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Keeing the neck straight while leveling?

Hi Steve,
First thanks so much for teaching us "apprentices" with your site. I muffed my first level job, on my Les Paul NO LESS..THANKS GOD IT WAS MINE! Like I read on your site I over estimated the stiffness of the neck on my 2006 Les Paul Premium Plus..I thought it would be an s stable as my old '77 Les Paul custom with the 3 piece neck HA! Any ways like you wrote I got drop between the 7 and twelfth fret because the neck rest was by the nut and it moved..On previous jobs I used the stew Mac long cork lined neck Caulk blocked up the whole length and had no problems..I wish I had done this with my Paul.

So here’s the question: Is the Caul a good method to keep this from happening again? Or can you give me an alternative method. Second question is a "horseshoe" neck rest sufficient to keep the neck stable and if so should it be placed in the middle? Or up near the nut? I like your rest in the pics it looks like you rest it right under the nut?

Thanks so much for your time I really don't want to Blow a dress again..It kind of dinged my Confidence a bit but I guess I better get back on the horse huh? LOL
I really appreciate your help

Very Sincerely John
Columbus Ohio

Read me again. The high frets are over the heel. Dan and I are saying the same thing. I lay the guitar on the bench and lift with my left hand until the peg head does not touch the bench. Holding it in playing position would be a good way to minimize neck kinks, but it would be much harder to control your leveler. I use a wood block about 2" X 12", with a handle on top and a 1/4" glass bottom. I stick 180 grit paper to the glass. I bought it from Stew Mac, but they don't sell them anymore.

Steve Mason

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Thanks so much for that info..I imagine, you hold the guitar perpendicular when you hold it with Your hand? 5th Ave fret shop does it that way thanks again..I won't make that mistake again.

And also thanks for telling me to start at the nut end instead of the heel..Dan Earlwines books are the only training I had and he teaches to ramp the frets from the heel toward the nut..problem is with that like you said..NOT PARRALLEL to the board..what the lowest you would tolerate frets before time to change? .35 or under? It’s nice to have someone answer your questions
Sincerely John

I support the neck with my left hand as I level with my right. I don't try to move both hands in sync, but I do keep the left hand moving. I can't see anything wrong with a neck rest that would be exactly as long as the neck. It would support evenly. Any short support will cause a kink at each of its ends. The hand thing works for me.

Another good trick is to start leveling on the high frets. You are lowering all the fret tops to the bottom of the deepest wear on any of the frets. The deepest wear tends to be on the first seven frets. Hence, there is more metal to loose from the high frets. If you start leveling on the most worn frets you can make the plane of the fret tops not parallel to the plane of the fingerboard. It is always wise to replace 4 or 5 of the worst frets, so as not to turn the whole guitar into a fretless wonder.

The picture you site is from some other genius Luthier's website. Mine has only punchy prose.

Steve Mason

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