© 2019 by GMC Luthier Tools

FRET CROWNING

Our fret crowning tool is suitable for most sizes of fret wire (see webstore for recommended use) - it doesn't chatter, restores roundness and is a comfortable, easy to use fret dressing tool.

 

Guitar Fret Crowning Tool | GMC Luthier Tools

FRET CROWNING WITHOUT TOUCHING THE TOP OF THE FRETS

 

After fret levelling, the frets should be dressed to leave a thin flat strip on the very top. This is essential for good intonation.  

 

The underside of the tool is concave but also incorporates a gap at the centre. This original design ensures that the essential top centre portion of the fret is protected.

Guitar Fret Dressing Kit | GMC Luthier Tools
Concave Fret Crowning Tool | GMC Luthier Tools

FRET CROWNING ABRASIVE

 

The type of fret crowning abrasive recommended & supplied with the tool is Emery Corundum - less aggressive than diamond - but with excellent polishing characteristics. It is recognised as the best abrasive for finishing and polishing of metal which makes it a perfect choice for fret crowning and fret dressing.

 

Genuine Emery Corundum is made from crushed Emery Stone - Rich in Blue Corundum/Blue Sapphire. Its unique composition enables a highly polished finish to be achieved.

 

A short length of the emery is single folded and trimmed so that a small amount protrudes from underneath the fret crowning tool as shown below.

A small shim is provided which can then be used to spread the abrasive after trimming. 

Fret Crowning Tool | GMC Luthier Tools
Best Abrasive for Fret Crowning | GMC Luthier Tools

TIPS FOR HOW TO PROPERLY LEVEL & CROWN THE FRETS USING THIS TOOL

The frets should be levelled before crowning. 

When dressing frets, pay particular attention to ensure controls and hardware are protected from dust. If the instrument has a natural finish or is open grained then extra care should also be taken.

Premarking the frets with a permanent pen is an ideal method for checking the fret dressing progress.

The photograph below shows levelled frets with excessive flat areas on the tops prior to crowning.

For best utilisation of the fret dressing abrasive, work on 3 or 4 frets at a time until crowning & polishing is satisfactory, then move onto the next group using fresh abrasive. 

Frets before crowning | GMC Luthier Tools

CROWNING AND POLISHING THE FRETS

 

When pressure is applied during use, the sides of the fret are rounded by the emery but the important fret crown is protected by the 'safe gap' in the centre of the tool.

As the emery becomes smoother the frets can be re-visited and polished with the same fret crowning abrasive.

When fresh/coarser abrasive is required, the allen screws can be untightened and new emery fed out.

Ensure that the fretboard protector supplied is used.

The photo below shows the same frets after crowning.

Please note that coarser Aluminium Oxide Abrasives (often misquoted as emery) will not produce the same lustre of finish as Emery when dressing frets. 

Properly Crowned Guitar Frets | GMC Luthier Tools

FRET DRESSING WITHOUT A FILE:

The tool also makes an excellent job of dressing the fret ends.

Our Fret Crowning Tool is available from the Webstore.