Any Thoughts On a Good Crowning File, Aside From A Three Sided File?

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by tmonkjr, Sep 12, 2020.

  1. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Much better than e bay, thanks
    Rick
     
  2. Antmax

    Antmax Strat-Talker

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    If your in the states there's a cheap $5 Nicholson triangle cross section file at home depot that's good for a lot of things if you make a safe edge with a dremel grinder tool. I dremmeled an edge and the opposite side so it's always shiny side on top when the safe edge is on the fretboard.

    I still use mine sometimes, mostly for working around sharp fret ends before finishing up with a FretGuru fret end file. I used to use it for crowning before I got the chris alsop file. Worked well but was more time consuming and needed a lot more sanding and polishing out scratches than the diamond files.

    For $5 its well worth having in your toolbox.


    [​IMG]


    https://www.homedepot.com/p/Nicholson-6-in-Slim-Taper-File-21866N/100188490
     
  3. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Yes, Ive seen that file before on Amazon, I think due to my cervical problems, I can imagine the file works fine, but it, as the triangular file, it might enflame my neck pain,
    for it probably would require a bit more labor than some Diamond grit file. So, I have to deal with my own physical limitations as well, in thinking about moving forward.
    Thanks for your help, and support
    Rick
     
  4. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    I think after all is said and done, the LMII might just be the way to go, as my first workhorse file. The fact that I can do both , the deep cutting, and finish it off with the other side, makes a lot of sense to me, at this time in my developing this skill.
    So I thank you.
    Rick
     
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  5. Cyberi4n

    Cyberi4n Strat-Talker

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    8D2A2B16-DBF6-42B5-94FE-05767AD9BEDF.jpeg HOSCO crowning files gets my money
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
  6. telepraise

    telepraise Strat-Talker

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    I started with a Gurian file decades ago (still have it, haven't touch it in years). For me, there are two advantages that make the diamond files worth the money:
    1- consistency, you get a nice, smooth parabolic bead. As long as you keep your eye on the the black sharpie stripe, there's no finessing, rolling, etc to get a good bead.
    2- (most importantly) the amount of handwork afterwards. Standard files (Gurian,etc) leave scratches and grooves, no matter how careful you are. This means sanding the bead many times with 400, 800, and 1200 grit paper before you can polish. The knuckle joints in my old fingers don't take kindly to this. I have both 150 and 300 grit diamond files but don't often use the 150 grit, I find the 300 cuts fast enough and leaves a finish that lets me go straight to 600 grit, then a quick go over with 1200 before buffing with the dremel. Also, more expensive, but the longer files let you take longer strokes with less down finger pressure. letting the tool do the work.
    *as I said before, I think the diamond files are worth it. Otherwise, figure in the cost of a chiropractor visit each time you do fretwork.
    IMG_2824.jpg
     
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  7. jpmist

    jpmist Strat-O-Master

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    This has been an interesting thread, thanks, guys!

    I've dabbled at this with some Strat necks I got off eBay, but never to the extent that I wanted to spend real money on tools. I ended up gluing sandpaper to wooden sticks which worked ok, but the technique I wanted to push was the use of fingernail manicure sticks as a final polish. $1 at Dollar Tree, the foam stick allows for a nice curved crown and the micromesh paper has an ideal progression for a high shine.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  8. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I went with the Baroque file and set of three erasers. For the edges, a file with a flat (non abrasive) edge on one side.

    Screenshot_20200915-102817.jpg
     
  9. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-Talker

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    The 300 grit Z file sold by Stew Mac is by far the best file for crowning frets ever made.
     
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  10. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Im going for a Stew Mac Z File, there are three models, I think the original style would be a good fit, they're $123.00 each. I hope they're worth it, if not, it goes right back, I'll know instantly.
    Thanks
    Rick
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2020
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  11. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Thats because StewMac adds $14.00 shipping fee to every item
    , unless you join some yearly membership, know this, there will always be a $14.00 difference between Amazons price and StewMac, you only learn of StewMacs true price upon checkout. If I go that way, I'l do Amazon.
     
  12. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Which 300 Grit File are you referring to, do you mean the Diamond offset file? or one of those Z files? I think you mean the 300 Grit Diamond offset File, is that the one?
     
  13. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i would get a diamond grit file. the correct size for the fret is important. i have the type stew mac sells that have the clear and red handle that come with a course and fine side and they are great imo.

    but do not buy anything from stew mac you can get somewhere else or you will pay 2 or 3 times as much - plus shipping.
     
  14. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Listen, I have 4 cervical herniations in my neck, I can barely hold my guitars. One of my older Les Pauls, its unplayable for me, it weighs close to 12.4 pounds, as I kid, I loved that Black/Cream bindings on those old Customs, and it could be partially responsible for my neck problems now, so I hear you on that, thats also one of the reasons why Im leaning toward a 300 grit Diamond file, possibly the StewMac offset file, or possibly one of their Z files. Neither of them offer a long stroke, I wish I knew of a good one that offered a long stroke, ultimately that would be exactly what would work best for me.
    Rick
     
  15. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-Talker

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    Both are good, but the original Z file is by far the best crowning file on the market by a huge margin. The Z file with the ridge off center is best. You flip it to get each side of the fret. I used to use only the big offset Crowning file, but these days I just use it for the fret ends. The Z file cuts the labor in half for perfect consistency on fret crowning.
     
  16. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    Thats nice work, well done.
     
  17. tmonkjr

    tmonkjr Strat-Talk Member

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    So you liked that Baroque file, Ive seen it advertised, but was concerned it might not have the grit, I might need. But glad to hear it worked for you.
     
  18. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-Talker

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    It’s worth it. The $123 price pays for itself by the third fret dress. Get the original version.
     
  19. Scott Baxendale

    Scott Baxendale Strat-Talker

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    Stew mac is real good at making you think you need a whole array of tools and contraptions to dress frets and do fret work. Most of it is a waste, but they are experts at selling you $20 tools you don’t need.

    A leveling file, The Z file, 320 grit, 800-1200 grit wet or dry, 0000 steel wool and some linseed oil. It ALL you need for professional fret dressing.
     
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  20. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I've used it on one job. It works. I also have the Hosco orange file. But it, of course, only works for one size.
     
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