Setting up my #1 LP Custom shop Standard

DBDM

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Did you write "fingernail buffing pads" on ebay?
I'm not getting any results, I'm curious to look into them
Turns out I gave bad info. I got them on AliExpress from China, not ebay. Here is a link to a similar product. These are not the exact ones I got but probably bettet than the ones I got since the grit is finer on the coarser side

https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000785563147.html?spm=a2g0o.productlist.0.0.5c3f33c1az4L02&algo_pvid=05126feb-44de-4e5e-b7b2-825e1160c1f8&algo_expid=05126feb-44de-4e5e-b7b2-825e1160c1f8-11&btsid=0b0a556316230731430935221e8b47&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_,searchweb201603_

Remember that "50" is really 250 since they break off into 5 little ones per pad. One pad is enough to do a guitar unless the frets are really dirty. The pad is toast when done but it does still clean the 22nd fret. I have about 17 guitars and I am pretty sure the ones I bought will be a near lifetime supply (I think I bought a 200 pack--so that is really 1000 little ones). I seriously seriously doubt I will polish the frets 1000 times in the rest of my life. Possible. Just unlikely
 
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Skyjerk

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I was watching a video where the guy had a custom built guitar rest that layed down fairly flat with a little elevation of the neck then he rotated it and put it up against the cutout on a LP and it held it in playing position. Then the very next day I was moving my Caldwell Brand beanbag rests. I have the kind that are made for rifles with Magazines to hold them a little higher to allow the clearance on the bench for the mag. I thought, "you know...?" Seems to work great.

I do not have a proper tool bench in my garage so I use my little Black and Decker workmate bench for EVERYTHING. One of the best purchases I have ever made. I use it for everything from home projects to gun cleaning to guitar setups to carving the Thanksgiving turkey. Flods flat and fits right in my Trunk so I take it to football tailgates and nearly anwhere I want a little table. I originally purchased it for range use. I was continually going places to shoot that had no benches so I just started tossing it in my trunk and taking it.

It has little holes in it that are just shy of 3/4 inch so I buy 3/4 dowells and make any little attachements I need and wrap a little sandpaper around it to decrease the sides till it fits. I took a little board and drilled holes in it and put the dowels through the holes and glued them to make a little stop on the tail side of the guitar so it will not fall off when sitting at an angle. Then the shooters beanbags and I am good to go.

Those workmates were insanely popular in the 80's but are now hard to find in stores. Easy online though (less than $100) and I think mine is awesome. A very well designed tool.

I have a full sized work bench and I have used the stewmac neck roller for years or so, so I dont actually need another solution, but I like the beanbag way better. Stewmac is out, beanbag is in :)
 

DBDM

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I have a full sized work bench and I have used the stewmac neck roller for years or so, so I dont actually need another solution, but I like the beanbag way better. Stewmac is out, beanbag is in :)
NOT knocking the stewmac roller--AT ALL (before anyone chimes in and tells me I am an idiot--which is likely true). Anyone looking at my photos can see I am not exactly a "what can I do with the least gear" kind of guy (I do, after all, own a dog dremmel!). BUT I do have space constraints and the shooters bean bag rests work very well for my personal needs.

Edit--Ill be very clear--If I had the space I would likely own the bulk of the Stew Mac Catalog! Some of that stuff is really cool.
 
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DBDM

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This is Greg Voros of Gruhn Guitars. George Gruhn is a personal friend of mine (former neighbor) and I know Greg from hanging out with George. I was watching his video and saw him doing this with the setup
1623076941413.png


