Radius block vs. bar for fret level.

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by backporchmusic, Apr 15, 2018.

  1. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Is a radius block more or less effective at fret leveling than a traditional bar?

    Is it more or less problematic?

    And yes, I know people who ave been doing this for years will have lots of ideas--but I'm just getting started, so keep that in mind. o_O
     
  2. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I've only been at it for a couple years. I prefer the bar. Stay generally in line with each string, and radius doesn't matter. Compound is as easy as 9.5, 12, 7.25. Just need the one tool.

    I find that even careful pressure on a radius block wears more on the edges than the center.

    If you think about what a string sees, there is no radius, just one fret top after another.
     
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2018
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  3. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic

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    It wont matter much what you use as long as you start out with a flat neck, Though in saying that I did watch a video (somewhere of someone) who used a truss rod and 3 brass nuts. I'll have a quick google around and see if I can find the youtube video agaion.
     
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  4. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    I wasn't sure if the radius blocks were for shaping an unfretted board, or perhaps a first pass once new frets have been installed.

    I didn't know if people were actually using them as leveling tools until I looked at the recent sandpaper/leveling thread. Trying to get a feeling for what people do with them. I think the point about 'think about what a string sees' is very valid.
     
  5. 5ofeight

    5ofeight Tele-Holic

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    I am sure this is the one, bit on the long side but Sams Youtubes are normally very informative indeed.
     
  6. highwaycat

    highwaycat Tele-Meister

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    I recommend learning the basics like Ron's tutorial, then later on you can decide if you want to try different techniques and tools. I only use radius blocks during a refret.
     
  7. HolyTele Tube

    HolyTele Tube TDPRI Member

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    I prefer the radius blocks but they get spendy so I only have 12”. My back up is a old hand plane. I have used it with excellent results. I got the idea from frets.com.
     
  8. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    On a refret, I'll use the blocks on the unfinished neck, but not the frets.
     
  9. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Dave uses a radius block for levelling (sometimes, and other times a beam) ...

     
  10. KokoTele

    KokoTele Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    The problem with using a short block is that it will tilt forwards and backwards as it rides over high frets, so you wind up sanding unevenly and have to do something else to compensate for it. It's also difficult to sand evenly along a whole neck.

    I'm not saying it's the wrong tool, just that there are considerations you have to be aware of.

    If I'm working on a neck with deep divots in the frets, I'll use a radius block to sand them out quickly to get them into rough shape, then use a beam to true them up.
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I would want a machined bar or some dead flat surface to level frets. Float Glass, Granite, machined steel. I have a couple different long extruded radius blocks, and they do a great job of radiusing fretboards, but I wouldn't use them to level frets after installation. For one thing, the radius of the top of the frets will be different than the beam radius.
     
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2018
  12. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    Ben Crowe (Crimson Guitars) says 'no' to radius blocks for fret levelling (at 6 mins in) ...

     
  13. GFrank

    GFrank Tele-Meister

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    I think either one can work effectively, although I prefer a flat bar by a good amount.
    The key to leveling, for me, is to use a sharpie and draw a thick black line down the top/middle of each fret, that way you can see exactly where and how much you are sanding down the frets by where the ink is removed.
     
  14. backporchmusic

    backporchmusic Friend of Leo's

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    Thanks for all the great answers and info.
     
  15. moosie

    moosie Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I agree with what the Crimon Guitars guy says. Just in fewer words. :)

    What he said about just taking a small portion of the fret top, because the 1" bar doesn't follow the radius, that's what I meant by "think about what a string sees".
     
  16. TimTam

    TimTam Tele-Holic

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    He is a tad verbose, but positively succinct in comparison to his fellow countryman Sam Deeks, who recently posted an 8 hour youtube guitar vid ! ;)
     
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