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I have always wondered about fret rockers and low frets..

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by SamBooka, May 7, 2015.

  1. SamBooka

    SamBooka Member

    Dec 8, 2009
    Ok.. so if, for example, your 10th fret is too high and you use a fret rocker it should only rock when centered on the 10th fret. I get that.

    But if the 10th fret is too low a fret rocker should rock on the 9th and 11th frets.

    What are the odd of both 9 and 11 being high vs 10th being low?

    Am I over thinking this?
  2. zztomato

    zztomato Supporting Member

    Feb 20, 2008
    Ottawa, Canada
    You're not over thinking it. A fret rocker isn't a bad thing but it does not solve all fret hight problems. You can go over the entire board without finding a high fret with the rocker and still have buzzing problems due to whole sections that can be uneven- like a poorly made fretboard will cause.
    Generally, using a straight edge over the whole board will show more detail about what is going on with a neck. You also need to be aware that a "high" fret may in fact be a sprung fret that needs to be glued. If a fretboard has many high/uneven frets then a level and crown is the best way to go.
    A fret rocker is a great tool for tap testing your frets to see if any are loose.
  3. poolshark

    poolshark Member

    Sep 1, 2007
    Since you can't raise a low fret - only file or hammer high ones - it's really an academic distinction. In your scenario, both the 9th and 11th fret, probably others, will need to be lowered. As for spot vs. beam leveling, it's a judgment call. The former will remove less fret material, but risks knocking that area out of level with the rest of the board. The latter will get your frets level, but removes more material and requires a full crown and polish. The concept of 'level' is pretty academic as well, since you can't expect your neck to flex/react uniformly under tension, time and changes in humidity.
    Last edited: May 7, 2015

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