Hi, does anyone here use levelling beams that cover the width of the the fretboard for fret work?

Any pros and cons?


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For the last 49 years, I've used a 14" long, 2" wide Stanley #5 jack plane with all the guts removed for both fingerboard and fret leveling.  

Frank, I like the idea of the width covering all the frets at once but is it a little trickier following the fretboard radius with a wider bottom??

Same here, but only since I saw it on ;-)    With an abundance of flea markets it was easy to source, but I'm sure it's even easier on eBay these days.  

I work on a lot of old 'catalog guitars' with non-radiused boards, and the plane works fine for that.  For Martins and Gibsons and others with a radius, it's just a matter of getting the knack and paying attention.  Tom

Yeah. I think I'm gonna give it a shot. Do you use the Jack plane too?

I was looking at this:

I hadn't seen that particular product, but have been looking for a small scrap of that to make a small fret leveler that would allow me to level an area with the strings still on the guitar.  

Yes, I saw the #5 idea on Frank's other site a number of years ago, and have been using it successfully.


I'm using some various lengths of aluminum and stainless "u-channel" for quick leveling under the strings.

They come pretty flat but I'll dress & lap them on a granite plate then apply fine grits of self-stick sandpaper to the bottoms.  

Most oft-used here is a 2" or 3" section but they can be cut to whatever length suits.

I have some aluminum u channel that is 2 1/2" wide and 18" long. I plan to sand a 12" radius into the bottom and level frets with the strings on. I'll let you know how it works out.

I have some alumen 3/4x4x the length of the fingerboard  that I radised one side to finger board and leveled the other side flat. I use 2.5 sticked sand paper.  You wil never get the curved side to match the fingerboard so I sand until all the divets are gone. never use a short piece or what is the use sanding a curve in the fingerboard. Be sure you adjust the truss rod first.  I move strings to each side before leveling.


I've been using a "T" extrusion, but I think it's a little heavier than the one on ebay. I bought it at the local salvage yard and flattened it on the machined top of my table saw. I think I've got about $2 in it. Graze the tops and hit it with a radius block.

If you've seen the video of Frank at the North Woods conference, then you know his jack plane is a great solution.

Nevertheless, I use heavy 1" x 2" precision ground steel tubes of various lengths, 4" and 8" radiused sanding blocks, and 18" aluminum radiused sanding beams, all from StewMac. I used a small inheritance to outfit my shop back in the day and I've loved having these tools. Precision is easy to achieve.

Hi,where can i view this video?


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