Can someone enlighten me? In my woeful ignorance, I've been doing fret jobs and setups for over 30 years WITHOUT a neck jig! Despite the fact that I have never had a dissatisfied customer, I have been told that I cannot perform a PERFECT fret job without paying Stew-Mac £230 + postage for four bits of wood, a few screws and a couple of dial gauges ....and a further £60 to British Customs, which I would bitterly resent! I know William Cumpiano is slightly scathing about neck jigs, I don't know what Frank Ford uses, but I don't think I have seen it mentioned in his pages.
The only advantage I can see is the "WOW!" factor, when the customer walks in the shop and thinks. "this guy's really hi-tec!". It pays to generate mystique!
Anyone care to set me straight?

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I never check dates! If it's online = it's an open topic as far as I am concerned. Apologies if this offendsa anyone!

Cannot someone delete all the threads deemed too old to reply to or are they left 'just in case' someone wants to read one (as I did)?

Once, on the TGP page, I got a warning with threat of a ban for posting on a 'too old' post! I mean come on? A warning! I never read dates...

It's never too late to start reading dates.

So how long does a thread have to remain dormant  before the addition of a fresh post causes adverse comment ?

A month ?... two months ? .. six months ? .. a year  ? ... two years ? ... three years ?... five years? long exactly ?

I will endeavour to check dates if you insist but... why is an old thread not locked if it's deemed to be dead? Maybe you/someone should make it so such an old thread cannot be posted on meaning, if there's a new question etc, a new thread MUST be started?

Victor, It's no big deal.  Nobody is going to make a fuss over it.  You see, I don't pay much attention to dates either, and I start reading a thread, I think "hmmm, this looks familiar"......just to waste time realizing it has already been read.  You can ignore dates if you just read the most recent posts, the ones on the first page. 

I like the revivals if something new or relevant is added.  I haven't been on this forum since the start and I learn a lot both from the new questions and the old discussion.  One thing it does is remind us all to look through the old threads before popping a new version of the old question.  Then, the concentration can be on nuances or previously un-asked questions about the topic.


 I don't particularly like having old threads reactivated either. The problem, as I see it, is that the new material almost never follows the same line of questioning or, really, continues on topic. It's often been the case that someone will reactivate an old thread with questions or comments they think are related but end up going a different direction altogether. The result is that threads become muddled as more and more threads take on material that is not really germane to the original post. It's harder to search for specific ideas when the threads become like this and the newer material can become buried under a thread heading that doesn't reflect what was posted later.

Related to that it the actual date on the thread. I can  understand that some of us don't pay attention to the dates since they don't have much to do with the material in the thread. What that doesn't take into account is the idea that the dates help some of us locate old material when we look for it.  When a thread from 2009 is reactivated and material is added that I want to find again several months down the road, it's likely that I will remember that it was "6 months or so ago" rather than remembering that the thread is 6 years old. Another issue is that it can also bring forward material or techniques that are out of date and artificially enhance their relevance by making them seem more up to date. That's not such an issue here yet but it is on other sites, and it will be the same here as time goes on. I think this all makes sense if you think of the old posts as a library of information.

My personal take is that If I have a new idea on an old thread, I would probably start a new thread and refer to the old one as the root of my thinking. I tend to think in terms of how long it takes a thread to fall off of the first page on the list. If it falls off quickly, there's a pretty good chance that everyone is done with it and I would be more likely to avoid reactivating it even if it has only be a couple of weeks. For a more active thread I might reactivate it even it it had been a month IF I thought my post was going to add enough to the thread to really be relevant. 

How long should it actually take for a thread to be  left "dormant"?  I don't know but I think it depends on the thread. I would say, as a general thing, that a thread that hasn't had any new posting within a month or so is pretty much beyond that point of "no return" or I should say that I wouldn't consider reactivating one older than that. This is a slow paced forum as these thing can go. On a quicker paced forum, I would say a couple of weeks at most and possibly even a few days if the forum is busy enough. I used to staff on a forum that could get a thousand or more new threads a day. On that site any thread that didn't get a new post within a couple of days was usually dead.

