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Who here does good fret work via mail?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by aguynamedben, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. aguynamedben

    aguynamedben Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    May 29, 2019
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Are there any reputable luthiers here that can do fretwork on a neck for a partscaster by mail? Can I have a nitro-finished Allparts/Musikraft neck drop-shipped to one of you do have the frets leveled/dressed and fingerboard edged rolled?

    I have a nice Custom Shop Tele, but I'm building my first partscaster as a fun guitar to keep at my office and work on.

    When it comes to necks for a partscaster it seems the options are:
    1. Buy a finished neck taken from an existing guitar (that was hopefully looked at by a good luthier at some point after it left the Fender factory).
    2. Buy an unfinished neck from Allparts, USACG, Musikraft, Warmoth, finish it myself, do the fretwork myself.
    3. Buy a nitro finished neck from the above suppliers, do the fretwork myself.

    I want to do the guitar's setup, shimming, cutting the nut, wiring, etc. but I don't want to mess with fretwork because I want it to be done well!

    I have a local luthier, but being in San Francisco it's expensive, and and he's always recommended a full out Plek+setup which seems like overkill for a yet unproven partscaster.

    Anyone here up for some mail-in business?

    –Ben
     
  2. aguynamedben

    aguynamedben Member

    Messages:
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    May 29, 2019
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    Also feel free to tell me Option #4: "it's not that hard, learn to do it yourself!". I've had fun doing wiring, setups, truss rod adjustments, etc. But fret leveling/dressing just seems like such a critical thing where experience matters and it's worth having someone do it really well.
     
    RicOkc likes this.
  3. WIshbones

    WIshbones Supporting Member

    Messages:
    48
    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2020
    Bro, bring it to Gary Brawer. He's the best. He's on Lafayette St, right off Mission. I don't bring my guitars to anyone else.
     
    aguynamedben likes this.
  4. Gig Young

    Gig Young ¡An Advocate for Advocacy! Gold Supporting Member

    Messages:
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    Whimsyville
    Wow!
    Brawer is top notch!
     
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  5. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

    Messages:
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    Feb 10, 2019
    Location:
    Canada
    Not the cheapest or most convenient, but the very best is Mike McConniville in Stratford Ontario Canada. While it’s is, have him fit one of his proprietary intonated and compensated nuts. He gets stuff shipped all the time.
     
    aguynamedben likes this.
  6. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    Location:
    Southern California
    When you have guys like Gary Brawer and Geoff Luttrell in town it's hard to justify shipping the neck out.

    This guy has a lot of videos on YT (under the name StringTech Workstations) and while I think his compensated nuts are ugly as sin, the results he's getting with intonation are superb.
     
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  7. WIshbones

    WIshbones Supporting Member

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    Correct.
     
    aguynamedben likes this.
  8. galibier_un

    galibier_un Supporting Member

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    This raises an interesting side question. How long after mounting the neck (so it experiences string tension) would you wait in order to be comfortable that the stresses equalized before you took to leveling.

    The few necks I've worked with seem to stabilize within 24 hours.

    ... Thom
     
    AceBSpankin and aguynamedben like this.
  9. sg13

    sg13 Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 18, 2013
    It’s actually easy with the right tools, I learned to do it watching YouTube and my first job on a strat came out great. Cutting a new nut was more work than the level and polish.

    I did it with a $50 Fretguru leveling beam, $18 notched straightedge from neck check guitar tools, a $30 triangle file from stew Mac, some sandpaper strips, tape, and some micro mesh pads for polishing. Less than $120 in materials. Don’t buy the crazy expensive stuff.

    The hardest part was getting the feel for the triangle file to crown, but after 5 minutes I was starting to get it and where to put the pressure.
     
    aguynamedben likes this.
  10. Rhomco

    Rhomco Silver Supporting Member

    Messages:
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    Jul 23, 2005
    Location:
    Burleson, Texas (DFW)
    Ship it to Big John at www.bigjohnsguitars.com
    Fretwork done right at reasonable prices. I send all my serious fretwork to him.
    Rob
     
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  11. cjp54

    cjp54 Member

    Messages:
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    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    Az
    Reach out to @hogy. He does excellent fret work.
     
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  12. boyce89976

    boyce89976 Silver Supporting Member

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    TN
  13. Obsessive Tinkerer

    Obsessive Tinkerer Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Canada
    Mike has done a bunch of mine and the intonation is uncanny. Every fret on every string is dead on..... so the jazz chords in the low register where you need to dislocate fingers are dead on. I find I avoid some voicing unconsciously on the guitars he hasn’t updated the nut on yet. He also uses fossilized tusk which sounds like bone to me, but is far harder... so no burring on the wound strings. I wander over to his shop for work and to be social now and then. It’s interesting to see the brand new custom shop Fenders and Gibsons he gets before owners even play them. Yes, the nut looks odd, but it’s so very worth it.
     

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