Official Luthiers Forum!

Solely owned and operated by Lance Kragenbrink
It is currently Wed Dec 13, 2017 12:24 am


All times are UTC - 5 hours


Forum rules


Be nice, no cussin and enjoy!




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2
Author Message
PostPosted: Tue Oct 11, 2016 7:22 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Tue Oct 30, 2007 9:13 am
Posts: 1091
Location: United States
State: Texas
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
To be honest I will probably buy one, I like to try new stuff, but think they are "a solution looking for a problem."
To Stew-Mac I say "thanks for thinking of all the great new ideas, keep throwing things at us, some of them are bound to stick."
My 3 sizes of file, bought 41 years ago, are still working fine, thanks to super-hard German steel. And the middle size gets the bulk of the use. I can hardly believe it!

I hear some of you guys talk about how a rounded fret file removes material from the fret top, and you don't want to do that.
I do a lot of fret work, that is where a good portion of my paycheck is. A lot of the fretwork is "fret-level & polish" that is done in lieu of a full refret, where the frets are leveled with a flat file until the divots are gone, then rounded back up with the fret file. A rounded fret file can be rocked from side to side and never touch the center of the top of the fret. Then, a few light strokes straight-on removes the center-line flat area, left by the leveling file. Polishing is done by fine steel-wool, in line with the fret, leaving them glass smooth.

_________________
http://davidnewtonguitars.squarespace.com/



These users thanked the author David Newton for the post: pat macaluso (Fri Oct 28, 2016 9:58 am)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:30 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 04, 2007 3:31 am
Posts: 876
Location: Candler, NC United States
David Newton wrote:
To be honest I will probably buy one, I like to try new stuff, but think they are "a solution looking for a problem."
To Stew-Mac I say "thanks for thinking of all the great new ideas, keep throwing things at us, some of them are bound to stick."
My 3 sizes of file, bought 41 years ago, are still working fine, thanks to super-hard German steel. And the middle size gets the bulk of the use. I can hardly believe it!

I hear some of you guys talk about how a rounded fret file removes material from the fret top, and you don't want to do that.
I do a lot of fret work, that is where a good portion of my paycheck is. A lot of the fretwork is "fret-level & polish" that is done in lieu of a full refret, where the frets are leveled with a flat file until the divots are gone, then rounded back up with the fret file. A rounded fret file can be rocked from side to side and never touch the center of the top of the fret. Then, a few light strokes straight-on removes the center-line flat area, left by the leveling file. Polishing is done by fine steel-wool, in line with the fret, leaving them glass smooth.

You're saying you go from freshly crowned, to fine steel wool, to glass smooth? That sounds like the time-saving fret-polishing method of the century! We've dialed in our process for achieving mirror-smooth frets, but it definitely involves several more steps than that. Do you use graduated grade steel wools, or are you actually only using one grade to remove file scratches and achieve a glassy finish?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

_________________
Mountain Song Guitars www.mountainsongguitars.com


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Fri Oct 28, 2016 7:56 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:33 am
Posts: 569
First name: Willard
Last Name: Guthrie
City: Cumberland
State: Maryland 21502
Zip/Postal Code: 21502
Country: United State
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
I would be interested as well!

If there was a way to go from 300 grit diamond or a cant file to finish in one step, it would save us the difference between the current 0.2 hours spent on polishing, and whatever time was required for the new method. Just a tenth saved would be $10 in labor, and that is certainly of interest.

At present, our process runs through P400, P600, P800, and 1200 Imperial - similar to Mr. Erlewine's approach - before buffing with fine Menzerna dry compound on an 8" hard sewn muslin wheel (we buff into the edge on most frets, so the entire surface of the fret ends up being buffed out). Where we have a lot of reshaping on the fret, we may use a 400 grit sanding stick to address stubborn scratches. #0000 steel wool gets used for quick touch-ups when we don't want to remove the strings, but we don't generally consider it to be a final polish for frets on a refret, a level/crown/polish, or new guitar's stainless or EVO frets, due to the reduction in shine we see versus buffed surfaces. Are you using a finer steel wool for the final step?

I hope to use the Z file this coming weekend on a refret - it came in after we finished the touch-ups on the bar fretted OM-18 we got out last weekend, but not sure how low we could have gone on 0.033" fretwork.

Please share your technique and sources of supply - inquiring minds want to know!

_________________
Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.
- Jane Addams (Author and Nobel Laureate)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 2:31 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:44 am
Posts: 3185
First name: colin
Last Name: north
Country: Scotland.
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Woodie G wrote:
If there was a way to go from 300 grit diamond or a cant file to finish in one step, it would save us the difference between the current 0.2 hours spent on polishing, and whatever time was required for the new method. Just a tenth saved would be $10 in labor, and that is certainly of interest.

