top of page

Fret Stone and Setup Course

Two Day Course

The Fret Stone and Set up Course provides you with all the information you need to complete your own fret stone and set up to your instruments at home with the minimum amount of specialist tools.


The Fret stone and set up course contains information that is included on the Set up Day Course along with additional information that will allow you to perform a fret level and re-crowning process at home.

Leveling and re-crowning the fretwork is an important part of the maintenance of a fretted musical instrument. When you play a fretted musical instrument the act of pressing the strings down onto the frets will over time cause wear on the frets tops, also a number of other issues can occur that we look at during the course that can cause issues with the play-ability of the instrument. If the frets are uneven then a low action can not be achieved, sometimes one bad fret can ruin the play-ability of the whole instrument, even new guitars actions can suffer with the occasional bad fret especially if it is in the early section of the fingerboard.

Uneven and misshaped frets can cause a range of issues including: the notes not sounding out correctly, fretted notes loosing their resonance faster than they should. When bending strings notes may die out quickly or be canceled entirely this is commonly referred to as choke and is a common complaint among musicians with their instruments.

We have a unique take on the fret stone procedure that I believe is an improvement upon the most commonly demonstrated method on the internet, we look into this popular method and dissect it and improve upon it, we introduce you to the range of products that you purchase and highlight some of these and how to get best results from them, we work all the way up to our factory procedures so you can improve your methods over time as you move forward equipping your own workspace. No matter your budget we want you to be able to produce good results, we will not preach that one method is superior to another every method is valid if it gets you the desired results, the way you choose to work is your own and that is the wonderful thing, we like to equip you with the most knowledge possible to help you make informed choices. Every procedure has its merits and drawbacks and there is no wrong method if you are happy using it and your results are acceptable to you.

Infomation about the course and what is required from you and what you should expect.

The Fret Stone and Set up Course is our flagship course that I believe is one of our best courses.


Musicians are always going to have issues with fretwork due to the use of instruments, the more frequently an instrument is played the higher the chances there are that regular maintenance is required. Even brand-new guitars can have uneven fretwork when they come straight out of the factory and it is worthwhile perfecting the playing area of brand-new guitars so the string action and note accuracy are the best they can be, the last thing you would want to do with your brand new instrument brings it into an instrument repairs workshop where accidents can happen, it will not be far off from perfect so being able to just tidy up those small issues is an invaluable skill to have at your disposal.

Why would you want to do this course well there are a number of reasons this course has been so successful in the past, one is that it contains all the information from the setup course and that is a great course! It also gives you the ability to take on those tricky issues that you may come across when setting up an instrument a loose fret here a high fret there are all issues that you would just have to compensate for if you were only doing a set up can now be resolved if extra time is put in to resolve them.

I believe this is the best course for those who looking to start a career in working with fretted musical instruments. You can make a good living out of setting up and servicing musical instruments as there is no need to get into any repair work if your setup work is top notch.

If you have a large number of instruments and like to keep them all to play at their best, simply by having enough guitars and playing them all the time will justify doing this course. It is worthwhile just to attend this course so that you are able to take care of them all.

You are a very practical person and would just like to take on this challenge of looking after your instruments so you can make the adjustments and work out what is best for you, you will no longer be stuck into the way someone else sets up an instrument for you, you can make all the choices and work out what minute adjustments might improve things and make the instrument work better for you.

For any individuals who just want to learn from us and have an experience with us and share in our joy of working on musical instruments, it is a wonderful thing. For us to share our love for the job and provide you with a great experience and information about the procedures involved so that you become more aware of what is involved in the process and have a better understanding of it.

Whatever the reason you have if you are willing and are able to do this task at home after an initial investment, that does not need to be massive, you can save money and time and deliver great results for yourself making your instruments play at their best.

Is the course suitable for you? The fret stone and set up course is a very intensive course with a lot of actions to be completed. On day one it is a very physical job, while not taxing on the body concentration is key, keeping to methods of working using ergonomic body movements and repeating actions in fine then finer grades of materials to grind away and then regrind to edge closer to perfection is both physically and mentally taxing. Every movement of the tool matters and each subsequent one needs to be more perfect than the last to edge you closer and closer to perfection.

I like to take the time to explain how to achieve the best results using different methods as one may suit you over another, investment in specialist tools is also another issue I see, sometimes all the specialist tools in the world mean nothing if you do not know how to use them to their best effect. I will always be constantly amazed by the indignity of our touring companies their ability to find methods of working whilst on the road with little to no specialist tools amazes me. If you can do this job in the most basic of methods with only equipment you can find at your local hardware store or that you have at your disposal then you are truly a good workman. We do not all have a huge budget for tools and equipment at the start of this journey so use what you have used it to the best of your ability and be satisfied with the results these bring you. To be aware of what you might want to improve next to bring you even better results is a goal you should have, striving to do better each time has its own rewards and as long as continual improvements are made you will grow and improve along with the jobs you produce until one day you become satisfied with your procedures and methods and feel it is time to help others on their journey to do the same as you have. 

