Digital caliper for guitar repairs and fret work

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Dan Erlewine demos the Luthier's Digital Caliper for measuring frets, parts and all kinds of dimensions for repair work.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]

Dan Erlewine: I found this toolbox at a yard sale in 1975 full of machinist tools. It had three micrometers in it, a depth micrometer, and this vernier caliper. When I started using these tools, my work reached a new level of accuracy, as long as I could read the tiny faint markings on these worn-out tools. Finally I could read the actual thickness of a guitar string. Now, with a depth micrometer, I could measure fret height, as long as I could read those little marks.

Then years later, I discovered dial calipers, and I could finally read those measurements. I thought I had it made, but then it got even better and I put all these old tools away. They came out with digital calipers. Digital calipers have an easy-to-read display, and ours are custom ground for fretwork. The notch in the jaws accepts the fret tang, so you can measure the fret crown. Another notch on the end allows the depth gauge to measure the height of frets on the fretboard. The jaws are stainless, and the readout is super accurate in both inches and millimeters. 188.5 thousandths, press the button, 4.78 millimeters. Calipers are used for lots more than just fret work, and around my shop they get used a hundred times a day.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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