Spotlight: Skim and set-up - our most popular repair

With the exception of doing quite a few string replacements and restrings, you might imagine guitar set-ups would be our most popular repair or service, and you'd be right but with one small caveat.
The service that gets done most in our workshop is : fret skim and setup 
It sits in between a basic set-up and a full on fret dress and has become our our most popular repair, and what most guitars seem to need.

We see a lot of guitars in for a set-up and we find that in order to get a GREAT set-up often a little bit of gentle fret levelling makes all the difference in getting a good result, getting rid a the occasional high spot or low region and adding a little fall away or adding a little compound radius higher up the neck to make bends smoother

Here we have a Squier strat 40th anniversary that needed a little bit of TLC to bring out the best in it.
Follow the storyline and see it all come together.

Note the kitchen timer on the bench - we time our work so we can ensure we are charging fairly (although experience has taught us that doing some fretwork often pushes the hour long set-up to about 90 minutes but it is time and money well spent.)
As it is a bolt on we will take the neck off and work on it away from the body which is easier and keeps the body safe while we are working too
We adjust the neck nice and arrow straight with a truss rod adjustment, also using a notched straight edge that allows us to read the wood and not the fret tops which may be uneven..
The neck is fully supported along it's back and under the heel if like on this guitar it is a bolt on (as already said we tend to work on the neck off the body on bolt on neck guitars as it makes it far easier).
The fretboard gets quickly masked up for protection and we use our accurate flat glass bottomed levellers to skim the tops of the frets to eliminate any high or low spots. 
We add a little "fallaway" at the higher end of the neck that will help make allowances for the strings' path of motion so the string doesn't strike the higher frets.
We then re-crown the fret tops to return the fret to a beautiful smooth dome shape using diamond toothed crowning files. 
We then work through different grades of abrasive and polish till the frets are smooth and gleaming.
Frets all shiny too
So we restring the guitar at his point, so the actual set-up can be done - cutting the nut slots carefully and setting relief, action and intonation. The guitar is play tested and re-tweaked till we are happy that we have it spot-on.
The guitar shown above was a new guitar and just needed a little TLC and went through quite quickly - you can see that the kitchen timer was stopped at just short of 70 minutes and that is the time we charged for and some fresh strings.
Customer was delighted to have his new guitar back quickly and playing much better.
That's a brief overview of the process and it can get a bit more involved, depending on what the guitar needs.