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  1. #1

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    I‘m always unsure about that perfect fret crown. Should there be a slight squared line on top of the fret or is a smooth round „C“- shape the ideal? What‘s to say about these freshly levelled and crowned frets on my Aristocrat?
    Fret crowning-75960596-be54-449e-873a-fc1e10081cf5-jpgFret crowning-5c2d5ed4-e40a-4531-841d-498e25d17bf9-jpgFret crowning-dc87ea7e-f8bb-4215-a98f-e6655a2cea44-jpg
    ^ Argh, image turned...

    Hard to photograph, it‘s the „C“ shape-type.

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  3. #2

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    I like the somewhat off-center "C" shape.

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    I like the somewhat off-center "C" shape.
    Lawson: Off center on a fret crown?...


    The frets look good to me.

  5. #4

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    A smooth c is fine or close. Sometimes StewMac goes to extreme on fret tools and polishing them out like they are diamond rings. Once you play on the FB for awhile it is going to get marked as set, so at some point you are chasing............small things. More important that the frets are all level and the action is where you like it. That sort of assumes you got the frets themselves are probably done fine. Another thing is the edges and getting them smooth and the fingers and hand move across the frets no rough spots, or catches. This is where I like the old fashion approach of using fine grade Emory Cloth is gets in the edges and smooths things out going at a 90 degree angle to the frets. Not along them as this will also contribute to rounding the tops.

  6. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Lawson: Off center on a fret crown?...


    The frets look good to me.
    Didn‘t get that too :-P

  7. #6

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    I don't do my own fretwork, but I was always told that a smooth round C was best. The idea being that the string should contact the fret as minimally and precisely as possible, at exactly one point, top-dead-center. As others have noted, though, as you play the guitar, flat spots will develop as the string wears the fret.

  8. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by TOMMO
    Lawson: Off center on a fret crown?...


    The frets look good to me.
    I'm sorry I wasn't clear. I wasn't commenting on your frets. When I've leveled and crowned frets on my guitars, I like Dan Erlwine's idea of giving the "C" profile a very tiny amount of "slope."Fret crowning-fret-crown-jpg

  9. #8

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    I don't think it has to be perfectly round. I avoid filing near the top so that I don't alter the fret height by mistake.

    This is from a stewmac video. The fret on the right I think (and they think) is good even though it's not perfectly round. Obviously the fret on the left needs crowning.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fret crowning-fret-png 

  10. #9

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    If the top of the curve is off center, it will affect the intonation. The highest point, where the string contacts the fret, should be in the exact center. But tiny variances probably won't make much difference.

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    If the top of the curve is off center, it will affect the intonation. The highest point, where the string contacts the fret, should be in the exact center.
    That's what puzzled me when I read "off center"....

  12. #11

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    have seen and played guitars with both types...flat and c crowned...mosrites are almost completely low and flat...easy to fret, but harder to bend and dig in...the c is most common..guild looks fine

    enjoy

    cheers

  13. #12

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    Both are viable, and a lot comes down to what you prefer as a feel.

    Personally I don't think I'll ever be able to decide, I like all sorts of fret types and setups, each one has its pros and cons.. Ideally you just buy more guitars!

  14. #13
    To me perfect rounded/levelled/finished frets are the most important part on a guitars neck, followed by the neck profile.

  15. #14

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    Some of those frets have bigger flats on the top than others. This is inevitable when frets are leveled. What didn't happen is the frets were not full recrowned. There is enough bead on those frets that they could be recrowned to the point that there is no detectable flatspot on the top of the crown. This is not as good of a picture as yours, but I think you'll be bale to tell what a properly crown fret looks like.
    Attached Images Attached Images Fret crowning-p1020765-jpg 

  16. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by Roy Boy
    Some of those frets have bigger flats on the top than others. This is inevitable when frets are leveled. What didn't happen is the frets were not full recrowned. There is enough bead on those frets that they could be recrowned to the point that there is no detectable flatspot on the top of the crown. This is not as good of a picture as yours, but I think you'll be bale to tell what a properly crown fret looks like.
    Are you talking about the frets on my M-75?
    Fret crowning-9ac7b299-0ea6-4358-ae33-979374b7b2c9-jpeg
    I don‘t see any faults?

  17. #16

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    Perhaps it's the angle, but the first picture your series gives the appearance of some smaller flat areas, certainly nothing to worry about. My response was in reference to query about the "perfect crown" which is achievable when there is enough bead to work with. My apologies, no offense intended. Top quality fretwork takes a lot of time and is therefor costly.

  18. #17

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    Does anyone know how the PLEK machine addresses this? I have the impression it flattens the frets- no C's.

  19. #18

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    Just a tip - maybe it’s in Stew Mac’s video, not sure - but after leveling and crowning one can give a polish using a Dremel tool with a felt wheel and some Tripoli polishing compound. This will give a very smooth surface.

    It’s a good idea to tape off the fretboard so you don’t get gunk from the polishing compound on it.

    (Haven’t had to mess with frets for a long time, but this is what I have done in the past.)

  20. #19
    After a lot of reading, thinking, trying and even after 5-7 necks I’ve done my conclusion is:
    don‘t overdo it.

    If every fret‘s got the same height and is nicely rounded and polished everything‘s good. At least my guess.

  21. #20

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    Stew-Mac thinks your frets to look like mirrors a very much overkill. The frets need to be smooth and nicely shaped but after playing on them for a bit they are not going to look like mirrors. The main issue is the frets are level and action nice that always very low action if you like that or raise it if you prefer that.

  22. #21

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    Fret crowning-tool-jpg

    Anyone tried this tool?

    Mr Darren Drew thinks enough of it to add his signature.
    I have only used it to polish and NOT after a re-crown so can't confirm.

    Works fast and great for small fret "mulch" before polishing.

  23. #22

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    The Drew device works well to crown and polish in one step.

  24. #23
    That’s a great tool for sure but you’ll get the same results using tight rolled sandpaper.

  25. #24

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    Quote Originally Posted by Marty Grass View Post
    Does anyone know how the PLEK machine addresses this? I have the impression it flattens the frets- no C's.
    This looks to be something that is customizable.

    This software tool makes it possible to set the amount of fret height to be cut as well as adjusting the radius (making it possible to obtain a compound radius within the frets) as well as the amount of “fall-off” on the uppper frets.
    The Virtual Fret Dress - Plek

  26. #25
    Fretjob on my favourite guitar is done. Dunno why the pic has turned...

    Fret crowning-77d5a344-7e70-43df-b3ee-f70ac82ec96e-jpg