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Offset Or Dual Grit ?


soapbarstrat
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Offset :

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...Fret_Files.html

Dual grit :

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...Fret_Files.html

I can't decide which one to get. I either want the 300 grit offset, or all 3 dual grits.

Can you help me make up my mind, or even give me a good reason not to buy any of them ?

I've been using a 3 corner file for 18 years and a "cant saw" file for about a year, for crowning frets. I keep thinking these diamond files will speed up my fret crowning. But, my main worry with these diamond files is that they don't match every size of fret-wire I work with. Has anyone had a problem with that ?

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I’d get the offset files. It’s possible to do a complete crowning with just the 300 grit file. If I don’t have too much crowning to do I go for the 300 grit directly. And the offset file has one more advantage. You have both the straight part and the offset part to work with. This gives you more length to wear on, and the straight part that I THINK gives a little more control, compared to the angled part of the other files. I wouldn’t worry to much about just having two widths. I use these and I often find myself using the larger side on all but the thinnest frets.

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I have a 300 grit Offset Diamond file like you are talking about and I like it a lot. You can use the rounded edge to avoid contact with the guitar body when working on acoustics or set necks. I almost wish I'd have went with the 150 grit to better work on Stainless Steel wire, but you'd have to be careful with it when crowning regular fretwire. I can't comment on the other files although they look good to me, I don't own a set. I'm sure either way you go, you can't go wrong. I guess it just depends on which ones would suit your needs better.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Ok, I also brought this up over at MIMF, because someone has a current thread about crowning tools, but I'll post it here too.

I contacted Stew-Mac about the actual radius of the curved abrasive channels on the files. I wanted to know what the sizes are, and this is what they told me:

Offset file :

150 grit : .170" diameter (they didn't say if this is the narrow or large side of the file)

300 grit : .200" (also, didn't say narrow or large)

Dual grit :

'narrow' - .125" diameter

'medium'- .187" diameter

'large' - .250" diameter

If I'm understanding this correctly, it seems the narrow groove should be able to work on even large width fret-wire, because .125" is a hell of a lot wider than the .110" to .118" of wide fret-wire.

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Don't worry Setch. I know EXACTLY what Perry is talking about.

Yeah, I've been asking around, and it seems users of at least the 'dual grit' files say that they are all over-sized. In other words the narrow dual grit actually works better for medium frets, the medium works on wide frets, and the wide file... well, I'm thinking maybe it would be good for rounding the top of a 3/16" to 1/4" thick nut.

We are still living in medieval times when it comes to fret-crowning tools, I'm afraid. I mean what's up with 3 lousy fret crown sizes, yet you can buy 7 different sizes of aluminum fret-board radius blocks ?

I think maybe I've been giving Stew-Mac some ideas, not just that I made a fuss about the weird sizes of these files, but I also suggested that they sell the plastic pop-on handle for those files seperately, because you only need one handle to pop onto any of the metal file parts. I bet $10.00 of what you pay for one of those dual grit files is for that handle alone.

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