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  1. #1
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    Northern Ireland
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    07.15.16 @ 03:34 AM
    Liked 49 Times in 30 Posts

    Thomas & Ginex Fret Dressing Kit

    I've had a Partsocaster for about fifteen years made up of an early 80s MIJ Strat body and a Kavanagh Kit maple neck that I bought mail order. They were sold as Charvel-style necks at the time, with a San Dimas-like profile and compound radius. But they were cheap, and my Strat never played well, with too much choking at various parts of the neck. This guitar always sounded great, though, being one of the most resonant Strats I've every played.

    Anyway, as my Jeff Beck obsession has grown in recent years, I've been wanting a good Strat, and I'd been looking at replacing the neck on this thing. However, I kept seeing this Thomas & Ginex fret dressing kit on Ebay, which claimed to be an easy way to level and crown frets. I Googled the kit and found lots of controversy on forums about them, mostly consisting of people saying they'd had good results, or others saying a kit like this couldn't possibly work, or worse, could destroy a neck.

    So, seeing as I was looking at replacing the neck anyway, I thought I'd nothing to lose (apart from the $32 the complete dressing and polishing kit costs), and ordered one. It arrived yesterday, and I spent the evening trying it out. The sales pitch boasts how quick it is, and yes, the actual process is very fast compared to doing a fret dress the conventional way, but preparation (masking the fretboard, marking the tops of the frets with a pen etc) still takes a good while.

    Anyway, a couple of hours later, my old Strat now plays beautifully with a super-low action and no choking. The playability is now comparable to my Charvel So Cal, and better than my Plek'd Gibson Les Paul. Really, it's like someone gave me a new guitar.

    I don't think the system's foolproof, though. If you didn't have a good grasp of guitar set-up and how fret levelling works, you might be in trouble, or if you rushed it without making adequate preparations, or were too heavy-handed. In other words, I wouldn't recommend it to a guitar repair novice, but rather to someone who's confident with general stuff like neck adjustments and so on. And in truth, I'd think twice about using this on one of my high-end guitars, rather than one of the budget pieces in my collection.

    One note of caution - I didn't mask off the face of the guitar where the neck meets the body, so the Strat's upper bout has some new relicing that I hadn't quite intended, but not a big deal in this case as this guitar's pretty scruffy anyway. I would have been severely pissed off if it had been a shiny new guitar, though.

    Anyway, I've got a Line 6 Variax here that's never played as well as it should, so I'm going to get some more abrasive cloths and give it a go in a week or two.
    THOSE WE LEFT BEHIND by Stuart Neville - Years of lies unravel when an old case comes back to haunt DCI Serena Flanagan.

    June 26th 2015 (UK & Commonwealth), September 22nd 2015 (North America)

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Leicestershire, England
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    04.02.15 @ 06:26 AM
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    sounds like a good investment, i've always done mine with a sanding block and 1000-grit paper working down to 3000-grit paper, but then again i've never done anything conventionally

    And with that I'm off to the kitchen to make myself a lesbian omelette...LLFHS in response to one of Graeme's post's

    "The anal beads may have scarred SNIC for life. That guy is tough as fucking nails!! No normal guy could take anal beads to the head and survive! "...OLO on SNIC's near death experience at TLW

    "I'm a 45-year-old man, and I still like to wear a thong or a speedo when I go swimming.
    Not because I have a great body, it's just an easy way to make sure I have the hotel swimming pool all to myself."...Bullwinkle for quite obvious reasons!

    "Dude, the cashier gave me the creepiest sneer when he rang up my unmentionables!"...Sassy Lassy during a Facebook conversation!

  3. #3
    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Hear about it later
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    12.03.10 @ 02:16 PM
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    Yeah......These kit's have their place....but there is no one size fits all kit for fretwork. Over the years...I've aquired and made a lot of my own tools. Some of the most valuable things I've made or bought, are long metal scales/rulers for checking flatness, a 3" scale for pinning down locations where rocking is detected, small brass hammers, hickory bodyshop planishing hammer fitted with neoprene to gently knock down, or press a high or popped fret down. A set of small precision files, flat, round, and concave, a couple fret crowning files. As Tommy said, sanding blocks of various grits, lengths, and softness (spongy to firm), and some multi contour Emory boards, and 1000 grit belt sandpaper for final polishing out any roughness on the crowns before buffout.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.



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