Don't know if this might help, but might be worth a look Woodie - http://www.luthiersforum.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=10102&t=14758

_________________
“There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman.” - Emile Zola


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:04 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:33 am
Posts: 569
First name: Willard
Last Name: Guthrie
City: Cumberland
State: Maryland 21502
Zip/Postal Code: 21502
Country: United State
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks for the thread reference, Mr. North - fascinating! Although I doubt we'd ever want to adopt Gibson's 'quick and dirty' fretting methods, it does suggest some avenues of further study.

The real treats here are the posts from three departed (from this forum) luminaries, Mr. Turner, Mr. Klepper, and Mr. Proulx, all channeling their inner curmudgeons and all with something of value to relate! I have heard rumors of a book from Mr. Proulx, and hope they are accurate.

_________________
Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.
- Jane Addams (Author and Nobel Laureate)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 5:30 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Fri Jul 10, 2009 4:44 am
Posts: 3185
First name: colin
Last Name: north
Country: Scotland.
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Dare I say leaving the FB protected would help, and I enjoyed re-reading the thread myself, couple of suggestions I'd forgotten about.

_________________
“There are two men inside the artist, the poet and the craftsman. One is born a poet. One becomes a craftsman.” - Emile Zola


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Oct 29, 2016 9:21 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Sat Dec 03, 2005 10:04 am
Posts: 2060
That thread is quite a throwback. Quite a few changes we've made since then, but many parts which have proven durable as well.

_________________
Eschew obfuscation, espouse elucidation.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 7:31 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:44 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
I'll be fretting a new guitar over the holiday break with SS frets, any opinions on the NEW Z-files?



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post: Hesh (Sat Dec 17, 2016 8:47 pm)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat Dec 17, 2016 10:54 pm 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:13 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Durango CO
First name: Dave
Last Name: Farmer
City: Durango
State: CO
I sprung for one to use on very thin Mando wire. It didn't really do what I was hoping.

I have Stew Mac diamond Crowning files from 18+ years ago so I can't speak to what is sold now. The narrow side of my old diamond files have a radius of .062" That will work on wire to .125 wide. I can count on one hand the number of times I have used the larger radius side. I was disappointed to see a V shaped file introduced when I feel a .040" radius file or even tighter would be more useful.

The Centered "Z" file I received immediately raised the issue of how sharp a fret top is is too sharp. Regular nickle wire, crowned with my .062" radius file and observed though a microscope, visibly deforms on top when a string is fretted and slid sideways as in a bend. A "Z file" could produce a fret top sharp enough to cut paper but I'm pretty sure such a top would quickly break down to a more stable radius. Maybe stainless could support such a sharp top.
I was hoping I could use it on skinny wire to knock off the side apex created with my .062" radius file. but the geometry of the V just didn't work out for that. Even after grinding the sides back some so it could be tilted further before contacting the board.
Maybe I'll find a use for it, but for now it's just sitting on the bench. I'm still hoping for a diamond crowning file with a tighter radius to use on smaller wire.
If any one has luck with it let me know.

It did occur to me the asymmetrical version could be used with wide wire to move a fret location around. improving intonation on a wacked out old Gibson Mandolin fingerboard. Of course a regular file could probably do it too. Wouldn't that be a fun job!



These users thanked the author david farmer for the post (total 2): pat macaluso (Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:35 pm) • Clinchriver (Sun Dec 18, 2016 5:13 am)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun Dec 18, 2016 7:23 am 
Offline
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
User avatar

Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9894
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
Great Review David, thanks for that!!! Sounds like we are better off staying with the tried and true that we already have.

Happy Holidays to you too!!!!


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 4:26 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:44 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
Bought a standard Z-File back in February and I like it better than my older Stew Mac diamond file I'm able to leave a much skinnier line on top of the fret. But in the end I've become a 3-corner file guy :mrgreen: I loaned it out to a buddy for a couple of months maybe we will hear what he thinks



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post (total 2): pat macaluso (Sat May 13, 2017 11:34 pm) • david farmer (Sat May 13, 2017 7:47 pm)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sat May 13, 2017 8:28 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5151
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
Clinchriver wrote:
Bought a standard Z-File back in February and I like it better than my older Stew Mac diamond file I'm able to leave a much skinnier line on top of the fret. But in the end I've become a 3-corner file guy :mrgreen: I loaned it out to a buddy for a couple of months maybe we will hear what he thinks


I got the opportunity to use the file on a couple of level/crown/polish jobs. I like the file but it's not a single point solution. First of all it's 300 grit so if you've got a lot of material to remove you're going to be there a while. I found that I preferred using my normal 150 and 300 grit StewMac diamond files to do the basics then I would do the final cleanup and finalize the line on top with the Z-File; I really liked it for that. I felt like it gave me the control of a standard triangle file but I could work faster since the Z shape allowed it to index on the top of the fret easier. It's pricey but I'll probably get one because I think it helps me to do a good job a bit quicker.

