How to file fret Tangs sticking out, without cutting into wood?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Modern Growl, Nov 25, 2012.


  1. Modern Growl

    Modern Growl

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2005
    Location:
    NY/NJ Metro Area
    Title says it all. I have some fret Tangs sticking out that I want to file down, but dont want to cut into the wood.

    Blue tape?

    Suggestions?

    Thanks!
  2. megafiddle

    megafiddle

    Joined:
    May 25, 2011
    (edited - I just realized you are talking about the tangs)

    One way is to file them in small groups, filing lengthwise along the fretboard, not one at a time.
    That way the tang ends support the file off the fretboard edge until they are right down to the
    surface. Once the file just begins to mark the surface, you will be about as flush as you are going to
    get. If the edge has a finish on it, you have to avoid marking it up any more than you are able to
    polish out later.

    And for the fret ends themselves, (original post):

    You file them at an angle, so the file is never actual flat against the side of the fretboard.
    You do have to be careful not to go any deeper than the fretboard edge. You could put
    some masking tape along the edge, just to protect against slips. But you need to file the
    fret ends right down flush with the wood if you really want it smooth.
    Then just polish up the fretboard edge afterward.
  3. oleskool

    oleskool

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2011
    Location:
    Detroit, Mi.
  4. hdracer

    hdracer Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Elk River, MN.
    Is it a rosewood board or a maple board?
    Rosewood is easy because any marks you make will disappear with a little fretboard conditioner.
    Maple is much harder to make it look right because it is hard to not mess up the clear coat finish.
    Rosewood I will do myself, maple I will take to a pro.
    I learned the hard way.
  5. dtripoli

    dtripoli

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2010
    Fret sprouts.
    I bought a fine metal file at the local hardware store. 6" taper file that is about the size of a #2 pencil and it's triangular/3 file sides and tapers at the end.
    Run the file at the same bevel as the fret end along the neck, not perpendicular.
    If you are worried about marring the finish, applied masking tape but leave the fret wire exposed.
    I did a TB search on here last year and there was an abundance of posts that walked me through it.
  6. SurferJoe46

    SurferJoe46

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2010
    Location:
    The Bitterroot Mounts, Montana
    I start this way:::

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Be careful to NOT knock the nut off - or just remove it and you don't have to be as careful.

    [​IMG]

    EDIT::: Don't agonize about the edges of the fretboard when you file and sand on it. It will take a little wax to hide any dulling or loss of patina very well with a good quality carnauba wax. You'll never notice it at all.

    BT - DT.

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