Littlebone Fret Crowing Tool And Buzz Killer Spot Leveling Tool!!!

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Chad, Jul 17, 2019.

  1. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    Bought both of these items and really hope it takes my fretwork to the next level...

    https://rectifymaster.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=130&Itemid=120

    https://rectifymaster.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=118&Itemid=101

    Here are the youtube links for these products, they are the only ones I could find...





    I also bought a fret guru leveling beam, a fret guru fret end file, and one of these to help smooth fret ends...

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/GeetarGizmos-THERMO-FORMED-Fret-Crowning-Dressing-File-Luthier-Guitar-Bass-USA/130977531047?ssPageName=STRK:MEBIDX:IT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

    you can buy the sanding paper belts for them cheaply from amazon in all sorts of different grits. I plan on then using the 7 in 1 fingernail files to buff out the fret ends to get them to a nice mirror shine. I also took the advice of some here and bought some of the 3M sanding sponges and a cheap set of harbor freight jewelers files to knock down sharp fret ends and take care of fret sprout. Ive had success using those things so far for fret sprout but thought I would take it to the next level with all these new tools. The LittleBones cost $25 + shipping and the BUZZ Killer cost $75 + shipping. The brass ones are even cheaper which they show on their website, but he charges more for the ICE version which he claims is more durable and the material last longer. He also has the Katana, which is very interesting... you can fret level under string tension, read up about it on his site! Too rich for me right now, but very interesting.

    he is from Japan so you do have to pay shipping and wait a bit to get stuff. He is also on facebook and usually responds fast there...

    https://www.facebook.com/rectifymaster/

    Please, if you do get anything from him, please mention me from this thread (Chad Underwood). I know that stewmac came out with the z files which are pretty much a ripoff of this design, but oh well... Id rather pay $100 for all this stuff instead of only getting one z file from stew mac for the same price. Anyhow, this guy was very nice and answered all my questions no matter how many I had for him, I dont mind one bit helping spread the word about him here... pass this along if anyone you know are into doing fretwork yourself.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019
    stevebway, tvvoodoo, Gergo and 7 others like this.
  2. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    ttt for views
     
  3. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    3,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Nashville
    Those are interesting tools and reasonably priced. The Littlebone has a lot of appeal to me. That finished fret looks awesome at the end of the video.

    I'd add a straightedge to the list of tools you should have around. Banggood has good deals on tools, including a good straightedge (that's where mine came from) and cheap leveling beams and fret files. Just search "luthier tools" on the Banggood site and you'll see a lot of useful stuff, most of which is real cheap. Be prepared to wait four or five weeks for it, though. Someone said to use the Frog tape for masking, but I haven't tried that yet.

    The main thing is Don't overdo it. Taking too much off the frets is the rookie mistake.

    It is really a great thing to be able to obtain reasonably priced (or downright cheap) luthier tools, and to also be able to access dozens of how-to videos on Youtube. We couldn't do either of those things back in the dark ages, Hoss.

    I've fret leveled five or six guitars with good results, and still have a handful of el-cheapo Asian solid bodies to hone my skills on. After I get a little more experience, I'm working around to doing a fret level on a super cheap P-Bass copy I have laying around here, then working up to my beater Alvarez acoustic, then maybe my Hadean solidbody uke bass (I'm putting steel flatwounds on it), then maybe my Epiphone Mandobird electric mandolin. My kind of fun.
     

  4. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    Thank you, I forgot to mention that I will be purchasing some notched straightedges soon. Thanks for the tip... I cant wait to do my first fret leveling job! Im glad we live in the time that we do where all this information is easily accessible!
     
  5. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,622
    Likes Received:
    8,412
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    San Diego
    I have a concept question on fret leveling. After flattening the fretboard with the truss rod. Sometimes I see people say level all the frets straight 1 through 24 (or 21 or 22). But others say level to 12 or 14 or where the body meets the neck? Then the rest of the frets should be done separately, with those frets falling away from the strings slightly from straightline to have the best action and less string buzz.
    Is that a thing? Too advanced for beginners or?
     
