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Brian's fret file


perhellion
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i've made 2 or 3 variations of this tool.... and i've always just taken my time. and after getting the slot cut a little small.. i'll just run it thru the table saw taking off just a tad bit more wood each time till the slot is just the right size that it holds the file snugly, takes a little practice and patience... but it's only 2x4 so it's not like you're wasting all kinds of wood... although i would recomend you buy a peice of UHMW plastic (ultra high molecular weight) that will slide over the frets much easier then wood with any kinda of fabric on it.

if you decide to get the UHMW plactic chunk (available at leevalley.com, or perhaps home depot if you ask around) then you can also drill some holes and tap them to accept some set strews that would hold the file in place... i beleive this is how stew mac make's theirs... then you can use different size and smoothness files...

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I use my hand too, because I'm usually going for a bevel that's kind of rounded, to match how the old frets were beveled.

I've wondered exactly what kind of file Stew-Mac uses on theirs ; Single, or double cut, regular or steep angle ??

I've just been using regular single-cut bastard files from the hardware store, but I'll be declaring 89 files at US customs this weekend, so I'll be having file option anxiety from now on. (and really long arms from carrying these suitcases full of files, ouch )

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Actually so can that tool so watch your fret ends as you go (take breaks and inspect after a few swipes with it).

I've noticed with mine it tends to file more at the starting point of my stroke, and I have to watch and make sure to take more passes in the other area to even it out.

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Actually so can that tool so watch your fret ends as you go (take breaks and inspect after a few swipes with it).

I've noticed with mine it tends to file more at the starting point of my stroke, and I have to watch and make sure to take more passes in the other area to even it out.

This is where "hands" are really good too. They work really well with a pair of inspection tools that I used often - they're called "eyes".

Seriously though, the human hand can feel the difference in as little as 1/100th of an inch. When I was filing the frets on my first neck, I would do exactly what Brian suggested. I would run the fret down the neck one or two passes, feel and eyeball it, repeat.

I know I'm a beginner in terms of neck work and fret work, but with the right mindset even a beginner can make something of high quality if they take their time. I think the large hand file that I used was the right tool for the job, but I had to let my hand work with the tool with the mind of an artist.

I'm babbling now. :D

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  • 5 months later...

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