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Crowning files...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Dadocaster, May 16, 2018.

  1. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    My usual very slow pace is going along as usual, had some fruitful research on the legendary Ron Kirn leveling thread out there in internet land, a small discussion with our guy henderman and appreciated his input. Between my son and I we have quite a few partscasters and cheapies and will be doing some fret work. In the past, I have done light leveling and then crowned using a triangular file but it's a time consuming method and is not at all fool proof. Since I may be doing quite a few necks, I need a crowning tool to speed up the process.

    What reasonably priced tool can I purchase to crown frets?
  2. Yaralag

    Yaralag Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Aug 28, 2014
    Cypress, TX
    Oh wait, you said “reasonably priced”. Never mind. :p
  3. rolandson

    rolandson Most Honored Senior Member

  4. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    I put that in so you rich folks would not confuse the issue... :D
    Lovnmesomestrat and Yaralag like this.
  5. Chief101

    Chief101 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 14, 2012
  6. dbolt

    dbolt Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 17, 2014
    I use the StewMac product. The cost is relative. The time saving over a triangle file is significant.
    The Strat Dude and medicchief like this.
  7. johnnymg

    johnnymg Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
  8. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Strat-Talker

    Mar 18, 2014
    Robins likes this.
  9. CGHguitars

    CGHguitars Strat-O-Master

    Sep 8, 2015
    Eden Prairie
    I've used a cheap crowning file in the past, and recently spent a little more on a Stew-Mac "Z File", which is designed to cut the bevels on each side of a fret, but not really take height off of the top.

    Assuming I'm using it right, I actually found it harder to get the evenly rounded crown I intended. Might be be a bit much for those of us with limited skills...
  10. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

    Nov 14, 2013
    Great. Now this thread has me chasing a rabbit. I've been needing some fret files.

    Well, off to the interwebz. :rolleyes:
  11. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    You're welcome.
    Namelyguitar and Ebidis like this.
  12. DIYrocker

    DIYrocker Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 16, 2013
    I use the Hosco files from Philadelphia Luthier too. They seem pretty good.
  13. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 26, 2014
    I highly recommend a diamond crowning file. A lot less clean up and polishing work. A bit more $$, but worth it, IMHO!
    Just My $.02,
    Robins likes this.
  14. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Got the six sided tool with three different fret size files and it works fine.

    Just did some checking and it appears that the notched fingerboard straightedge that I made out of a steel ruler is not straight. :D What are you guys using? I will probably just buy one online but StewMac can kiss my backside before I pay a hundred bucks for a straightedge with some notches. :D
  15. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 4, 2013
  16. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

  17. medicchief

    medicchief Strat-Talker Strat-Talk Supporter

    Feb 10, 2018
    I purchased a Stew-Mac combo set; narrow-medium and a jumbo-wide, 2-sided files. Just finished doing the works on a Strat.....
    Bob the builder likes this.
  18. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter


    Hey, that neckcheck straightedge finally arrived. Looks to be great quality. Thanks for the recommendation. I have all the stuffs now and bought a couple of beaters last week. Time to start working.
    henderman likes this.
  19. Triple Jim

    Triple Jim Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 27, 2018
    North Central NC
    I used the file I got from Philadelphia Luthier Tools & Supplies just yesterday. I leveled, crowned, and polished the frets on my old Strat for the first time. First 320 grit sandpaper on the radius beam, then the file, then 400 grit wet and dry paper to smooth off the file marks, then some fairly aggressive polishing compound and some hand rubbing. Man, it's like a new guitar all the sudden. :)
    Bob the builder and johnnymg like this.
  20. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Alrighty then. Cheap ass that I am I got one of those all in one crowning tools, tried it out, it worked fine. I have used the better tools many times and this tool is a bit harder to use but is just fine. Got my neckcheck dealio, got a man made stone threshold and got a roll of sandy paper, got some crappy nut files. All told, maybe 60 bucks. I have maybe half a dozen guitars/basses that could use work so the outlay seems modest for what I want to do.

    The kid will be here after HS Drumline Camp.

    Michael Buffer voice: Let's get ready to LEVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEL!!!!
    MCC850 and henderman like this.