Zero frets are all well and good but what happens when you need to level or refret a guitar with one? How do you handle a zero fret during fret-work?
Installing a pre-cut/pre-shaped nut requires a lot of patience to do well. It’s easy to hack off some bits and glue it in but, doing it well and getting a good setup… that takes time and some Buddha-like levels of patience.
Most of the nut manufacturers don’t tell you that. Go figure.
Check out how to get a great result…
While most guitars have a single radius along the length of the fingerboard, a compound radius instrument has a radius that gradually increases/flattens as you go further up the neck.
Some players find these a godsend but they do require some different methods to set them up and to perform fretwork on them.
I worked on these guitars in order to put right the work that someone* had attempted and done a less-than-stellar job on. One had a lot of poorly seated frets that caused buzzing all over the place and the second problem is more 'visible'.
The first required a full refret and the second needed a fret level and some fret-glueing (although I'd dearly have liked to be able to refret again so I could do more with the scarring/scrapes).
As you can see, one of the problems is that the fingerboard has been scarred. This happened when the previous guy failed to protect the wood before working on the frets (with files or sandpaper). This stuff's not rocket science—you can buy fretboard-guards all over the place online but even a bit of masking tape will do the trick in a pinch.
If you're ever using anything abrasive on your frets, protect the wood they live in. It's not as tough as the metal frets so spare it a thought.
*The person who did these jobs wasn't the owner having a go at some DIY. That'd be just fine. Nope. Someone charged for this work.
This is something that gets me really, really riled up.
Weird, right? I mean, since it means more business for me, other repairers making a mess of things should make me happy.
It really, really doesn't, though.
Seriously—someone took a guy's guitar, mucked up a refret, and then charged for it. I can't get on board with that. Forget about running a business, life isn't about what you can get away with while hoping nobody notices.
Integrity, dammit! Have some damned integrity.
Turns out, there are tons of 'integrity' quotes on the web but I decided to go with mine.
The middle word wasn't 'damned' in the first version. ;-)
My hand-lettering needs some more practice. Letterers among my readers should feel free to run with this one. Let's call it 13% royalties for me. ;-)