  6. Manodano

    Manodano Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2015
    Messages:
    2,303
    Likes Received:
    3,844
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Nashville
    That's interesting - and it could be a good idea. However, at my modest skill and experience level, I'm not sure I'd be very good at judging when the high frets were a hair lower than the others, without probably overdoing it and getting them too low.

    Most cheaper instruments seem to get very little attention paid to their high frets at the factory. I've noticed that the most metal seems to come off those high frets when leveling.
     
    nomadh likes this.
  7. stevebway

    stevebway Metaphysician & Ham

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2007
    Messages:
    13,764
    Likes Received:
    12,365
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    NY/NJ Metro area
    potentially life changing
     
  8. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,766
    Likes Received:
    3,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Some suggest putting tape on the twelve fret with your leveling bema testing on that and leveling from there to the end of the fret board. Never saw the Buzz Killer fret leveling tool before. I have looked at the Katana system, but at $250 stayed away due to the price. This looks promising. Wished they made one he length of the Fret board. Very interested in your results.

    Funny your thread popped up. I ordered a flat sided truss rod to try this guys method of fret leveling and it came in today. The video is long and you can skip to his fret leveling method of him using a truss rod. Leveling the frets under tension is the way to go I believe. His method only does a small area after moving two strings at at time out of the way. Waiting for your results though without having to move the strings.


     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    Partscaster and nomadh like this.
  9. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,064
    Likes Received:
    7,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    Looks like a good 'spot' tool.

    For me, nothing beats patience and taking on the whole fret board, level to polish. My experience with spot fret work is I almost always create another problem. And through experience, I can do a fret level & dress very quickly.

    I did @golem 's Fernandes Sustainer last Sunday in less than a 1/2 hour came out perfect.

    Tools I use for this:

    - Naptha (clean the fretboard)
    - Dead-blow hammer & high viscosity super glue for pop-up frets
    - Painters' tape & X-acto Knife to mask the fretboard
    - Sharpie on the tops of all the frets, to indicate when to stop leveling
    - Radius sanding block (but also use your eye and feel) & stickit sandpaper 400 grit
    - Jumbo crowning file (if it is a narrow, I can get it the rest of the way with a dress file) & fret dress file
    - Fret erasers from 400 grit to 4000 grit
    - Dremel tool w/ buffer pad and jeweler's rouge (my secret to mirror frets).
    - Wood rejuvenating oil or lemon oil for the fretboard, before restringing

    Yeah, I probably have $150 in tools for this, but worth every penny for me in the speed and consistency of a high quality fret job. Nothing beats having a smile on your face, after the first bit of noodling.
     
    Partscaster and nomadh like this.
  10. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,766
    Likes Received:
    3,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    I do appreciate your input @adtrewsrea, and have followed your method on several guitars, but found that after I put the neck back under tension, restringing, there were frets that were not level. And as the guy mentions in the video is critical for low action. You could very well be much better at it than I am though.

    I am still trying to figure and economical method of leveling under tension. I had a guitar plekked recently, but don’t consider this economical. It does play well. Going to try the method of the above mentioned guys video I posted hopefully this weekend. Have to go and help my buddy’s storm cleanup at his camp after Barry though. So depends upon his mess. Still interested in the Spot Leveler above as well.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
    andrewsrea likes this.
  11. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,064
    Likes Received:
    7,050
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO

    I forgot that step - I use a stainless steel (very) straight edge and relax the truss rod, so it is straight under no string tension.
     
  12. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,430
    Likes Received:
    8,891
    Trophy Points:
    113
    I've done fallaway on a few necks like Sam mentioned. We're talking removing .001 of an inch of material-nothing drastic. People make it out to be visible.