In this case, I understand that the post that reactivated this thread is simply support of the need for a neck jig and that it didn't redirect the thread. The possible problem I see with that is that ,now activated, this thread is more likely to be subject to bifurcation, a process that obviously wasn't the intention of the reactivation but is a real possibility.

I don't assume that everyone or even anyone else will view this as I do but I also think that there are some pretty good reason to avoid reactivating old threads and I hope that I've explained some of them well enough for everyone to understand my reasoning. I certainly wouldn't support banning anyone that did re-open old threads but I would, very much, prefer if it didn't happen too often.

( BTW, I'm completely aware of the somewhat hypocritical nature of my position on drifting topics since I may be one of the best at drifting off topic in my posting. It's something I'm trying to correct... as well as my tendency to go on, and on, and on.... sigh, Oh well, I'm a work in progress.) 

You guys got something against old things?????  :)

We have a neck jig.  The last time I saw it it was taking up space, lots of space... and had not been used for 8 years or so...  Seriously!  Depending on your fretting methodology I don't believe there is anything that can't be done without a neck jig.

It is a great teaching tool though but I can also think of many others things I would prefer to spend the coin on or expend the effort on to craft ourselves than a neck jig.

To me it's kind of like that $1,200 Peterson strobe tuner - makes it looks like someone knows what they are doing as mentioned in the OP post from...................................2009!  :)

Required though to do great fret work - heck no.

Re: Depending on your fretting methodology I don't believe there is anything that can't be done without a neck jig.

You want to tell that to this 1964 Rickenbacker 330 I have on the bench! I've had this clamped 3 days and I still have back-bow. I haven't heat treated it but I don't want to go that route as string tension will pull it out more than enough. Without a jig, I cannot re-fret this guitar...

Hey Victor, when I see a Rick the last thing that I want to do is talk to the stinkin thing..... :)  Please note smiley face.

I've got a Rick on the shelf in view at the moment that I set-up last week.  It has one of the worst necks that I have ever seen but it's not here for a refret or dress and instead the client's budget has to rule the day.

I maintain though that a neck jig would not be required the way we fret and we have had to deal with some pretty lousy necks in the past.  Dan E. calls them "rubber necks" so I can relate to what you are seeing, invert the thing, things change, issues with the design, materials, etc.

That's why they pay us the big bucks!!!!!  (kidding of course again....)

The method that we use to dress frets or refret always considers the entire fret plane as a whole and we like to say as the strings see it.  Strings, under tension are natural straight edges which is also a way of saying an indicator of sorts.  So is bluing and we work to the thickness of bluing just like a machinist.

Trust me if there is anything that we could possibily justify having for our shop we either buy it, make it, or have had it for a long time now.  Our neck jig just does not get used though because our methods for fret work don't require it.  YMMV.

The Rick in here at present also has massive back bow in the region of the first several frets where the rod, or I should say dual rods... don't work well if at all so I can most certainly relate.

I was slow to "get" the uses for a neck jig, but now it seems to be a very useful tool.... just not terribly often.  If it did nothing else, it's a great holding jig to access all the areas of a guitar :) 

The neck jig is handy when dealing with a very fussy neck, where the measurements require a greater level of scrutiny, like trying to dial-in a very specific amount of backbow with compression fretting, etc.  I like the controllability.

When originally purchased (years ago) one of the accessories was a "surrogate body" that accepts a guitar or bass neck, eliminating the need for the guitar/bass body to be present during the work... it's proven to be quite useful.

All in all, I don't use the neck jig very often but, like so many tools, it's there when it's needed. Stay thirsty, my friends :)

Well, I'm building the Matt Vinson one and it's costing me under £75.00 which has to be worth it! Importing a StewMac one would cost me £450.00 with postage/import tax etc


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