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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / So I made me a tool

littleuch
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Florida

Mar 29th, 2017 12:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

After getting a fret rocker and some fret leveling and crowning files from Stewmac I tried my hand at some dressing. I went easy but ultimately wasn't happy with the final smoothness of the frets. So to remove any file chatter I fashioned a sort of sanding block. I cut the end from a small ball peen hammer and put the groove in. First I wrapped with 800 grit, then 1000, 1500 and finally 2500 paper. I have since modified the sanding surface to more of a vee to avoid as much contact with the protective tape over the fretboard.

I'm hitting it with the 600 grit only enough to flatten any teeth marks left from the crowning file. So far so good.

Any opinions on why this may not be a good idea? Go ahead, I'm an expert at flawed ideas :-p

Thingy

mirrorboy

Yorkshire, England

Mar 29th, 2017 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

You could scallop your fretboard at the same time as polishing your frets with that thingy.

I don't know whether that's a good thing either.

littleuch
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Florida

Mar 29th, 2017 01:44 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Hah, no, I'm careful. If I see any stress on the blue tape over the fretboard I stop, recover. The taper vee toward the slotted end helps minimize contact.

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 29th, 2017 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I use a similar tool, but I made it from a 2" rubber pencil eraser. The rubber grips the back of the sandpaper and keeps it from skidding around.

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 29th, 2017 04:06 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"I cut the end from a small ball peen hammer and put the groove in."

My first vision was, WT#???...

I thought you meant the *head* of a ball peen hammer! Then I saw your pic. What a relief to see it was from the *handle*! Hah!!
(in my defence, I hadn't my coffee yet)

FWIW, and I know there's probably a dozen ways to skin this cat, but SM sell fret "erasers" in graduated grit for polishing.

That's what I have, but I'm a newbie to the fret work part of this game. I'm sure as I get more experienced, I'll find my own tools like Mr. Goo suggested.

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 06:07 PM, Mar 29th, 2017)

Peegoo
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The spotlight

looks like a prison break
Mar 29th, 2017 04:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

That's one of the cool things you do when working on guitars: you make your own tools.

Another great set of tools can be made cheep & EZ from solid-core copper wire (as used in house wiring). 12-ga works great.

Cut yourself several lengths between 10" and 18" long. Strip off about 3/4" of the plastic insulation from one end and bend the bare copper in a right angle. These are great for working inside hollowbody guitars.

The plastic coating (insulation) protects the F holes from scratches, and the wire can be bent any way you like to reach for wires or to place things inside where you need them to be.

littleuch
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Florida

Mar 29th, 2017 05:15 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Yeah Mick, I should have specified ball peen hammer handle, lol. The Stewmac erasers look desirable but pricey and half of them are out of stock. Are they durable?

Peegoo, the 2" rubber eraser sounds like an even better option, think I'll give that a try too. And ooh, I can see a use for an "inside the semi-hollowbody" tool in the near future. Thanks for the tips.

Mick Reid
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Australia

American-made in Oz!!
Mar 29th, 2017 08:00 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

"That's one of the cool things you do when working on guitars: you make your own tools."

Yeah, I've always had a bit of "MacGyver" in me.
I've made my own 'Tele Jack Installation Tool' among other things.
All the tools I use for harmonica repair and modification are ones I've hand-made out of brass.

"The Stewmac erasers look desirable but pricey and half of them are out of stock. Are they durable?"

I've only use them for a few jobs so far, but based on that, I'd say they'll last a long time. (especially at my rate of use)
I also reckon that they could be trimmed as they develop wear spots if necessary.
At $6.79US each, I don't think that's too bad in the scheme of things.

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 03:41 AM, Mar 30th, 2017)

hushnel
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North Florida

A Friend of Bill W.
Mar 30th, 2017 09:49 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool, I knocked down a few frets this morning. I really get a lot of use out of those flexible stainless steel fretboard protectors that are slotted for the frets, but blue tape works "o)

I did this on the cigarbox guitar I build for my old buddy Albert, he has a gig the middle of next month and it's only 90 miles away, I've had it almost two years now, figured I better get to it. I already took care of the main complaint but he is so damn aggressive in his playing I did a re-dress and level. Truss rod is hard to get too, for a non-repair guy, it needed just a bit more relief.

My bench neck rest is my rifle sandbag and equally functional for either purpose

wrnchbndr
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New Jersey

I'm back with the otters again
Mar 30th, 2017 10:32 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Its way cool making your own tools. Never throw away bits and pieces of rosewood or hard maple or the handles of hammers because at some point, you'll need something around to make a tool or a caul.

What you made is equivalent to the overly expensive diamond crowning file sold by stewmac

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / So I made me a tool




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