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New Fret Crowning Tool

posted Jun 14, 2014 15:20:11 by MichaelWamback
Okay, so you guys that are new to leveling/crowning frets no longer have any excuse:



Ran into this item today on Ebay for $20. It's a concave file with 400 grit diamond coating that is for crowning frets. The 400 grit diamond dust will not only crown the frets, but also not leave scratches. To polish, you only need to use some .0000 steel wool and buff them out.

And considering StewMac's file I use is $100, it's a bargain.

The only advantage to the StewMac file is the contoured shape may make it a bit easier to use over a guitar body.

You can find it on Ebay under "Diamond Coated Fret Crowning Tool"
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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30 replies
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ChibsonsandMore said Jun 14, 2014 16:54:12
They also appear to sell it in a very cheap set with a "leveling board" that has 320 grit on it to run along the frets. Might be a bit much for some projects but might be worth looking into. It's $26 and listed as "Pro Fret Repair Kit 2 pcs-- Diamond Fret Crowning Tool/ S.C. Fret Leveling Board"
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TrickyRicky said Jun 15, 2014 08:51:43
Thank you both. I've just ordered the Pro Fret Repair Kit 2 pcs - Diamond Fret Crowning Tool/S.C. Fret Leveling Board and shall see how things go. Might improve some instruments (but might not, of course).
"For some, the safest thing is to steer clear of these guitars."
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MichaelWamback said Jun 15, 2014 15:25:58
Even though I've got a Katana fret level and a diamond crowning file, I'm tempted to order this just to check it out. Let me know how it works.

I'm a big fan of diamond crowning files. They do a great job and make your frets smooth for polishing. 400 grit is not overly aggressive, so you should have lots of control.
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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Fanofguitars said Jun 15, 2014 20:18:56
Looks interesting. I have never done a complete level job and want to do so. This tool is used to crown or reshape the fret so it's nice a round again after leveling them, right? Does anybody know if a tool like this can be used on any size fret? I ordered a guitar with jumbo frets, will it matter?
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Fanofguitars said Jun 16, 2014 02:22:58
So I checked out this recommendation. This guy who is selling these has over 6500 positive reviews at 100% positive feedback. I went and got the the 2 pc along with a rocker, a PRS 25" and 24 1/2" scale straight edge and a tremolo stopper for string changes. I like the idea of using a trem stopper so I don't have to use business cards to keep the trem in place when changing strings. If the trem stopper works out, I will install these in my 4 guitars with trems in them. Turns out, the crowning tool will shape any size fret. Thanks for the heads up. This tip is a money saver.
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MichaelWamback said Jun 16, 2014 14:43:18
It should work on most fret sizes. And yes, the crowning tool rounds the frets after you level them. Not only do they fell good when round, but you want the string to make contact in the center of the fret, and when round that will be the highest point. Otherwise your note will be a hair sharp.
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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sjcrowe6 said Jun 17, 2014 05:11:44
I have the "Fret Leveling / Crowning Kit 3 pieces" kit from the same company, Neck Check Guitar. I haven't tried leveling any frets yet but the tools appear to be decent quality. The rocker works way better than a credit card for finding high or low frets. I do not own a notched straight edge like the one they sell but I do have a high quality carpenters square that I am hoping will get me close enough.
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MichaelWamback said Jun 17, 2014 15:21:02
You can't use the carpenters square by laying it on the frets, since there is no guarantee that the frets will be level. But you can apply the same principle as you do with the rocker.

What you need to do is to find a precision made metal object, anything that will be a bit higher than the frets. You'll just need to look around and use your imagination.

