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DIY fret job?

Blue Strat

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Do any of guys crown your own frets? My Rogue strat has a couple of nicks in the frets, probably from rough handling, but there's still plenty of material left so that a recrowning job would solve my problem.


What equipment would I need to re-crown my frets? I'm thinking that a straight edge, a mill file, and some 400 grit sand-paper would do the trick. How do I get started? The neck needs to be straight and level before I start, right?


a.k.a. "El Guapo" ;)


...Better fuzz through science...



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I have done a little of that, I have a fret file set that I got from Stewart McDonald several years ago - Its a holder + 3 size fret crowning files.


Watch out when running the flat file over the fretboard -

First make sure the smooth mill file is really flat with a straight edge, a lot of them aren't.

Second, its easy to take too much off, especially where you don't need it to. Frets are pretty soft metal, go real slow on this.

I would check a couple DIY luthier web sites for helpful hints, I think you should also loosen the truss rod to where the neck is dead-flat.


I'm just an amateur, so don't take my word, but the last time I did a fret job for a friend whose guitar ( he bought used for $50) had developed a slight warp in the neck - like a tongue rise on an acoustic, the upper 8 frets or so were high, but it was a maple strat-clone neck. I did the flat file thing, and it just wasn't doing what I needed - it just wasn't taking them down evenly, so I opted to take them down 1 at a time with the fret file. I think I used 400 grit and then fine steel wool to polish them, then restrung, played up and down the neck and touched up a couple of high frets with the fret file, and then the polishing again. It came out pretty good - the offending frets were just a hair too high still, it was midnight, I was tired (and a free job too), and he is a beginner so I compromised a little on the string height, and told him to bring it back when he's good enuf to know the difference. It was very playable, especially for a 15 year old import purchased for $50 - just not perfect, but another half hour or so of filing and it would have been.


Good luck

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I did it on my Jackson. Made a world of difference. I just used hardware store files, as the ones designed for guitars, are like 80 bucks I don't have. It really isn't that hard, just be patient. For full details, see "Building Guitars" I went over my process there. If you still have questions, feel free to ask, don't know if I can answer them though.
Shut up and play.
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