Can I fix this neck??? fretwork question.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by 69strat, Aug 29, 2006.

  1. 69strat

    69strat Member

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    I bought a nice bidseye maple neck. I put a nice tint to it and clear coated it. I installed it and noticed that the neck is a little higher in the upper register( around the 15th fret to the 21 fret. The frets them selves are high because of the neck plane. Can a good luthier fix this? Is it worth it? Will I be able to get good action? Thanks for any input.:Spank
     
  2. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Member

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    How about some pics?
     
  3. 69strat

    69strat Member

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    Sorry, i dont have a digital cam.
     
  4. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    The problen could possibly be fixed by shimming the neck, or by having some fallaway sanded into the frets or even sanding the fingerboard itself, so the answer is yes, the problem can be fixed.
     
  5. PaulM

    PaulM Member

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    I agree with the prior post, but you might also check relief before you go sanding down the frets or fingerboard. Often guitars with too much relief appear to have frets that are too tall from 12 up, and flattening the neck relief can often help significantly.
     
  6. 69strat

    69strat Member

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    I tried adjusting the truss rod to no avail. It just kills me that I have to have this done after doing all that work on the thing!!!!!! Do you think putting a backbow in the neck for a while may make the neck a little more playable without having to file the frets?
     
  7. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    Take it to a competent repairperson. Or, get a metal straightedge and use it to find high frets and over/underbows. Tuned to pitch, s high spot will be obvious as the ruler will make contact. Sighting a neck can mislead, the repair guys use the straightedge. If a neck is perfectly straight, the edge touches all frets. If frets are high, only that area will touch the edge. Ideally, you put the edge on top of the first fret and it touches it and the last fret at the end of the edge is also touching. The area in between is the amount of underbow. Some like a little, some a lot, if you're Jeff Beck it's dead straight. Good luck. Wouldn't suggest filing until you determine the problem.
     
  8. patpark

    patpark Member

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    i recently got one of those stew mac notched straightedges. this lets me read the fingerboard and see how straight the wood is under the frets. sometimes you can grind frets down, but you might have to take off to much to get it all level - in that case a full or partial refret is best. pull the old frets. level the fingerboard and then install new frets. then when you go to level the frets, you know that you have a level surface to work off of. this way you only grind of just a little off the top of each fret to get em level.

    best bet, take it to someone who does fretwork and get a second opinion.

    best of luck to you.
     
  9. megatonic

    megatonic Member

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    This is just more info on the pile...but when I do the initial level & crown on a neck (for a newly constructed guitar), I do it before the neck is installed on the guitar. First I use the straightedge & get the frets as close to level by only adjusting the truss rod. I measure the frets with the straightedge along the bass side, down the middle, and on the treble side. Then level with a sander, if needed, until the straightedge makes good contact with all the frets along the length of the neck, along the three lines of measurement. When that's done, I finish dressing the fret ends, etc.

    Eventually the neck goes on th guitar, it gets strung up, and the guitar gets set up with the tension of the strings on the neck. Blah, blah, blah...it seems to work out very nicely, yadda, yadda, yadda...happily ever after, amen.
     
  10. stringbendr

    stringbendr Member

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    Since you mentioned new construction...

    One of the most important steps in good level fretwork is to be sure your fingerboard is perfectly level before installing any frets. Once installed, the frets will be almost perfect. Using your straightedge, adjust the truss rod to get the neck straight again, then proceed to level them. I can't stress enough the importance of starting with the fingerboard being perfect.

    On to the thread question...

    I concur with making sure there is not too much relief in the neck before going after the frets. That extra relief is sure deceptive. As stated before, you might start by getting the neck straight, check for high frets, then see how it all looks in relation to your bridge/string height. It's all related. Refretting and leveling are more complicated so start with the simple stuff.
     

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