Cut it into 3 small sections, and lay the sections so that one is on each end of the carpenters level and the other is in the middle. You can then use the carpenters level in the same manner as the fret rocker to tell when you have the neck itself level.
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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Fanofguitars said Jun 19, 2014 17:45:59
Gentlemen, thanks for the recommendation. The tools I ordered came in today. For the price, they are a nice set of tools. I really like the fact that the crowning tool came with plastic end caps. Prevents putting in deep scratches in the fretboard or tearing through any tape you put down, if the tool slips from your hand while crowning. No sharp edges at all. Put my fingernail through the groove. I don't know if its the same as diamond files, which I have, but it does feel the same. I own a set of guitars tools already, ( radius gauges, feeler gauges, stringer winder bit to use with a cordless drill, allen wrenches, wire cutters, etc, etc) but these are a nice addition to the set. I would have loved to buy the digital gauge that Michael recommended, but the guy's page says they are all sold out. All in all, a nice set of tools to have. If I enjoy leveling frets on this build coming in from REG, it might entice me to get a few more cheaper ones from Ali just to have some fun working on them. I do enjoy setting up guitars.
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kaarel804 said Jun 20, 2014 18:36:02
Just ordered a fret levelling set for 20$ something. It includes levelling board, crowning tool and a fret rocker. The set is so cheap that the diamond crowning tool and the fret rocker cost more together :)

Can't wait to try it out, because my double neck has some high and low frets. I also discovered that some frets need a little tap on them because they are not all the way in.

Link to the item: http://www.ebay.com/itm/261226542904?ssPageName=STRK:MEWNX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1439.l2649
The crowning it includes isn't damnd coated, but it will do the job, I hope as I'm not planning to do much fret crowning in the future :)
[Last edited Jun 20, 2014 18:41:23]
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stanton.kramer said Jun 23, 2014 01:40:59
Picked up the thread late. Thanks Michael. I'll have to get one of these.
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kaarel804 said Jul 01, 2014 20:06:09
Just found out an amazing trick to find hugh and low frets. Just a genius idea!!!!!

Check it out: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJNjnjrVwI0

Basically, you use a multimeter and a fret rocker. If the rocker touches the fret then the multimeter beeps, if not, it doesn't. Just so simple I can't believe it! :)
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TrickyRicky said Jul 02, 2014 14:54:52
@MichaelWamback. OK the 2-piece toolkit off eBay turned up today from the USA to the UK. The crowning tool seems coarsely made, the sanding board a lot better. They'll both do the job. I tried just one fret and they were fine.

The fretting hammer in the pic is from our friends in PRC. £8.49 by International Express Air compared to Stewmac (albeit with wooden handle) £32.71 via Fedex. I feel sure it will also do the job.

Fretwork, set-ups etc where I live are costly, one 'name' guitar shop doesn't even always do it well. It will be a major result if I can master it.

Thanks Michael.

BTW Six of Cups, The Hermit and The Moon drawn today, I don't what this adds up to - something else to learn :)


[Last edited Jul 02, 2014 14:55:52]
"For some, the safest thing is to steer clear of these guitars."
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MichaelWamback said Jul 02, 2014 15:51:14
I would interpret those favorably. The six of cups would indicate the development of circumstance that would be for your greater good - conditions, connections and so forth. Some of it will not be what you necessarily anticipate though, so you have to keep an open mind. The Hermit is also not a solitary energy, even though many people think that. The two cards together could indicate an unanticipated offer to consider, and when you put it together with the Moon, would show a shift of energy that would be beneficial to you fulfilling desires in life. It also seems like you would be heading toward more individual power or autonomy with the overall direction - meaning moving away from consensus or group energies to do your own thing more. It would establish greater independence - so not a coincidence you are moving away from hiring someone to do your fret work in favor of embarking on doing it yourself. :)

If you find you have a knack for fret work, you can always upgrade to a more expensive crowning file later.

I would also suggest you pick up one of those little wire brushes cheap at the hardware store. You should use it on the file every so often. The metal debris will build up after a few frets, and cleaning it away will let the file cut better.
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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TrickyRicky said Jul 02, 2014 16:23:31
Thank you Michael. I appreciate the interpretation :)

re the frets: I will buy a small wire brush. The fret that I tried on a Chender gave off quite a bit of debris, reminding me of when filthypit encountered lead or something coming off one of his/her guitars.

There's clearly an art to it, may take take more than a few attempts but it's useful to have PRC guitars on which to practice.
"For some, the safest thing is to steer clear of these guitars."
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