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Fret leveling


Mytola
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Denne guiden her, og to andre jeg har postet her, er skrevet av en bruker på Harmony Central sitt bassforum (HCBF), nemlig "Kindness". Han har veldig gode tekniske kunnskaper om både basser og forsterkere, og er en av de største bidragsyterene på HCBF når det gjelder spørsmål/svar om disse temaene.

Er det noe dere lurer på, så er det bare å fyre løs i tråden. Vil dere stille han spørsmål direkte, er det bare å registrere seg på Harmony Central-forumet og sende han en PM der.

Original URL til guiden:

http://acapella.harmony-central.com/forums...d.php?t=1709179

Kindness’s Fret Leveling and Crowning Thread

First, the tools:

Left to right:

1. I use a straightedge long enough to see the relief (or lack thereof) in the neck. I now use a 24” steel precision straightedge long enough to see the relief (or lack thereof) in the neck:

http://www.leevalley.com/wood/page.aspx?c=...cat=1,240,45313

2. I use sandpaper in several different grits (I usually use 320 and 500) and 0000 steel wool. The steel wool I use is oil free and this is the only source for oil free steel wool that I am aware of: http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts....ader=Steel+Wool If you are only using the steel wool for fret work, there is no real need for the oil free, but I like having it around for all the other work I do on instruments.

3. I use a fret crowning tool. I use this one, the 300 grit: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...Fret_Files.html It is the one substantial investment required to do this work. There are other crowning files out there.

4. I use a flat file/rasp. I use a lathe cut file. This type of file tends to leave fewer chatter marks that need to be sanded out later in the process.

5. I use a black Sharpie.

6. I use some sort of guard to protect the fretboard (you can use blue painters tape or other materials). Here is what I use: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...ard_Guards.html

7. In some situations I use a fret beveling file (not pictured). This is the one I use: http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...ling_Files.html

Now, here is the technique.

First, if I am working with a bolt on neck, I remove the neck for ease and to prevent the body from being covered in the mess that is about to be made. Especially the pickups, since the filing process will create lots of metal shavings that will be attracted to the pickups. If you don’t remove the neck, cover the pickups. Seriously.

The next step is to flatten the relief of the neck. Dead flat. Use the straight edge to make sure you’ve got it. Let it sit for a bit, check it again. You don’t want to make the effort of leveling the frets without the neck itself being level.

IMG_6940.jpg

For those of you that aren’t familiar with your truss rods, tightening a truss rod causes the neck to bow backwards and loosening the truss rod allows the neck to return to its “natural” position. In most cases, if you instrument was properly set up when the process started, you will not need to adjust the rod much at all.

Next I take my Sharpie and blacken the crown of each fret.

IMG_6943.jpg

Then I pull out my flat file and begin leveling. I start with long, scattered strokes along the length of the neck. The file immediately takes the black off the crowns of any fret high spots. It passes directly over the low spots. You can see in the pictures below, the 2nd fret is much higher than the 1st fret. Accordingly, it will take more filing before I can remove the black from the crown of the 1st fret and it will take more work to recrown the 2nd fret when the time comes.

If you are using a two sided flat file, figure out which side is convex and which is concave using your straight edge. These files simply aren't made to tolerances tight enough to be perfectly flat. When leveling, it is better to err on the side of slightly convex.

IMG_6946.jpg

IMG_6947.jpg

IMG_6948.jpg

You will notice in that last set of pictures that I have protected the nut by covering it with painters tape. I do this just in case I slip with my file and hit the nut. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

I continue to file away slowly and carefully to remove the minimum amount of material needed to level the tops of the crowns. You should be careful to not dwell too long on any portion of the neck such that you eliminate the radius of the fretboard or you file away the fret ends more than the middle. It’s easy if you just pay attention, but if you daydream you might lose a little too much fret material.

You are level once the crown of each fret has had its black removed. You can really see how much more material had to be removed from the 2nd fret than the 1st. As a result, the 2nd fret has a real flat top that will take some work to recrown.

IMG_6949.jpg

Next come the crowning. Re-blacken all of the frets and pull out your crowning file.

IMG_6950.jpg

You use the crowning file to work each fret back into a perfect crown. You do this by filing with the crowning tool until the black on the frets is narrowed to a thin straight line across the top plane of the frets. This is hard to see, even in the close up. Look closely and you will see a faint black line directly on the crown and two silver lines on either side of the black. The black line is the only portion of the fret that is still on the plane with the other frets. The narrower you can make that line, the better the crown.

IMG_6952.jpg

IMG_6953.jpg

If you over file any of the frets and remove all of the black, you have taken that fret below the plane the rest of the frets occupy and you need to start the leveling process all over. No sense in crowning frets that are no longer level.

Once you have all of the frets leveled and crowned, it is time to polish out all of the chatter marks from all of the filing.

IMG_7185.jpg

I re-blacken each of the frets and start with 320 grit paper. I tear off a small piece and place the fretboard guard over the fret to expose the fret, but protect the board. Then I sand using my finger tip as the backing of the paper. The finger tip is soft enough to form to the shape of the fret crown without flattening out the crown. Conversely, a sanding block would completely destroy the carefully attained crown.

I sand until I have removed all of the chatter marks that can be removed with that grit of paper. Then I re-blacken and move to the 500 grit paper. Again I sand until the chatter marks are gone. In both cases, the black marker gets into the chatter marks such that the first pass of the sandpaper cleans off the vast majority of the fret crown, but the black will show you where additional sanding is needed. This is very detailed work. You need good lighting and good eyes.

Last, I pull out the steel wool and polish the frets until they gleam. This is the only stage of the process where you can’t over do it. The steel wool will not appreciably destroy the fret height, but it will make those frets shiny.

That’s it. At this point you should have frets that rival those of the most finely tuned instruments.

On a related topic, if the fret ends have sprouted from the fretboard such that they are protruding along the side, take your flat file and remove the ends that are sticking out. Then go back and use the bevel file to re-bevel the ends. If you prefer nice crispy ends, the bevel tool is the last step. However, if you prefer rounded ends, you need a small end file, such as this one http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_suppl...ssing_File.html that you can use to round over the ends. Any beveling, rounding or other filing can be cleaned up with sandpaper and steel wool as described above.

Håper guiden kan hjelpe folk med å få satt opp bassene sine skikkelig selv. Det er enorm forskjell på en dårlig- og en godt opsatt bass!

Igjen, er det noe dere lurer på, så er det bare å fyre løs i tråden. Vil dere stille han spørsmål direkte, er det bare å registrere seg på Harmony Central-forumet og sende han en PM der.

Ta gjerne en titt på en av de andre guidene:

Setup av bass

Matching av bassforsterker og -kabinett

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Guest Thunder Fingers

Akkurat... Dette her skal heller få bli en av de få tingene jeg skal betale noen for å gjøre når nødvendigheten kommer :P Men bra at du kommer med det Henrik!

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