Fret leveling.

Is a pain.  But it’s what I did today, so it’s what this post is about.  😉

As I mentioned in my last post, the gentleman interested in my guitar asked me to level the frets.  I’ve never actually done this before, so it was a learning experience.

I took some pictures of the process.  First some of the guitar in question, and some info about it.

It was kind of an experimental guitar.  It’s the 8th one I’ve made, and I wanted to try using all cedar for the top, back, and sides.  I’d heard of people using all spruce, but not cedar.   So I tried it.  It turned out pretty well.

The fingerboard is rosewood, so is the bridge and peg head veneer. Binding is ebony.



Here I’ve made a shield to protect the top while I’m working on the frets.  This is always a good idea.  Don’t ask me how I know.  😡  😉



Next step is to paint the tops of the frets with a marker.  This is so I’ll know when they have all been touched by the file.



The file:



After filing:


Now the frets are flat on the top, and have to be re-crowned.  First they’re colored with the marker again:


This is the tool for crowning:


The ones to the left have been crowned:


Now the frets have a rough surface from the file.  They need to be sanded smooth and then buffed.  I had to make a sanding block.  It’s a chunk of mahogany with a groove on it:


Here the first one has been sanded with 400 grit paper, then 1000 grit, then buffed:


Rinse and repeat.  18 times.

Ok, now it’s ready for some new strings:


A fairly tidy tying job:


I also made some labels. People are always telling me that I need to have my name on my instruments.  I keep telling them that I sign the underside of every soundboard, but I guess that’s not good enough.  😉

So, I came up with a very basic label, and printed it on some nice parchment paper and sealed it with shellac.  Now I have to glue it to the inside of the back, through the soundhole.  Should be fun.


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