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Fret sitting to high...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by brock29609, May 12, 2003.

  1. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    I've discovered that my 18th fret is the source of my fret buzz. Using a straight edge, I've discovered that it sits just a little higher than the surrounding frets, giving me buzz when I play high on the neck. Is this a do-it-yourself fix? If so, what tool(s) do I need and how do I fix it?
  2. Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Apr 14, 2002
    Helena, MT U.S.A 59602
    BEE basses, Morley pedals
    Do you know at this time whether or not the fret is loose? Can you push down and see a change in space between the fret's width changing in height from the surface of the fretboard?
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    If the fret is not loose, you can file it level, and then crown it. You can level the fret with a fine cut file. I'd say most people who do this more than once in a while crown the frets with a crowning file, but it can also be done with a small fine cut file, handled carefully and patiently.
  4. brock29609

    brock29609 4 strings, 2 wheels

    May 11, 2003
    Greenville, SC
    The fret is not loose. Can't be pushed down. I have to sent my entire action higher because of this one lousy fret.
  5. Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Gregory Bruce Campbell

    Apr 14, 2002
    Helena, MT U.S.A 59602
    BEE basses, Morley pedals
    You will need a sharpie brand black marker, a wet stone, and a crowning tool...

    I do this to all my personal basses often and do not ever seem top need the crowning tool... i do use the crowning tool on other peoples instruments though...

    You claim you have determined the high fret but there could be more...

    Fret your highest note and work your way down on EVERY fret, EVERY string...

    Make sure the bass is accurately tuned to concert pitch, even if you usually tune 1/2 step down...

    Overtime you find a buzz, color only the TOP of the fret ONE FRET ABOVE the one your are playing. Not the whole fret top but only where that particular string is buzzing.

    After you are done you may have a series of light colored lines on. Remove your strings...

    You should have purchased or acquired a sharpening stone for knives, etc., that works with water NOT oil.

    Like a diamond brand wet stone etc.

    Starting at the higher pitched end of the fret board massage your fret tops with the stone in small circles, as if you were actually sharpening a knife...


    Concentrate on say, fret 24, 3 small circles maybe ... with every circle add the stones width in frets to your passes...

    Do this VERY carefully!!!!!

    When done you will see that every where there was a high spot the fret will have a wider area on its top...

    This is why you will want to crown, it isn't correct to have flat areas on the fret tops ... it messes with many things mathematically for the sake of intonation...

    You can get the sharpie anywhere... a stone at a place like home depot or a sporting goods store, and the crowning tool at Stewart McDonnald or Luthiers Mercantile.