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have no experience, but i want to fix my fretboard

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by rodrigo quesof, Aug 25, 2007.


  1. Hi members and friends:
    does any body knows how to fix or repair a litlle thing on my fretboard?
    the thing is i have a litlle "meeaw" on A and Bb note in the first string, and i think is because of a litlle deviation or gap in the fret board wich is about a inch below of that ( between the B and c note)
    i want to get the strings closer to the board but i can not because of that
    help!

    thanks
     
  2. DavidRavenMoon

    DavidRavenMoon Banned

    Oct 20, 2004
    What you need to do is level your frets. This is not a simple task, and you can make matters worse. Certainly you can learn to do the work yourself, but you likely would not get good results on the first try. We always learn on junkers.

    You would also need to buy the proper tools and equipment.

    The basic idea is to remove the strings, and loosen the truss rod until the neck is perfectly straight. You use a long mill file, or a long straight object with adhesive sand paper stuck to it. Usually 220 or 320 grit. You should tape off between every fret with masking tape. I use either the blue stuff, or white paper tape used for graphic arts.

    Mark the top of every fret with a sharpie, and then proceed to sand the tops of all the frets until you see a shiny area all the way across the fret. What you are doing is getting the tops of all the frets the same height.

    After this you need to crown the frets. This gets the flat area blended into the sides, and makes the frets the shape they were before you started. You have to take care as to not file the tops again. The crowning is usually done with a combination of files and sand paper.

    After they are shaped nicely you polish them nice and shiny.

    That's just an outline of what needs to be done. Honestly, it can fill a chapter in a book, and it takes a while to master.

    You might be able to do a spot leveling on that area, but that often shows up another problem. It could be one fret is too low, or another is too high. Sometimes the high fret is lose and can be glued down. Some times the low frets are worn and need to be dressed or replaced.

    Usually it can be fixed leveling the frets, but sometimes they need to be removed, the board needs to be dressed, and the neck needs to be refretted. That's a BIG job!

    My advice is to take your bass to a good repairman.
     

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