Yep. If the metal is sticking out beyond the wood, then you have to file the metal down. There really isn't any other choice. When the wood shrinks, it generally will never return fully to its original size. It may come back partway, but not fully. Unless you soak the bass in the bathtub. Which will void the warranty.
So, if the metal is sticking out, file it down. If the humidity does go back up, and the wood swells back partway, then at least the metal will be recessed into the wood. Which is less painful.
The trick is to use a very fine tooth file. I like a Swiss #4, 6" long, half round, using the flat side. Unfortunately, a file like that costs about $25 and you aren't going to find it at the Home Depot. I get mine from McMasters.
Use the file with a very light touch, just gliding over the metal ends. It will take down the metal, leaving it very smooth, and only slightly scratch the finish nearby. Don't get muscular with it. Then, lightly dry sand and buff out the scratches in the finish.
That's how we do it. It also helps to have good light and smooth background music. Don't attempt it under a mirrored ball with pounding Disco. Or backstage at a metal concert. Or within 50 feet of a banjo.
Last edited by Bruce Johnson : 03-10-2013 at 11:19 AM.