Next question--If I know these guys, why do I do it myself instead of just running down there and letting them do it. 2 reasons--1. some of my guitars are much easier to set up than others I like to use my "favors" for the more complicated setups. LPs, although they can be a little fussy, are actually pretty easy to set up once you know how. Guitars like older Martin acoustics without truss rods and semi Hollow bodies I leave to the pros and take them to George/Greg. Even then I usually take the strings off and polish the frets and condition the fretboard myself to save them the time/effort. Sometimes when i cant locate the buzz (happened recently) I get it as good as I can and then run down there. Almost always takes like 3 min for them to make the adjustment I could not figure out. Most recently the answer was to turn the thumb wheel like 1/8 of a turn on the Low E side of the bridge. They don't seem to mind me doing that and that is nice.
2--I don't want to wear out my welcome. They seem fairly happy to see me when I show up to hang out (read loiter and play priceless guitars) and I want to keep it that way. This past Saturday I ran down there and they had JUST taken in a MINT (looked brand new) 1959 335. Guy who sold it was the original owner and never (likely literally NEVER) played it. Even the case looked brand new. Thrilled me to see it and I don't want to screw that up by showing up all the time and saying, "hey can you give me another freeby"?
 

Kennoyce

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Did you write "fingernail buffing pads" on ebay?
I'm not getting any results, I'm curious to look into them
I searched 'fusion nail 400/3000' on ebay and it came right up. I ponied up the $8.45 to try them out!
 

DBDM

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I searched 'fusion nail 400/3000' on ebay and it came right up. I ponied up the $8.45 to try them out!
You may hate them but I think they work GREAT. particularly love the possibility of polishing between string changes. Not sure if the rubber will ever meet the road there but in case it does, I like it. I can tell you that they are infinately less messy than steel wool, even when you drag out all the stuff. Steel wool works well but hard to deny all the mess and steel sticking to the magnets if you are not careful! This time I used both for the purpose of my little experiment but I showed above how well they work by themselves by just polishing the center of one fret of one guitar. Now I have to go back and finish that one since I notice the one partially cleaned fret but that is a project for another day.
 

DBDM

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Thanks for the info.
I used to use a metal cleaner compound (Iosso) and while it did a nice job cleaning the frets, it stained the fretboard for good. Despite trying to be careful.
0000 grit steel wool leaves a lot of filaments and a bit of a mess.
I recently got some "miracle cloth" that was suggested on this very forum for the frets and I'll see how that works out.
interested in the "Miracle Cloth". Post a photo and or the brand so we can see it. Better yet clean some fret and post that if you can/want to/are able.

Edit--I found it with a simple google search. Interested to know if it works?

Edit-Edit--I have also been curious about using a "Magic Eraser". I doubt I will try either since I now have functionally a lifetime supply of the nail buffers. I really don't think anything could do much better--maybe a tie. Pretty happy with them. I guess since I deemed them 99%, it is possible there is some similarly less messy product that will do 100% but I am fine with 99--says the guy who owns a Dog Dremmel! Who am I kidding. If something does better with less mess Ill buy it.
 
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RocketKing

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interested in the "Miracle Cloth". Post a photo and or the brand so we can see it. Better yet clean some fret and post that if you can/want to/are able.

Edit--I found it with a simple google search. Interested to know if it works?

Edit-Edit--I have also been curious about using a "Magic Eraser". I doubt I will try either since I now have functionally a lifetime supply of the nail buffers. I really don't think anything could do much better--maybe a tie. Pretty happy with them. I guess since I deemed them 99%, it is possible there is some similarly less messy product that will do 100% but I am fine with 99--says the guy who owns a Dog Dremmel! Who am I kidding. If something does better with less mess Ill buy it.
The miracle cloth was actually suggested here on this forum.
Gorgomyte is defacto miracle cloth apparently.
People spoke well about it here.
Thanks for the link and you're insight, much appreciated.
 

Skyjerk

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How often do you guys polish your frets?

I ask because after I build a guitar, my last step in the process is the full fret level, crown, and polish, and then literally never touch the frets ever again no matter how much I play it.

Sounds like you spend every other weekend polishing your frets :)
 

DBDM

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I polish them nearly every time I change the strings. I do a little mini setup. Take strings off, lightly clean the body, make sure tuners and strap buttons are tight, polish frets, change strings, check truss rod, bridge pickup heights, play on.
 

