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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 6:23 pm 
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I seem to have a problem crowning my frets precisely in the middle. No matter how careful I am, they seem to lean toward the nut or saddle. Even though I make sure that every cut I make in the fretboard is at the precise measurement, I install the frets so that they're seated properly, and I level the frets, crowning is a problem for me, and it adversely effects the intonation from fret to fret. If anyone ever needed an idiot proof crowning took, it's me.

If you were to test the intonation by harmonics or open compared with the 12th fret, you would think that it's as perfect as it can be, but I found slight variations as I worked my way up the neck. The first time I tested each fret, most were on the flat side by a few cents. I have perfect pitch so I could hear each nasty note. So, I recrowned the frets and found that I over corrected them, making each note slightly sharp. I've recrowned the frets 4 times now and I still had a problem with the notes being slightly sharp. I have a traditional fret crowning file, which is cut steel. I decided that maybe a diamond fret file would be easier to use. As I was pricing them, I ran across the Thomas Ginex High Speed Fret Crowing Tool.

At first glance the Thomas Ginex seemed counter intuitive, because you run the tool the length of the fretboard, against the frets. After thinking about it for a little while, it dawned on me that it would work, because you run the tool both directions, up and down the fretboard. I decided to order it and give it a try. I got it in the mail today, so I pulled out my 00 to test it. Its made of nice heavy metal. It has 4 "humps", which run over the frets in both directions.

WOW! It took me much longer to prep the guitar than to crown the frets. I masked off the wood and put some paper on both sides of the board to protect the top against the dust. One of the things that impressed me about the tool is that you don't file along the frets, so you have less chance of slipping and marring the top of the guitar. Crowning and polishing took me a total of about 3 minutes. I used the enclosed 400 grit crocus cloth, then the finer cloth for polishing. I applied even pressure, then ran the tool up and down the board about 25 times with each cloth. I dusted her off, tightened the strings and tested each fret.

The intonation on each fret is spot on, or maybe 1/2 cent off. I honestly doubt that it could be better. The Thomas Ginex High Speed Fret Crowning Tool worked like a charm. I'm definitely an idiot and I found an idiot proof way of crowning the frets. On the plus side, it runs about $16 on Ebay, which is much cheaper than a diamond fret file. They sell refills for the crocus cloth, but you can buy letter sized crocus cloth in a variety of grits and cut it yourself to save money.

I thought I'd let you guys know whether this thing works. It works great and I highly recommend it.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 7:31 pm 
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Joined: Sat Apr 10, 2010 10:50 pm
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Location: Seattle
That is an interesting method thanks for posting. I will have to give it a try.

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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:21 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
Diane

If you were to mark along the center top of each fret with a marker, is the mark still there when you are "almost" done? Does the tool lower the top of the frets as it abrades them?

Ed


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 04, 2016 9:51 pm 
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ruby@magpage.com wrote:
Diane

If you were to mark along the center top of each fret with a marker, is the mark still there when you are "almost" done? Does the tool lower the top of the frets as it abrades them?

Ed

I mark the top of the frets with a sharpie; it cuts from each side, toward the center of the frets and like any other tool, you choose how much to take off and round. My concern was rounding each fret evenly, to ensure the best intonation at each fret. It really did an outstanding job with my guitar. Here is the link to their site, which has a video demonstrating the older tool. The new tool has a total of 4 "humps". The video demonstrates their entire method, including leveling. The crowning tool that I bought at at 2:35 minutes, about 2/3 of the way though.

http://www.fretrefinishing.com/


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 8:46 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2014 7:52 pm
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Location: Saint Paul, MN
How does the tool account for your fretboard radius?

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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:14 am 
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Joined: Thu May 24, 2012 8:03 am
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Location: Chestertown Maryland
Diane

It looks almost too good to be true. I am no expert, buy I believe that using such a short jig will not adequately level the frets (step one, using abrasive sheet one). I use a 12" file and my daughter, who owns a repair shop, uses a 16" block in precision ground steel.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools/Tools_by_Job/Tools_for_Sanding/Fret_Fingerboard_Levelers.html

Then they don't show you re-marking the tops of the levelled frets for the crowning step. This marker line is important for us amateurs as a guide to sneak up on a crown that is still at the same level. If there is no tiny marker line left at the top of each fret (after crowning but before final abrasives to polish) then the frets have been lowered randomly beyond what you have very carefully levelled in the step before.

Ed


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 05, 2016 9:17 am 
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Joined: Fri Mar 03, 2006 7:09 pm
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Location: Hegins, Pa
I use a diamond crowning file and the marker. The key is to find what works best for you. The more you do the better you get at it but many newbies should find this a helpful item
thanks for posting.

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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2016 4:55 pm 
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Joined: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:30 pm
Posts: 126
Hey, that looks pretty neat! Probably gives pretty consistent results, and in practice (as opposed to in the video) I imagine one pays close attention to the permanent marker, so that the radius of the fretboard is leveled/crowned evenly.

My first frets were done using files with the school bus shape built in. I'm happy with the results, but there was a fair amount of chatter, and I wanted something more reassuringly smooth and consistent. My response was to buy Sewmac's diamond fret file, which initially caused terrible cramping in my wallet, but which works so smoothly that I am confident it will allow me to produce better results on my next board. In the event I'm still wanting better finished frets, I think this Thomas Ginex tool might be tried. Less cramping, too!

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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2016 3:04 pm 
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Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2014 8:13 pm
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ColestineGuitar wrote:
Hey, that looks pretty neat! Probably gives pretty consistent results, and in practice (as opposed to in the video) I imagine one pays close attention to the permanent marker, so that the radius of the fretboard is leveled/crowned evenly.

My first frets were done using files with the school bus shape built in. I'm happy with the results, but there was a fair amount of chatter, and I wanted something more reassuringly smooth and consistent. My response was to buy Sewmac's diamond fret file, which initially caused terrible cramping in my wallet, but which works so smoothly that I am confident it will allow me to produce better results on my next board. In the event I'm still wanting better finished frets, I think this Thomas Ginex tool might be tried. Less cramping, too!

My crowning file has the same pattern as your initial file and produced a lot of chatter as well, which is why I was going to invest in a quality diamond file. I just happened to run across the Thomas Ginex. I have problems with both of my hands and wrists, which I'm sure has contributed to the issue of being able to hold the file at the proper angle consistently, so the Thomas Ginex tool worked nicely for me with my hand problems.

The drawback of the speed crowner is that the cloth has to be replaced. I'm going to buy some quality emery cloth, which should last longer.


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