FRET CROWNING / FRET DRESSING

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

ROUNDING THE TOP OF THE FRETS

 

After fret levelling, the frets should be rounded over to reduce the flat areas of the crown. This is essential for good intonation.  

Crowning the very top centre of the fret though should be avoided. The tools original design features a concave contact face and incorporates a gap at the centre that ensures this is easily accomplished.

 

When pressure is applied during use, the sides of the fret are rounded by the emery but abrasive pressure on the the crown is prevented.

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

FRET CROWNING ABRASIVE

 

Emery is the preferred abrasive for final finishing and lapping of metal surfaces requiring high precision and smooth surface finish. Emery is less aggressive than diamond but has excellent polishing characteristics. It is recognised as the best abrasive for finishing and polishing of special metals by engineers and jewellery makers. Perfect for Fret Crowning!.

Method of use can be adapted to individual preference and particular fret conditions. In general the tool is used as follows:

 

A length of the emery is folded and fed through the tool so that a small amount protrudes from underneath the fret crowning tool as shown below.  The emery can be trimmed neatly and separated with the aid of the small shim provided. This can be repeated as required and is favourable for narrower frets.

Alternatively, the emery can be folded around the sides as it becomes worn. This is more suited for wider frets.

The tool can be rolled to the sides during passes over the fret however this willl be subject to adequate protection of the fretboard.

Fret Crowning Tool | GMC Luthier Tools
Best Abrasive for Fret Crowning | GMC Luthier Tools
Rounding Frets.JPG

The frets should be levelled before crowning. The photograph below shows levelled frets with excessive flat areas on the tops prior to crowning. Pre-marking the frets with a permanent pen is an ideal method for checking the fret dressing progress.

Frets before crowning | GMC Luthier Tools

POLISHING THE FRETS

 

As the emery becomes smoother the fret can be polished with the same fret crowning abrasive.

When fresh/coarser abrasive is required, new emery can be fed out.

 

If preferred, instead of fully tightening the screws each time, they can be left semi-tight to allow the abrasive to be easily pulled out whilst still maintaining grip on the abrasive during use.

 

The photo below shows the same frets after crowning.

 

Properly Crowned Guitar Frets | GMC Luthier Tools

FRET DRESSING THE ENDS

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

Fret tops before crowning