© 2019 by GMC Luthier Tools

FRET LEVELLING

Fret Levelling Beam | GMC Luthier Tools

A versatile precision Fret Leveling Tool with more than one use!.

The tool utilises Emery Corundum - less aggressive than diamond - which has excellent polishing characteristics.  

 

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

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

Our fret levelling tool has an ergonomic shaped handle with a recess for the thumb at the leading end and an angled back for good control with 2-handed use. 

Fret Levelling Tool | GMC Luthier Tools

FRET LEVELLING ACCURACY:

The fret leveller is precision manufactured using pressure reference technology which controls the forming process and material stability, to ensure accuracy and straightness.

 

The tool has a slight relief towards the midpoint of its length. Typically this is 0.030mm (0.001”) - less than half the width of a human hair - which is beneficial to the fret levelling process. 

 

Tools are 100% inspected using a precision granite surface table & dial indicator.

PREPARATION & USE :

 

The frets should ideally be fully masked to ensure the fingerboard wood is completely protected. If the neck is attached to the body, ensure any controls and hardware are protected from dust also. If the guitar has a natural finish or is open grained then extra care should also be taken. All dust should be thoroughly cleaned before removing any masking after levelling the frets.

The guitar neck should be set straight before levelling the frets.

What Fret Levelling Abrasive should I use?

The starting fret levelling abrasive grade will be dependent on the severity of fret wear. 

Coarse, Smooth & Fine grades are supplied with the Fret Leveller making it suitable for heavier wear and guitar shop use.

Smooth Abrasive then Fine is perfect for guitarists performing their own guitar setups.

Underside view of the tool highlighting the minimal amount of unused abrasive at the end tabs.

The handle is fitted and the screws fully tightened. 

The following photo illustrates the leveller size when compared with a 25.5" scale neck. 

Guitar Fretting Tools | GMC Luthier Tools

FINISH:

 

After levelling, the frets will require crowning to achieve a satisfactory playing feel and to optimise intonation.

Please see our Concave Fret Crowning Tool https://www.guitarbuilding.solutions/concave-fret-crowning-tool for more details.

REPLACEMENT ABRASIVE:

 

Replacement fret levelling abrasive can be purchased from the webstore in convenient pre-cut strips.

The fret leveller will also accept 25mm standard width roll. 

 

OTHER USES:

 

The tool is also useful for detail sanding/flat sanding of wood by incorporating a suitable abrasive.

(Emery itself should not be used directly on wood).

Fretting tools | GMC Luthier Tools
Fretboard Sanding Tool | GMC Luthier Tools

SPOT LEVELLING KIT 

FINISH:

 

This set is suitable for local spot levelling when a complete fret level is not essential.

 

Set comprises of:

  • 2 Precision Spot Levellers 115mm & 70mm long.

  • Silicon Carbide Abrasive – 6 Grades.

  • Abrasive Template.

  • Fret Level Checker.

 

Features:

  • Slim design permitting single string dressing without affecting adjacent strings.

  • The strings can remain on the instrument.

 

To use:

Fit the spot leveller underneath the string at the mid position where there is maximum stretch available.

 

The choice of starting abrasive will be dependent on degree of wear but it is essential to use each stage after this, as skipping any grades will leave abrasions that will be difficult to remove with the finer abrasives.

 

Finish by using finer abrasive grades and successively longer strokes of the tool as this will erase any marks that have been carried along onto the adjacent frets.

 

(It is not necessary to raise the strings when working).

 

There is a small working overlap when moved to an adjacent string ensuring all of the fingerboard is accessible. The leveller sizes have been designed for standard abrasive sheets (280mm x 230mm) to be equally cut without waste.

 

6 Grades of abrasive paper : Coarse – Ultra Fine, are included with the kit. The rectangular template can be used to divide the sheet up equally and the abrasive will fit either spot leveller depending on which way it is fitted.

 

A useful Fret Level Checker is included to help identify problem frets.

 

The levellers are also suitable for fret dressing with the strings removed.

Use the 115mm long tool for the wider fret spacings (up to 12th fret approx) - and the 70mm tool for the remainder.

Dressing after Tuning.JPG

Our Fret Levelling Tools are available from the Webstore.