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Tools for minor repairs?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Benjamin Strange, Nov 5, 2003.

  1. Benjamin Strange

    Benjamin Strange Commercial User

    Dec 25, 2002
    New Orleans, LA
    Owner / Tech: Strange Guitarworks
    I did a search. I really did.

    I am getting heavier into guitar and bass repair at my store. What tools and I am truly needing for this kind of stuff? I am mostly doing setup type of stuff: nut filing, fret leveling, etc. I need to get my own tools instead of borrowing them from everybody else.

    I'm mostly confused with types of files. LMI offers tons of different ones for frets and such. Which are better? Are the fret files that have interchangeable rasps preferred over the multiple sets?
  2. Carey


    Jan 18, 2002
    Redlands, CA
    I find the concave rounded type of files to be a little limited in flexibility with regard to fret size. I used them before I started at Suhr Guitars, but I soon learned to like a triangle file, which is what they use there.
    You can get a triangle file at almost any hardware store. You will need to round and smooth the file edges so it won't cut up the fingerboard while you work. I used a small belt sander to accomplish this by passing the file across the belt where it is not backed. You can also sand the actual cutting surface to mellow out the aggressiveness of the cut. Look for a Nicholson or Cooper double extra slim taper file.
    It will take a little work to get the file working nice, and to get used to it, but it really is worth it.:)