    I saw these vids linked over at tdpri. I'm not understanding what the guy is doing in the vid. It looks like he's rubbing the string on the fretwire to remove material? The camera work while he's rubbing something makes me nauseous. Why not a fixed camera close up so we can see?
    And the crowning tool is just a different version of an existing one.

    I'm not sold.
     
  13. TeleMan59

    TeleMan59 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2012
    Messages:
    564
    Likes Received:
    323
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I can do exactly what the crowning tool does with a metal fret protector and an inexpensive triangle file. All he is doing is removing some of the fret shoulder to recrown the fret. I can lower a high fret with the same file. You wouldn't want to use that buzz tool for a low fret.
     
    idiotsdelight likes this.
  14. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,766
    Likes Received:
    3,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    I would like to see the outcome of the Buzz Kill. I think most of you are missing the point of being able to perform a fret level while under tension, and the OP not having a bunch of experience. This might work out well for him and myself as well.
     
    Chad likes this.
  15. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    I am not the best at making videos, commentary is not a strong point of mine... but I will try to make a video showing the problem, then using the tool, then showing if it fixed the problem or not. There is another video not in english of him using it if you would like to see it. Here it is...

     
  16. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,766
    Likes Received:
    3,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Look forward to seeing the video
     
  17. idiotsdelight

    idiotsdelight Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2011
    Messages:
    12,430
    Likes Received:
    8,891
    Trophy Points:
    113
    He's not performing a fret level. He's taking height off a single fret with some kind of tool we can't see. That's not my definition of a fret level.

    Ok, I watched the 2nd vid. He actually used the BuzzKill tool as a fret rocker/file? Good lord, he should be in a carnival selling snake oil.

    String tension isn't mandatory on a fret level. It never has been. Besides, if you want to argue about string tension, technically he ought to work on the guitar in players position.

    Spot leveling doesn't require this tool.
     
    TeleMan59 likes this.
  18. SamIV

    SamIV Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Messages:
    5,766
    Likes Received:
    3,771
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Louisiana
    Let’s keep this a discussion as learning tool for all here. Maybe you can change the way I think about a fret level. I do respect the opinion of others here such as you @idiotsdelight, @andresrea, and others who have more experience with working on guitars. I will never come close to the knowledge that some have. But I have my opinion on fret leveling.

    I believe that the neck should be under tension when performing a fret level if you want low action. Medium low to higher action, I believe you can get away without it. If you check your frets from around the tenth fret towards the 22nd after a fret level using no tension on the neck, and after restringing the guitar with a fret rocker, you will find frets that are not level with each other. Most frets above the 11th to the nut usually stay level to each other in my experience.

    Also if you consider the plek machine, it takes measurements while the guitar is under tension, then again after removing the strings. I believe the neck changes while under tension. So I am still searching for the most economical way to perform this.

    I have had two guitars set up and frets leveled at a shop in New Orleans called Strange Guitar Works. First was with their version of the Erlewine Jig. Now all they use is a plek machine and the second guitar was done with the plek machine. I can check all frets with a fret rocker and have zero indication of any out of level with each other. The guitars I have done on my own with a leveling beam the length of the neck, can’t say I have been so lucky.

    Also a local guy I know who builds guitars made his own jig for screw on necks and uses the Erlewine jig on glued-in necks. Looking forward any responses.
     
  19. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    I should have probably coughed up the money to get the katana, but didnt have quite enough right now to do it... I got a fret guru leveling beam and some notched straight edges to do it the old fashioned way... I hope I dont have any problems with uneven frets by doing it this way.
     
  20. Chad

    Chad Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2017
    Messages:
    553
    Likes Received:
    582
    Trophy Points:
    93
    Location:
    Illinois
    Did you have issues with any dead frets or anything else on the guitars that you used a leveling beam on? I know that you are saying that you checked the frets with a fret rocker and it found some problem areas right? How do you think this is possible if the neck is put straight using a notched straight edge and a truly ground flat leveling beam was used to level the frets? What did you use to crown the frets with if you dont mind me asking?
     

Share This Page