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Fretboard/Fret edge sharpness

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by rgsss14, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    I think I already know the answer to this, but would a home filing project be out of the question to address the above? If not, what would I need to do it?

    thanks
     
  2. GuitslingerTim

    GuitslingerTim Member

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    I had to do it to the last two guitars I bought, which were stellar otherwise.

    I taped off the fingerboard with masking tape, and taped off the sides of the neck parallel to the fingerboard, including the edges of the fingerboard up to the ends of the frets. Using a sanding block with 400 grit wet or dry sandpaper, I held the body between my legs and dry sanded the ends of the frets until there were no sharp edges. If you want to polish the fret ends, follow with 600, 800, 1000, and 2000 grits, then finish up with 0000 steel wool.
     
  3. rgsss14

    rgsss14 Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks, Tim.

    I think it is a "wood shrinkage" issue with this guitar - humidity factors, etc. I will try it.
     
  4. HandOfTheHost

    HandOfTheHost Member

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    I've found a good sanding block is a cheap, five inch knife sharpening stone from Home Depot. It's got coarse and fine sides. I've leveled frets and rounded fretboard edges with one.
     
  5. K-man

    K-man Member

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    Stewmac sells a triangular file for rounding the corners of the frets. It has one side without teeth so it won't chew up the fretboard.
     
  6. bigroy

    bigroy Member

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    Will the Stew-Mac file work on stainless steel frets?
     
  7. RedLizard

    RedLizard Member

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    As an alternative to sanding the edges, you might consider lightly compressing them.

    I've used the shafts of various tools (a screwdriver, for example) to slide along the edges of the fretboard (under pressure) and compress the wood just enough to take the edge off. The effect can be very subtle or you can make it more pronounced by using more pressure. It can be difficult to get ALL the way up to the frets, but using a small diameter shaft will get you virtually there. IMO, you don't need to get ALL the way there, but you might think differently.

    This approach won't handle your fret ends, but I really don't notice them sticking out, as the compression is so slight. You can always file them down, if needed.
     
  8. 56_Special

    56_Special Member

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    This is good advice. Compression is how played in fret boards get rolled.
     

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