Page 5 of 7

To achieve a final height of .040" I have to remove a LOT of material from the tops of some of these frets, and as little as 0.012" from the ones I drove the deepest. to make the job a little easier, I've glue some plastic strips (about 0.042" thick) as "rails" on the face of a double-cut mill bastard file. This is an aggressive cut and I'm using a new file to make the work go smoothly.

I must protect the fingerboard from being scraped by the rails of my file, so I'll apply masking tape over everything but the frets themselves. As I dig into the tape during the next processes, I'll peel it off and replace it. I can't afford to scratch the fingerboard now, or I'll have a really tough time making it look right later.

I can now file the frets along their length with good, strong strokes. I have to work relatively slowly, though, to avoid heating the frets by friction. If the frets get hot, they might shift in their positions.

I have another double cut mill file with the tang broken off, to which I've glued a wooden handle, and I'll use this to graze over the tops of all the frets to start the leveling process:

(It was this job that convinced me to get into making
ergonomic tool handles!)



Back to Index Page