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what tools do I need to do setups? what tools do you have?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by rokkitt, Aug 20, 2007.

  1. rokkitt


    Jun 7, 2007
    bronx, nyc
    so, I need to get....

    allen wrenches
    soldering iron
    guage measuring thing
    mm ruler to measure string height
    fret leveling sanding block.....*is that how I level frets?*

    am I missing anything?

    I wanna do my own setups, and replace a set of pickups as well...that is why the soldering iron...foam for under pickups as well

    what do you guys have?
  2. Jo6Pak


    May 2, 2007
    For a 'basic' setup, all I use is an allen wrench or jeweler's screwdriver for bridge saddle height, another allen for the truss rod, a phillips screwdriver for intonation and the mm/64ths rule for string height. I eyeball the neck relief, but if you want to do that 'correctly', you might want to get a straight-edge and some feeler gauges.

    For pups/electronics, besides the soldering iron, I would also get wire strippers, small wire cutters, small needle-nosed pliers and a cheap multimeter. I get the pup foam from ACE hardware.

    More jeweler's and allens for knob removal/replacement and I also keep a couple sockets handy for tightening the nuts around the pots and output jack. I put together my setup/repair toolbox bit by bit over time. After a couple projects, you'll know what to get...
  3. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    I would not attempt to do any fret leveling unless you've learned how to do it from a pro. It's a fairly complex procedure involving many steps, and if you get one wrong you can ruin your action.
  4. skidrawk


    Jan 21, 2007
    Space City, TX
    Some cokes and an ice machine...


    I have a set of smitty allans
    Some T-handle ball end allans
    Mineral oil
    Fretboard oil
    Lectra-Clean (contact cleaner)
    Soldering iron
    Franklin Titebond glue
    20" radius sanding block
    16" radius sanding block
    paint stripper
    fret pulling nips
    tape measure
    gorilla glue
    socket set
    wrench set
    wire wool
    screwdriver set
    masking tape
    3M double sided tape
    razor knife
    razor scraper
    puddy knife
    coping saw
    SOLO cups
    maple veneer
    my little helper
    pleny of kool aid for my little helper

    I'm sure I forgot alot of stuff...
    Yea I got all that too, I knew I was forgetting some things
  5. JimmyM


    Apr 11, 2005
    Apopka, FL
    Endorsing: Ampeg Amps, EMG Pickups
    You forgot the 0000 steel wool!
  6. Yeah... this is more-or-less the same group of set-up tools that I use on a fairly constant basis... with the exception of 'feeler gauges', as I don't use them. I can also add that my soldering gear is a bit more involved and I also like to use heat shrink when applicable.

    I haven't goofed around with adjusting frets yet. Definitely not ready for that next step.
  7. I did my first (and successful) leveling from what I learned from a Dan Erlewine Bass Player magazine article (and reading alot about it from talkbass and other websites)...Mind you I was careful and methodical, and the "guinea pig" was a bass that I payed $80 for...it now plays like a $500 - $1000 instrument, so I'm happy....

    but you're right...if you're not very careful, do proper prep work, and not have a good understanding of what it is that you're undertaking, you can make a bass a lot worse than it already is.
  8. Phil Mailloux

    Phil Mailloux

    Mar 25, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Builder: Mailloux Basses
    That sounds pretty scary :p Seriously, "learning from a pro" can also mean buying a book or DVD on the subject. The first tool in your toolbox should be Dan Erlewine's Guitar Player Repair Guide. The Fret basics DVD at stewmac is pretty good too. Pilbara's point about practicing on junker instruments is VERY valid.
  9. MarkMyWordsXx


    May 17, 2006
    all you need really is allen wrenches. i happen to have whatever random things i need laying around the house.

    basically i use lemon juice, a cloth and guitar ploish if that applys.i always eyeball neck relief and things like that. you just need to get the bass to feel good when you play it, no ones going to say oh this neck isnt 100% straight.

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