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Question about zero frets?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Superc_1, May 27, 2010.

  1. Superc_1

    Superc_1 Tele-Meister

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    Going to level fret on a guitar that has a zero fret for the nut? The zero fret in front of the nut has divits in it so do I level the zero nut with the rest of the frets or leave the ZF alone?
     
  2. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Essentially, if the guitar is setup properly, the zero fret basically mimic someone putting a capo on the first fret. So you would have to level all the frets, and probably cut the nut sluts a little lower as well.
     
  3. Deaf Eddie

    Deaf Eddie Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    IGNORE the zero fret during the fret level. ONCE you get the "playing" frets level, you may take a little off the top of the zero fret to adjust the action in the same manner as you do by making the nut slots deeper. You don't start out with the nut slots, you FINISH with the nut slots (and zero fret).
     
  4. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Then you are treating the zero fret as a nut, instead of the original theory behind the zero fret.
     
  5. David Collins

    David Collins Tele-Afflicted

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    In theory, it should be dressed along with the rest of the frets, just the same height and crowning.

    In practice, given that the zero fret has constant pressure and vibration against it, it has potential to wear faster than the others, leaving the possibility that it can end up too low in a short time even if it was level at the beginning.

    It's a judgement call. On stainless frets, yes I generally level it right along with the others. On nickel frets I will generally omit the zero fret in the final few passes, leaving it slightly higher than the others to allow for wear. Once it has worn a bit though, the load of the string will end up spread over a wider surface and settle in to a point, or at least slow the rate of wear. Anticipating this can be a bit of a juggling act. If the spacing will allow for a bit of nut compensation, I may at times leave the zero fret untouched or actually install an oversized one, then notch it similar to how I would cut a nut. This brings the departing edge a bit closer to add a bit of nut compensation, while also providing a wider surface for the string to bear down on, lessening the likeliness of premature wear.

    Lot's of ways to approach it. Judgment call, which can be a bit different for every person and every guitar.
     
  6. Colt W. Knight

    Colt W. Knight Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I always thought a zero fret was an eye soar and kind of stupid.
     
  7. rainedave

    rainedave Tele-Holic

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  8. ThermionicScott

    ThermionicScott Poster Extraordinaire

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    Well put. I think they're great in theory, but not a panacea for guitar setup. If you lower the nut slots to the bare minimum to get the strings contacting the zero fret, you can mitigate a lot of the wear concerns.

    - Scott
     
  9. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Not every situation is the same, but in general I agree with Deaf Eddie on this one.
     
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