm definitely a disciple of Frank Ford's "School of Frugal but Effective Luthiery" :cool: ). Or even expensive Plek jobs. :twisted:

    For the very most part I use cut off plastic drafting T-squares for fret and board straight edges (notched for board reading in a variety of fret scales). Long long ago I had a local machine shop mill me a set of 3/4" x 2" cold steel levelers in a variety of lengths - the heavy weight allows the leveler to do the grunt work and all I gotta do is push 'n' drag. I use double stick taped on abrasive paper, or pre-taped abrasive on a roll in 100 through 600 grits. What grit to use depends on how bad the frets are - for heavily divoted frets I start off with a single cut leveling file and work back to 600 grit. Diamond crowns are a boon to luthiers and I've got 'em in different sizes and grits. I use MicroMesh cloth for polishing.

    Awhile back I did some L&C pictorials, they might be of some help to ya ...

    http://frettech.com/fret/index.html

    http://frettech.com/fret_lc/index.html

    ... PM or email me privately if ya need help. I'd love to see all serious guitarists doing their own setups, nut cutting and L&C's. All three jobs are well within the reach of most anyone. It ain't rocket science and it ain't difficult art. It's all in the tools ... and how to use 'em. :cool:
     

  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    May 1, 2003
    Jacksonville, FL
    Ditto what Rob said... I can't even begin to imagine how to crown frets with a flat file.. and rumor has it that I know what I'm doing...

    Remember when buying cheep stuff.... some things are designed to work as they are intended, and others are designed to convert your money into the seller's.

    Ron Kirn
     

  18. chickenpicker

    chickenpicker Friend of Leo's

    Jan 25, 2005
    UK
    That's rather harsh if you don't mind me saying, Ron. Unless you have strong evidence that the cheap fret finishing system doesn't work as advertised, and is some sort of scam, then you shouldn't imply that it is.

    I have no axe to grind here on behalf of T & G - it's just that what you wrote seems unfair.
     

  19. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    71
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    I think what Ron meant was simply "buyer beware".

    The T&G tool/process may turn out to be the best thing since sliced bread, but if you've been around the tech side of guitars long enuf you can get a goodly sense of what's gonna work and what ain't, just from a description. I'll reserve my final comments after I get to play with the T&G system - which probably translates to "never" since I won't buy it unless I understand it completely. I emailed T&G yesterday, asking how their system accomplishes the crowning. No answer, yet.
     

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