Skyjerk

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I polish them nearly every time I change the strings. I do a little mini setup. Take strings off, lightly clean the body, make sure tuners and strap buttons are tight, polish frets, change strings, check truss rod, bridge pickup heights, play on.
That seems excessive :)
 

DBDM

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I only change strings about twice a year or less. I am not hard on strings and do not feel the need. Occasionaly I change strings because I want a setup--not the other way around. I do not have to do a setup every time I change but I do. I usually make some little adjustment each time like the truss rod or intonation or bridge height. I certainly do not have to do that but with the right tools it only takes a few min. My fret polishing odyssey above was just for the hell of it. I dont usually polish the frets 3 different times with different tools (including but not limited to a dog dremmel). I usually spend about 4 min on it. Whip off the strings, wipe the guitar with guitar cleaner, check to see that everything is tight, clean fretboard and frets, restring, check string heights, adjust if necessary (usually not necessary). Everyone has their "thing" and I like my guitars to not buzz, play low, play fast, and bend easily without losing tune. i went to a jam session Sunday night and one dude fought with his guitar the whole night. A Takamine 00 ish little parlor guitar. It was all I could do to not take it out of his hands and set it up for him. I resisted.

Waylon Jennings rated 'Guitars in tune good" above "Firm feeling women" in his mind. As I get older I tend to agree with him. Younger me would have swapped those.
 
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Skyjerk

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Waylon Jennings rated 'Guitars in tune good" above "Firm feeling women" in his mind. As I get older I tend to agree with him. Younger me would have swapped those.
I can relate to Waylon...mostly. I'm 56 but I aint dead yet ;)
 

efstop

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I've never done a set up just to tweak something. I only do a set up when I can tell something is wrong or different. Sometimes I put it off, or forget all about it. :D

I've bought a few used guitars that needed full set ups due to their previous ownership by dolts.
 

DBDM

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I've never done a set up just to tweak something. I only do a set up when I can tell something is wrong or different. Sometimes I put it off, or forget all about it. :D

I've bought a few used guitars that needed full set ups due to their previous ownership by dolts.
I really kind of differentiate "Full setup" from just checking the heights. It really takes me VERY little effort to capo the first frets, Hold down one string, and tap the low e and then do the same on the high e. When things are properly set up and the string gauges do not change, the only real thing to do (most of the time) is the truss rod. When I do a FULL setup, that includes slotting the nuts and really working on the bridge height. That takes a while and likely only needs to really be done once (in my experience). So even though I "kind of" do a full setup on stable guitars, that really amounts (usually) to just checking the truss rod. I am in the "ounce of prevention" category and if my neck has changed since the last string change, the odds of it magically correcting itself is not great (not impossible though due to humidity swings. Sometimes they move then move back). if the neck has moved (like now as the humidity is really ramping up in Nashville)--it is highly likely it will keep moving until the fall. I find that the newer the guitar, the more it changes. The older the guitar, the more it stays the same. The guitar pictured is a 2002 and it likely as stable as it is going to get.
Every microclimate is different. In Nashville in the summer, A/C simply cannot keep indoor humidity below the 60% threshold of what is considered ideal. it is not uncommon for indoor humidifies to be still considerably above that. Last winter I flew to Florida (nice warm and slightly humid) and then on to Iowa running indoor heat at below zero (dry enough to cause nosebleeds) and one of my Martin acoustics changed so much I had to get a pro involved when I got home. His first question was "what on earth did you do to make it SO bad". Answer was flying south (of Nashville) then way north.
 

DBDM

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This post actually made the "Highlighted Posts" email that I get on Fridays! I have never made the list before. I feel like a celebrity.
 

zdoggie

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I've used my variable speed dremel and a buffing wheel also I put masking tape as close as possible to the fret edge ,this way there is no harm to the board

zdog
 


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