Fret edge

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fruitlabor, Jan 10, 2018.


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  1. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Hello all,
    I have a bass that the edge of the frets are really shape.
    What tool or tolls can I get to smooth these out.

    Thank you
     
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Depends on how much you need to take off really, a small fret end file will work, but if you have to do the entire fretboard, something fancier would be quicker, like this gizmo from StewMac: Fret Beveling File | stewmac.com
     
    40Hz likes this.
  3. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Does this take off the edge?
    It's needed along the whole fret board both sides.
     
  4. If your frets are hanging over the edge of the board then that gizmo that bholder posted will remove the part of the fret that is beyond the wood. If the edge of the frets are not over the edge, but are sharp, then you need to dress the ends, you can use a small file, though I'm sure StewMac has a very expensive file that does that job specifically.
     
    DiabolusInMusic and bholder like this.
  5. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    That one bevels the end of the fret to 45 degrees, in my experience, it's also good for curing "fret sprout" that can happen in dry winter conditions. If you want to get the ends really ultra smooth and rounded and comfy, a fine fret end file might help too: Concave Fret End Files | stewmac.com

    Note StewMac sells pretty good tools, but they're not cheap, you may be able to find something just as good for less elsewhere. Don't have my list of luthier tool bookmarks here at work sorry.
     
  6. chinjazz

    chinjazz Supporting Member

    Sep 11, 2002
    Atlantic Beach, FL
    What part of the frets are sharp?
    Are the ends of the frets sticking out?

    The fret tang at the bottom part of the fret sometimes sticks out from the side of a neck and feels sharp. The tang is the part that sticks into the fretboard and you can see it usually on the side of a neck (non bound).
     
  7. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Indeed.
     
    Axstar likes this.
  8. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    They're not really hanging over as much as they're just sharp.
    I think I just need to do a real good smoothing job.
     
  9. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Go on ebay and search in Musical Instruments and Gear for "fret end dressing file" and you'll find a bunch way cheaper than the StewMac ones - maybe not as nice, but at 1/10th the price, it's hard to argue...
     
    DiabolusInMusic and fruitlabor like this.
  10. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Does it matter the size, are they basically all the same
     
  11. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    I don't think size matters for the small files where you work on one fret at a time. What does matter, though, is whether the file is designed properly with smooth edges so you don't tear up the corner of your fretboard. Hard to tell on the cheap ones.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  12. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    Which one do you recommend
     
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    well I got a set of the really nice Japanese ones from Uo Chikyu Hiroshima - but they're even more expensive than StewMac's. If you're looking to save a buck, I'd check the ebay auctions, sort by price low to high, and skip the cheapest few, then start digging through the descriptions in the $10-$20 range looking for one with smooth edges. There's a bunch of them that would probably do just fine.
     
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  14. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I was just looking at some 400# ones on Amazon for under $7, but delivery is about 3 weeks.
     
  15. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Yeah more and more luthier tools available on Amazon these days too, keep forgetting that.
     
  16. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    They've actually got a whole set for under $20:

    upload_2018-1-10_19-21-23.png
     
  17. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
  18. fruitlabor

    fruitlabor Supporting Member

    Apr 6, 2007
    What's expensive $40-$50?. I'm not a luthier but I don't mind having good tools for the job
     
  19. mysteryclock

    mysteryclock Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2010
    Franklin, TN
  20. b3e

    b3e

    Sep 5, 2017
    Warsaw, Poland
    If you don't need to crown the frets, you are good with any flat and sharp file of a medium size for having them flush with the neck/fingerboard side, and a small fine file for taking of just the edge. All it requires is actually patience, some precision, so you don't dig into the wood and checking after each stroke where you are. You can tape of the fingerboard around the fret, or use some kind of tin template around the fret if you are not confident. Polish with a fine grit sandpaper and steelwool, buff out if necessary.

    Did I already said to have patience and take it easy while doing it? :)
     
  21. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
    Jul 28, 2021

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