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Guitar hack #1: How to make professional guitar luthier tools out of stuff you already have
This is how to make your own professional guitar luthier tools out of stuff you probably already have lying around your house
The first tool we will be making is a guitar neck notched straight edge. To build this you will need something made of metal with a straight edge. For that reason, I highly recommend a metal straight edge
If you don't already have a metal straight edge lying around you can use for this project, you can pick up one exactly like this at Walmart or harbor freight tools for around $3-4.
Step 1) line up your straight edge with the guitar neck you will be working on and mark the fret spaces with with a sharpie. You'll notice I already have one side cut out for guitar, but I'll be using this other side to make a notched straight edge for bass.
Step 2) using about an 1/8th" radius, mark a semicircle around your fret markings
Step 3) grind away the semi circles. You can use a file, angle grinder, or my personal favorite, a dremel tool. Quick tip for dremel users: if you double up your cutting wheels, you won't have to change out your cutting wheel as often.
Step 4) file off any burrs and sand with a medium or fine grit sandpaper to remove any sharp edges. You don't want to scratch up a nice fretboard with your new tool.
Fret sanding beam
Again, you'll need something with a straight edge for this, but much thicker than a metal yard stick. For this I chose to use my level. If you don't happen to have a level like this, firstly, you really should. It's very handy tool, and unlike the notched straight edge, the mods we will make to this thing won't effect it's original design and purpose. Secondly, if you don't have one, again, you can buy one just like this at Walmart or harbor freight for $4-5. Just make sure the one you get is actually flat all the way across. Sometimes these mass produced plastic levels can be a little wonky.
To make this level into a sanding beam,
Measure and cut a few strips of 320 grit sandpaper to width of the level.
Attach the sandpaper to one side of the level using double sided sticky tape.
The beauty of this design is this sandpaper starts to wear out, just peal it off and slap on some fresh strips.
A Fretboard guard. Tool make this tool you'll need a can of dr thunder, or other frosty beverage. Take the can directly from the fridge, and, while it's still cold and frosty, enjoy. The way soda should be enjoyed. Not out of a plastic cup from a flat room temperature 2 litre bottle and a bowl of half melted ice. No one actually enjoys drinking soda that way. Seriously, if you serve soda to your guests like that, should be ashamed of yourself. Just do yourself a favor, buy a 12 pack and leave it in the fridge overnight before your guests arrive. It doesn't cost that much more, and you don't run the risk of your guests making fun of you later on their YouTube channel...
Once you've finished your soda, cut the top and bottom off with a sharp knife. If you're into pockets knives, I recommend a spyderco or better for this task. If you're not into knives, I don't know just use a butter knife or something. Just make sure you wear protective gloves so you don't cut your hand off and sue me.
Okay next using your wife's favorite pair of scissors, cut down the center of the can. Now take that aluminum sheet you just cut out and roll it backwards to flatten it out. Take a rough measurement of how wide your frets are, and cut a square to that dimension. Lastly, fold the square in half, cut a small sliver out of the folded side, and there you have a fretboard guard!