_________________
Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"



These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post (total 3): Clinchriver (Sun May 14, 2017 6:00 am) • david farmer (Sun May 14, 2017 12:20 am) • pat macaluso (Sat May 13, 2017 11:34 pm)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Sun May 14, 2017 12:20 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa
User avatar

Joined: Tue Nov 11, 2008 9:13 pm
Posts: 777
Location: Durango CO
First name: Dave
Last Name: Farmer
City: Durango
State: CO
Out of curiosity, I filed frets on an instrument I play to full sharpness with a Z-file. .050"x .090" frets. I wondered if a dramatic reduction in string contact area would require much less pressure to stop the string. It doesn't seem to be as great an effect as I thought it might. If there is much reduction, it would take some testing with a force gauge for me to perceive it. I'm curious if others find the same.

The plain steel strings immediately started in on the skinny ridge lines but then the wear quickly slowed once the contact area reached a certain size.
When players speak of a preference for wider wire, I still wonder what exactly it is about increasing width they like?

As Steve points out, The file is only available in 300 grit so your not going to get anywhere fast. If you want a triangular fret shape, it will do that, but on a rounded fret it only contacts a small line tangent to the curve so I think a rounded diamond surface will always out pace it.
Diamond may be the hardest material on earth but ironically a minute layer of magic marker dye stops it in it's tracks. If you want a dramatic increase in speed, clean your diamond file with some alcohol and do away with marker for re-crowning.



These users thanked the author david farmer for the post (total 4): Durero (Sun May 14, 2017 1:29 pm) • SteveSmith (Sun May 14, 2017 7:10 am) • bcombs510 (Sun May 14, 2017 7:07 am) • Clinchriver (Sun May 14, 2017 6:01 am)
Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:33 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:02 am
Posts: 259
First name: Daniel
Last Name: Petrzelka
State: Washington
Country: United States
Focus: Build
Any additional thoughts from those who've used the Z-files for a while?
300-grit just to slow for most of you?

I need to finally break down and buy a diamond fret file, but can't decide which of the myriad Stew Mac offerings to get.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 6:49 pm 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member
User avatar

Joined: Wed Oct 08, 2008 11:36 am
Posts: 5151
Location: Southeast US
City: Lenoir City
State: TN
Zip/Postal Code: 37772
Country: US
Focus: Repair
I got a chance to use a Z File on a fret job and I really liked the way it worked. I put off buying my own because of the cost until just a few days ago as I was crowning frets and decided it was time. The 300 grit is slow but I can live with it. I have a 150 grit of the narrow/wide diamond fret files and I can use it to take down the bulk.

_________________
Steve Smith
"Music is what feelings sound like"


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Nov 20, 2017 7:24 pm 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3172
I was just tempted to buy one of those this morning when making a Stew mac order. I have their diamond offset file but honestly after using that and thinking it was great for a while I'm back to the good old trusty 3 corner file. I cannot seem to get good enough points with the offset file, more of the Gibson style school buss. I was thinking the Z might be more like the triangle file. My offset is 300 grit and that's plenty of cutting power for me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 6:45 am 
Offline
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:44 pm
Posts: 1107
Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
Status: Semi-pro
99% of my fretting/refret is with Jescar stainless steel wire, tall frets are the rage in these parts. If fretboard prep if done properly leveling is minimal leaving very little to crown and polish, the Z files Are excellent for this.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Tue Nov 21, 2017 9:57 am 
Offline
Koa
Koa

Joined: Sat Jan 19, 2013 7:33 am
Posts: 569
First name: Willard
Last Name: Guthrie
City: Cumberland
State: Maryland 21502
Zip/Postal Code: 21502
Country: United State
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
We've used the centering file on a few fret jobs with Jescar 51108-S, and it saves some time reshaping the shoulders, but the top of the fret will still need attention with a cant or other file to finish shaping. We don't consider this a primary fret file - more of a specialty tool for repair shops working with certain wires in stainless. For standard 18% nickel silver wire, a safe-edged cant file (large, flattened triangular saw file used to sharpen large one and two person cross-cut saws) is a quicker solution.

_________________
Action indeed is the sole medium of expression for ethics.
- Jane Addams (Author and Nobel Laureate)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Nov 23, 2017 8:01 am 
Offline
Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood

Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2008 5:21 am
Posts: 3721
Location: Central PA
First name: john
Last Name: hall
City: Hegins
State: pa
Zip/Postal Code: 17938
Country: usa
Focus: Build
Status: Professional
I think these are ok . I got one but went back to my rounded crown file. After 20yrs I am more comfortable with that tool. Get used to what gives you the best result. Sometimes it is as much about your technique with the tool your used to .

_________________
John Hall
blues creek guitars
Authorized CF Martin Repair
Member Board of Directors ASIA
You Don't know what you don't know until you know it


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 44 posts ]  Go to page Previous  1, 2

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 9 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group
phpBB customization services by 2by2host.com