Ying / Yang
I have taken this opportunity
to demonstrate these two Les Paul Studio
refrets for the Level 1 and Level 2
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"
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.
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 )
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!)
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
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 !