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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It's on Dan Erlewine's 'Advanced Fretting 2' DVD.


hI Robbie and all:

A few years back we invested in  a complete 7.5" - 16" set of 20" radiused aluminium cauls/leveling beams.  Perfect indexed fingerboards everytime, either for our production work or pre refret.   the first fret relates to the last fret and complex items like drop away and compounding (upper register frets) is spot on and repeatable.   Cost was considerable up front.

However,taking into account the speed and accuracy achieved along with the joy of only having to do fretwork once along with the bonus of reputation enhancement with the modern demanding players I would take the pain all over again.   

Right, now for the interesting bits. Philadelphia Luthiery carry these 20 inch units at $85.  These are probably the same Korean "Best Parts" items that we use which come in at around $60 in a set of 9.   Stew Mac has their own pricing structure for a similar 18" unit.  We have used the Asian gear for years now and occasionally give them a check with the DTI.  They are quality units. Also, Philly has the rather useful saddle and nut leveller that features in a previous post at less than half the price of others - nice.   We have no affilliation with Philly Luth (apart from liking their cheap prices and high quality).

Have a look around, 


Thanks for the info, Russell. I've gone to Philadelphia Luthery for many of my recent purchases including the fret nipper you recommended, their Jaws-type fret squeezer, and Hosco nut files. Good stuff.

Great site! cheers.

Have you tried the Indasa RHYNOSTICK sandpaper?


The STICKIT paper is more durable (I think) but given we destroy both of these papers before the question of grit longevity comes into play we find the RHYNOSTICK a better deal by a good margin.   Also a lot easier to make the decision to use a new strip instead of staying with a marginal worn piece when the cost is considerably lower.  So, Rhynostick is our choice.


OK.I know what you mean.

I use the 3M but it's very expensive and you do tend to want to hang on to it longer.

the one I make is 4  x 20 inches and  is flat one side and curved the other.  The only way to go.  2 1/2 inch paper



How did you make the curved/radiused side?

I have a large mill and a flat 4 in knife and the flat side I use it flat an the curved side I turn the head a few degrees. It is very simple. I have used a 2/4 x 20  inches pc of  mahogany. it has not warped for many years.

some one gave me some aluminum. ix4



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