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Best grit for levelling frets

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So far I've been using the 3m Gold Adhesive Roll that I bought from Stew Mac. They are high but they work great, and I think I found a place where I can buy it in even longer rolls for a smaller price. I got the 220 grit, which if I had to do again, I'd have bought the 320 grit simply because if you don't watch it, you'll overdo it with the 220. But if you need to do some major leveling the 220 is perfect. Actually, hate to say it, but if your gonna be doing alot of fretwork it'd be good to have both, but I would never go below 220 grit no matter what.

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i did mine with 240 paper with a radius block then 400 then 600 then 1000.

dan picked up 80 grit to scare me with!! i almost died!!! noooo cant use 80!!!!

The 80 is often used to level humps out of the fret-board.

Or if there's a hump, and they don't want the board touched (one of them crazy compromising vintage neck fret-jobs) you can use 180 grit to get the frets closer to being level, before the 220. For frets on a leveled board, yes 220 to start.

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I'm glad Soapbar is around to help out with all these fretting and fretboard questions, he always gives great advice and I respect him for that. He's exactly right the 80 grit -120 grit is great for fretboard leveling.

I have this one link http://www.handsontools.com/store/list_pro...ategory_id=8268

Thanks for the link mj_gant.. I'll definetely will check them out.. maybe they are cheaper than the link I found..

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Harbor freight has a set of 150, 260, and 360 2" x 6" hone stones....12.99USD. I think I'm gonna try it.

I've been quite curious about HF's diamond tools, and with the ones you're talking about, I'm wondering how flat they are. Probably as flat as the ones stewmac sells.

I heard that they(can't remember who "they " is) bond the diamonds to the steel with a coat of nickel. But I don't know if that's the preferred method, only method, or what. I know if I ever see diamond tools where they bonded the diamonds using something like epoxy, I'll swallow my wallet and run.

Stewmac used to sell their fret/fingerboard levelers with diamonds on one side, back around 1997.

The 8" was $66.50, 16" $126.00, 24" $166.00 (looking in their spring '97 catalog)

Seems they had problems with them, and stopped selling them. Then in the fretting video shot in 2002 ??, Master Erlewine says they're still looking for a company who can make them again. What the hell ? rock drilling robots can be sent to mars, but stew-mac can't get diamond bars again. :D

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Yeah it would be awesome if they still had the Diamond Fret Levelers, but they say they can't find a company to manufacture them nowdays. It sure would save alot of money on sandpaper rolls and such. As far as the Diamond Hone Blocks that Harbor Freight sells, I'm like you guys, I would really like to try them, but I'm not really sure how accurate they are made. They come in a set 180, 260, and 360 grits for 12.99. They might be worth the try.

Mj_gant.. I emailed that company and here is what they wrote me.


Yes we are familiar with the 255L rolls although we do not stock them.  It would be a special order with us which means you would have to order by the case.  There are 8 rolls in each case.

We can beat their prices though:  2-3/4" x 15 yard rolls:

80 grit = 34.68 roll

120 grit - 32.01 roll

220 grit = 32.01 roll

320 grit = 31.29 roll

This 255L is an aluminum oxide stikit gold on film backing.  It has a anti-loading stearate coating.

We stock all these rolls in a 216U material.

216U is an aluminum oxide stikit gold on a paper backing.  Granted you might not get the life you are getting out of the 255L but the rolls are a lot longer and the prices cheaper so you might want to see how they work.  Prices for the 216U rolls and the lengths are as follows:

2-3/4 x 25 yds 80 grit = $30.85 roll

2-3/4 x 30 yds 100 or 120 grits = 28.81 roll

2-3/4 x 45 yds 150,180,220,240,320, or 500 grits = 28.81 roll

We stock all of these 216U rolls so you would not have to order by the case. 

Hope this is of help to you

So basically it's not the same stuff, the Stew Mac ones are 255L that doesn't load up when you ar sanding. And I don't think I can afford to buy a case at a time.. lol

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It's because Stew-mac doesn't want to hurt the feelings of their friends who make their bars and straight-edges. Like I said before, the company making that stuff for them is not capable of doing it the best way, so of course they couldn't handle the task of bonding diamonds onto the tools either.

Because you and I both know diamond leveling bars can be made, if the chinese can make those other kind like Harbor Freight makes.

But don't forget with those stew-mac ones, it would only save you on sandpaper of one grit size, unless you bought diamond bars of many grits (we'll have to rob a bank to finance that).

If I can just get some kind of thin diamond abrasive sheets, I can make my own diamond leveling bars. I really don't want to start playing with stainless steel fret-wire until I get some diamonds to level those suckers.

I've used diamond tools a couple of times, and man is that weird to be grinding away for 10 minutes, expecting the abrasive to become dull , as with sandpaper, but it doesn't, but you're so used to abrasive getting a little more dull as the seconds go by, you are just so sure it's going to happen. I used it mostly on glass, "knowing" the diamonds would dull, but I was totally proven wrong.

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I'm having a hard time understanding the diamond leveler issue from stewmac. What's wrong with the one's they are selling now Diamond Leveler? I understand that these are just tool sharpening blocks but how are they different from the ones the used to sell?

Simply because they was made just like the Stew Mac Fret Levelers except that they had diamond edge instead of having to use sandpaper. These work alot better for leveling, because they hit the whole fretboard at the same time, which is why I like them better than the small diamond levelers they have now. Although each has it's place. I personally love the 16" Fret Leveler, but wish it was diamond edged. Dan shows one on Advanced Fretting videos that I have, but said that they are hard to find a company that will make them for Stew. That 3m Stikit Gold Mylar backing sandpaper works great, but man at 47 dollars a roll, it's hard to build a collection of various grits. I'm still looking for the same rolls they sell at a good deal but still haven't had any luck. I'll let you guys know when I find out something.


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