Making a neck straight for fret leveling: Fingerboard or fret tops? How and why?

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1,369
Obviously, this is concerning methods that don't require a neck jig. I'm just curious exactly how people do this.

I know some say to use the tops of the frets themselves, but how exactly do you do this? If you've got one high fret, won't it throw off the straight edge the rest of the way?

Secondarily, if anyone is unfamiliar, the traditional way is to use a notched straightedge along the fingerboard.

Either way, would it be helpful to check the level in a few different (between the E and A, D and G, and B and E) places to suss out any humps or inconsistencies so as to adjust the truss to compensate and find a happy medium?
 

VaughnC

Supporting Member
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17,663
Wood, being an dynamic substance, each piece has to be evaluated as an individual. Does it have a history of being stable? If so, minor wood imperfections can be taken care of with fret leveling...but you can only do so much as you don't want to have to remove say 1/2 the height of some frets to compensate for a fretboard irregularity. In that case, it would make sense to level the fretboard first.
 

ChrisN

Supporting Member
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250
I'm no expert, but I'd use a slotted straightedge to ensure a flat fretBOARD (via the truss rod), then level/dress the fret tops. That will also reveal humps/dips in the fretboard.
 

rockon1

Member
Messages
12,458
Ive been wanting to get into this. Thinking I want a slotted as well as a regular straight edge. The regular I already have. Then I could check both ways.
 

walterw

Gold Supporting Member
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37,368




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