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  #1  
Old 06-16-2018, 06:23 PM
brianhejh brianhejh is offline
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Default Fret Levelling

I have finally bought a good quality slotted straight edge (stew mac style).So time to fix my neck.

My question :With the strings removed (before levelling) do you straighten the neck (level) or do you put a little (back bow) in it? to offset the string tension.

Thanks

Brian
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Old 06-16-2018, 06:33 PM
Br1ck Br1ck is offline
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I like to start with a flat neck. String tension will give you some relief and you can tweak this with the truss rod if necessary.

Randy Schartiger has a lot of this on his U Tube channel, as do many others.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:20 PM
Bax Burgess Bax Burgess is offline
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Straighten, then level. I can't imagine there being a better way, though, spot-levelling with an appropriate small file can be done with a bowed neck.
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Old 06-16-2018, 07:36 PM
BT55 BT55 is offline
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The neck needs to be dead on straight. That is the only way the sanding bar will travel evenly across the frets. A bow will not have the frets evenly lined up.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:37 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhejh View Post
I have finally bought a good quality slotted straight edge (stew mac style)...
One plays the tops of the frets. To a very large extent using a straight edge that registers the surface of the fingerboard is irrelevant. There can be some irregularities in the surface of the fingerboard, but as long as the fret tops are level, the instrument will play fine. The converse is not true: a level fingerboard with unlevel frets will often buzz.
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Old 06-16-2018, 09:54 PM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brianhejh View Post
I have finally bought a good quality slotted straight edge (stew mac style).So time to fix my neck.

My question :With the strings removed (before levelling) do you straighten the neck (level) or do you put a little (back bow) in it?
First welcome to the crazy world of level frets, second dump the notched ruler, completley useless.

Something to consider before starting, can these frets be levelled? Is this neck twisting too much under tension? How bad is that fallaway at the 14th fret?.

Knowing when to stop levelling your frets or not doing them at all is something that comes from experience, everything is great when it works correctly but if something’s wrong you can do more damage.

Process.

Remove strings.
Adjust truss rod for straight neck (that is no backbow or excessive relief)
Mark frets with a black texta
Level frets with flat bar until texta marks are gone
Mark frets Black texta
Level frets with a shaped caul (same shape as fingerboard)
Crown frets
Polish frets
String and Setup Guitar.

Optional extras after fret levelling and setting up.

A Guitar plays even better when simulating string tension or working with the final end result (strung up)
Once fret levelled and Setup

Use a fret rocker to identify any rocking frets (from tension applied by strings)
Knock the tops of those frets down with localised sanding / levelling.

Steve
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Last edited by mirwa; 06-16-2018 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 06-17-2018, 09:13 AM
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Rodger Knox Rodger Knox is offline
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First welcome to the crazy world of level frets, second dump the notched ruler, completley useless.

Something to consider before starting, can these frets be levelled? Is this neck twisting too much under tension? How bad is that fallaway at the 14th fret?.

Knowing when to stop levelling your frets or not doing them at all is something that comes from experience, everything is great when it works correctly but if something’s wrong you can do more damage.

Process.

Remove strings.
Adjust truss rod for straight neck (that is <.002" backbow or relief)
Mark frets with a black texta
Level frets along string paths
Crown frets
Polish frets
String and Setup Guitar.

Not much different from Steve.
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Old 06-17-2018, 08:11 PM
brianhejh brianhejh is offline
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Thanks for the advice very much appreciated.

Re fallaway at the 14th fret? I understand the fallaway from the 14th fret and that the frets are levelled from the 1st to 12th fret.

My question: The frets between the 12th and 14th frets are these two frets leveled equally with frets 1 to 12th or are they factored into the ramping process?
And is this different for 12 fret at the neck guitars.


Thanks again

Brian
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