Bring your own instrument in to work upon

Before the course starts you will receive a handbook on the sort of instrument you might want to bring along with you.

This is the exact same booklet from the set up course expanded upon to contain information on how to asses the fret wire on your guitar, some guitars may be a bit too far gone and really require a re-fret, it is still possible to bring this type of instruments in as we can improve this instruments playabiliy although perfection may not be possible, this is akin to what you can do with a vintage instrument to preserve the frets, letting some low points pass so that you retain the frets whilst triny to keep as much of the height as posible. Some jobs are a balancing act, perfection may not always be possible when we are trying to preserve the whole and can accept some minor defects to preserve the instrument in hand.  If it is too far gone then the handbook should be able to make this clear and then there is no other option than a re-fret for that particular instrument.

In most cases we should be able to do amazing work and make your instrument play amazingly! Ideally, your frets should have plenty of height left in them and be worn down by a reasonable amount we will help you identify your wear patterns and talk about diferent patterens of wear and how to identify the type of player that causes these types of patterns.

It is ideal for you to work on your own instrument, if you are unable to provide an instrument to work on then please get in touch and we can provide one for you.

In addition to the handbook I will be looking to make a video of the selection process so that you are able to watch this to help with your decision-making process.

Once you have selected an instrument or have a couple that you would like to bring in so we can help assist you with a final decision on the most suitable instrument to work uppon then you are ready for the course.

The course will firstly look for any issues that you will want to resolve before the fretstone can take place, loose frets are the ideal example of this. Frets that are loose in their slots are a real pain if you do not spot them early on and resolve the issues they create. If you miss them you can complete the work and then find that you have issues at the end of the process and this may make you restart the process again to resolve said problems.

The first stage of the course: Identifying what is required and setting your setup goals.

  • Recording the details of the set up that the instrument currently has

  • Bringing the play action down to find as many issues as you can with the current fret wire

  • Assesing the types of fretboard radius you have to work with and discussing how you can work with it

  • Asses fret wire condition, taking the infomation from play testing to see what is going on with the frets

  • Identify where you are going to have issues with the neck you have in hand

  • Setting goal for how you wish the instrument to play

  • Checking for the most common fretting issues

  • We will discuss how to solve the most common issues that you will find

  • Repair any issues with fret wire that could cause an unsuccessful fret stone.

  • Take care of any issues the instrument has so it is ready to be worked upon

Second stage: Getting ready to start the process

Making sure your area is safe to work in is a big thing as the instrument can move about things can easily slip under the instrument when it is laied down and this can result in major disaster for the paintwork.

  • Preperation of your work area

  • Securing your instrument

  • Selection of tools

  • Preperation of your instrument

The Fret Stone and leveling proceedure: This is the main bulk of the course this teaches you the process involved so that you can complete a successful level and re-crown of the fret wire of your instrument, this will put the instrument in the best position for a set up with the frets in a uniform state.

  • Leveling the frets

  • initial Re-crown the frets

  • Leveling again to perfect the fret shapes

  • Re-crowning of the frets

  • Repeat until they are able to be brought down evenly

  • Working through the gauges of materials to reduce the size of the scratches whilst making sure to cover the whole fret

  • Then finally bring them to a fine high polished

This will be the first day's tasks with short lecture breaks to explain each step and look at the ways to approach each task. Each of these bullet points will be expanded upon and talked about in detail as there are always different ways to go about each of these tasks and it is up to you to select the one you are most comfortable with or is the most appropriate to use upon the instrument you are working with.  

Each of these tasks can be carried out in numerous ways and we will give an explanation of as many methods as possible, some are more accessible for you as a beginner and some may become more appropriate to you if you continue to do this and improve upon your tool control skills over time.

Upon completion of the course you will receive a certificate of participation and our Resource Book that will act as a handy reminder of the activities during the course with this handy resource by your side you will be able to refer back to it at any point or if anything slips your mind then the book will be there to act as a reminder, this will be great just in case you have not completed the task in a while or you just want to brush up on your knowledge.

I would like to be able to offer a proper qualification to yourself from an accredited educational facility and I will work hard to see if I can access this for you so that our courses can be verified.


I would like to tell you about the difference you have made in my life. You might not remember me too well but we spent a few days together a few years ago when you taught me to set up guitars, fret care etc. Well, after we met I set up a little business called DuKe Guitars and have been looking after many peoples guitars in my home area of Lytham & Blackpool ever since and with loads of repeat business and word of mouth. I am very proud to tell my customers that I was taught by the best of the best. So my friend, in short, thank you for making a positive difference to my life. Every setup I do involves a memory of a very talented tutor.

Dean Kelly

I concure with this reference as I got ??? should I write this????? 

Helvetica Light is an easy-to-read font, with tall and narrow letters, that works well on almost every site.

bottom of page