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Elevating the Art of Guitar Repair and Design for the last 4 1/2 decades.


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Does it seem to be too hard to play ?

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" FRET DRESS VIDEO LINK "

Serving Stratford and Southwestern Ontario
for 27 years.




GIBSON LES PAUL #lespaulfrets RE-FRETS Gluing - Press Fit / COMPOUND RADIUS FINGERBOARDS



Ying / Yang 

I have taken this opportunity
 to demonstrate these two Les Paul Studio 
refrets for the Level 1 and Level 2 
GRAD students.

 These two jobs were done"in-tandem "
so that I can explain and compare the 
two different fretting methods, step-by-step.

The TechDeck's design, 
function and versatility, eliminate the 
 the need for vices, dial calliper posts,  
arbour presses, vice grips,   
or computer controlled
 fret dressing machines, to
complete your fret work.





Two Les Paul's ( same model )
one White /one Black.


"Gluing-frets" verses "Press-Fit" 
Technique. 


My preferred method for fret work,
 is to get a nice firm mechanical fit, 
as I teach in the College courses,
  without any adhesive.


The first (Black) Les Paul Studio (below) 
was previously refretted
 with the "glued in" method.

This left me no choice, 
but to go with the glued method again  ....




As you can see in the picture above, on the previous fret job,
who-ever-it-was, went with the 5-minute epoxied ...
glue-in frets. The amount of time cleaning up the slots
 ( being careful not make make them any wider in the process )
is really a bit of a pain ....

Compared to the White Les Paul (below),
where I removed the frets cleanly and 
refretted with the press fit method. 



Jeff Kikut, my customer from Woodstock,
 is your quintessential " Hired Gun " 
Super-Pro Guitarist, who plays in three
different bands, churning out 160 + gigs a year !


These two Les Paul Studio models,
 are his weapons of choice.




Jeff asked me to put a compound radius on both of these LP's.
I started the new radius at the 9th fret ...... 
gradually blending the 14"radius, down to 18" .. 
as it reached the 22nd fret. 




The TechDeck is absolutely awesome for this job!


The first stage: I glued in the frets from 
the 2nd to the 8th and the 15th- 22nd .  




The neck is hiked up, clear of the neck platforms,
 so that it is suspended in mid air. 
This allows free and easy access
 for clamping the ( radiused ) basswood blocks
onto the frets, pulling them tight to the fingerboard
 while  the adhesive sets.  






The second stage: I glued in the 1st fret 
and the remaining 9th - 14th.



The leather padded sliding "V" blocks,
 from the TechDeck's pivoting neck assembly 
were used as backing blocks for the back 
of the neck while clamping in the fret




I use 36hr- cure,  aviation epoxy.
The regular 5 minute epoxy is like putting a 
rubber gasket under each fret.

The aviation epoxy is well worth the wait.
It hardens like glass when set.




The body is strapped down firmly and safely
 to the leather padded body platform rails.


Robert's reaction after receiving his TechDeck .....
"I'm the resident gearhead / tech here 
and I'm very impressed with the unit. 
You pretty much thought of everything. Nice job !!"

Robert Cunningham : Product Management

D'Addario / Planet Waves

Farmingdale , New York








It was really nice to get back to the conventional
 press fit fret installation on the White LP.


All of the edge dressing and filling / touch-up 
was done "in-Tandem", on both guitars.


Both LP's were fretted with Dunlop 6100 ...
a nice big chunky fret.


Both compensated nuts were done in tandem as well !



I've read SO much total nonsense online,
 about making a fingerboard radius and 
about compound radius fingerboards. 

In the Level 2 GRAD classes we "cut-to-the-chase" 
and execute this job flawlessly, with some very simple, 
inexpensive tools that I make up for the students to
take home with them after the courses are completed.

When one of my Level 1 students sent me a link 
for a set of sanding beams 18" ???  (way too long )...
for putting the radius on fingerboards .. ...
what would they do in the case of a compound radius ??


I routinely make up 6 sets of 3 
sanding blocks each, for my entire 
Level 2 class, and hand them all out 
to my 6 students, for free .

With those free sanding blocks, 
in combination with the TechDeck Workstation;
I demonstrate to the Level 2 students 
how to do a perfect radius or compound radius 
for any guitar on the planet in oftentimes,
 in a few minutes.


For anyone who is serious about
 stringed instrument repair / 
fabrication and restoration;
especially, super accurate fret dressing
for even the trickiest necks;
 dollar - for - dollar, 
the TechDeck is the best investment
you'll ever make. 

This was a tricky fret dress on this ES 150.

It needed to be stressed under full string tension.

With the TechDeck and a few simple tools that I 
make up for my students; even this ultra-tricky
fret dress becomes a routine task with the TechDeck.





I've decided to post this for the Level 2 students 
and experienced Luthiers / Techs
 to show how I handle this type of job.

Joe Pass Gibson Fret Dress
Because of the multiple discrepancies in the lay of this neck,
 it needed to be spot dressed in a few different places.

The rubber blocks allowed me elevate the strings 
up off of the fingerboard, leaving enough space 
to slip the small 6" mill file underneath 
while the neck was under string load,
 balancing the load on the truss rod and  
simulating the actual lay of the neck 
under natural string tension.


See the "Gibson 335's ...free fret dress and setup tips "
This ( above link ) was the best sales pitch ever, for the 
TechDeck Workstation !

The TechDeckers are turning
 over the price of their workstations 
every month; raising the 
profile of their businesses, while 
earning their customer's confidence.

Every time a customer sees 
you strap down their guitar 
on the leather padded multi-adjustable TechDeck; 
the word spreads, and your business grows ;^ ) !

 The funny thing is .... the fret work
and fingerboard radiusing / levelling
are just a couple of examples
 of the endless list of jobs,
 that the TechDeck turns into 
routine daily work.

Jeff Hayward ( Level 2 student )
just sent this message after trying out his "free" blocks
 at home ... ( Dec 12th 2013 )

Hi Mike,

I'm just finishing the neck to body levelling 
on the harmony fingerboard (the 3 blocks you made rock!)
what would you suggest to finish? Do I scrape, 
800 grit or just leave it? I'll be doing the fret work
tonight and tomorrow to hopefully have her ready by Saturday.

BTW the harmony has a compound radius 9.5 at the head to 12 
at the body. (again, the small blocks rock!)

Cheers,
Jeff Hayward

OK Jeff,

Do not scrape !! ... it will only leave chatter marks
 on the fingerboard and mess up that nice compound radius.

You can finish up with 120 / 240 / 320 grit sandpaper.

See you on Saturday :^ ) ! 

BTW: Jeff bought a TechDeck too ;^ )




Completed White LP Studio Model ( above ). 






Completed Black LP Studio ( above ). 


Jeff Kikut left the 2 Les Paul's off 5 days ago.

Even with the delay of a couple of days for 
36 hr epoxy; he came and picked up both 
instruments yesterday.

As I explained to Jeff before he dropped them off ...
I don't stock-pile or "baby-sit" guitars.

I take in 3-6 guitars ( at the most ) at a time ,
and finish up what is on my plate.

  
Even though it was a bit of a pain to do the glued-in method ...
the end result was two perfect fret jobs ...
signed, sealed, delivered ;^ ) . 

Thanks for the votes of confidence,
from BOTH Jeff's   ..  Haywood + Kikut !