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Fret leveler tool

posted Mar 10, 2014 16:56:30 by ParéjJózsef
asking seasoned fret dressers, could this tool be any good? I have mixed feelings about it... but in theory it makes fret dressing easy as heck, and you can buy sandpaper really cheap later...
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Guitar-FRET-LEVELING-DRESSING-CROWNING-KIT-Fret-Refinishing-Luthier-Tools-/111295765085?pt=Guitar_Accessories&hash=item19e9be9a5d
Just call me Joe ;)
Proud owner of my 7-string "Bear" LP.
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18 replies
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MichaelWamback said Apr 29, 2014 20:18:48
Had a message from Davide Bissoll on my FB page concerning the Little Bone tool. He wanted me to clarify that he patented it specifically to crown frets, and not as a tool for sharpening knives. I was basing my claim on a statement I saw a wile back on a previous website that had indicated that it was originally for that purpose. I apologize for the inaccuracy of my statement, and intend no offense.

Hope that clarifies.

Having said that, I do stand by my claim that the Little Bone wouldn't be my first choice for crowning frets. It would simply cut the fret at an angle, since the cutting surface is flat. While this would narrow the fret to a point, it wouldn't be the ideal profile for me. A proper concave crowning file would undoubtedly yield a better result, so long as a fret had sufficient life for the file to make contact. I have had occasion where a guitar has been played for decades, and the frets are so worn that you can't really use a crowning file. The Little Bone might allow you to crown the frets in a case like that, but the best course would be to refret the instrument if the frets are worn that low. And of course, on a guitar with frets that worn you could also try the CGS trick of the Phillips screwdriver and sandpaper to crown the frets.

I do like the Katana fret level system though. I don't think the price of the Katana is unreasonable, given the quality in the tool. And it does an excellent job of leveling frets. There are definitely advantages to leveling frets under string tension, which the Katana is designed to do. There are also times where you can't fully straighten the relief in a neck to perfectly straight to level in a traditional manner (just did an acoustic that wouldn't get straighter than .018 of relief with the truss rod fully tightened) - in which case the Katana is a brilliant solution. It's expensive as levelers go, but it's a quality tool that I can certainly recommend. I certainly don't regret having purchased one. (Although I would suggest a fairly aggressive sandpaper for use with the Katana - at least 220 grit and even 150 grit might not be unreasonable. Otherwise it will take a lot of time as the paper just won't cut the frets aggressively enough. But the Katana combined with a 300 grit diamond crowning file is a combination that is hard to beat.)

And the digital action gauge that Davide produces is one of my very favorite tools that I use on an almost daily basis. Way more accurate that feeler gauges, and I love knowing that my action height and neck relief is accurate to within 1/1000 of an inch. Takes a bit of practice to use it proficiently, but it's a fabulous tool that I wouldn't be without.
[Last edited May 18, 2014 06:55:18]
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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MichaelWamback said May 04, 2014 03:47:17
Personally, I use the Katana on mine, but it's an expensive tool. Comes in handy when I don't want to mess with a truss rod that might be a bit tight (or in the case of an acoustic I did, one that has a truss that wasn't installed properly so I couldn't get the neck perfectly straight.) But on any guitar with a decent neck, this would do just dandy.
The two most important things to remember in life: "The only time it's acceptable to work with amateurs is if you are making porn." "If you want to work with clowns, join a circus."
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slickrick197833 said Jul 09, 2014 15:17:33
Dude I own that set and it works excellent. It has 2 sides to the plate and detailed instructions. Its cheap too so if you can't figure it out you won't be out of a bunch of money. My friend used to work at a shop where they bbuilt guitars and yukeles, he turned me onto it and used many different types of fret levelers and crowning tools.
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