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my frets hurt!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by BellBottomBlues, Jun 15, 2007.

  1. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    Hey, summer is rolling around here in NY so the temperature change might have something to do with my problem.

    the frets on my Fender 57 RI have been hurting my hands. It seems that the fret wire is poking out the sides of the fingerboard. Upon visually inspection, you can't really see anything, but you can sure as hell feel it.

    For the most part, they're sticking out on the bass side (basically every fret except 1-4) and then get progressively worse on down the neck. But! Some of the fret wire feels like its sticking out of the treble side on frets 6, 10, 14-18.

    Has anyone else had this problem? Is this a common problem for Fenders? (I own a vintage one, but I owned it after a refret)

    I have the warranty on the neck so should I just trade it in?
  2. richardjones89


    Jun 6, 2007
    i think youre on about the fretboard nuts (nothing rude btw). they shoulnt stick out i imagine and they should be fixed. i think they are called nuts anyway... the little bridges that separate the fret placements?

    however, sometimes if you squeeze the neck too much or try to wrap your hand around it too much, you can catch the nuts when playing and this can hurt indeed. people with small hands have this problem at first with playing due to their smaller fingers but can easily be corrected by practicing technique.
  3. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    I have had that problem, but I just file down the fret ends. But if it is under warranty, you might want to get them to look at it.
  4. perhaps it's time to give the fretboard a little TLC... as it's drying out and shrinking.




    it helps if you remember that the Electric Bass is really just a bigger Guitar... fretboard care is basically the same...

    I clean and feed my fretboards every month whether they feel dirty or not. I also do not suffer from "extremes" of humidity and temperature...
  5. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    Ive got a finished maple fretboard. (I'm pretty sure its nitro)


    Recently we've had a dehumidifier in our living room which I think may be the cause of this problem. Opinions?
  6. BurningSkies

    BurningSkies CRAZY BALDHEAD

    Feb 20, 2005
    Syracuse NY
    Endorsing artist: Dingwall Guitars
    Lessee...it's not out of the question that its happening with a Nitro finished maple board, as nitro isn't as thick as poly...

    Normally in the summer wood swells with humidity, rather than shrinking. But since you say you're using a dehumidifier, it doesn't surpise me. What do you have it set at? Winter humidity is NYS tends to run between say 25 and 50% depending upon the weather. Optimum for basses is usually around 40%. So you may be de-humidifying too much. I have one that if it gets above about 65% I turn on and it's set for 45%.

    BTW, the thing you're experiencing is called "FRET SPROUT". I phrase I enjoy using.
  7. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Wait 'til the colder / drier months then take her in for a fret job. The neck woods have a tendency to shrink in response to the climatic changes and the protruding fret ends will be at their worst. My local guy charges $75 but that includes leveling, dressing, removing/reseating, etc. Well worth the $$$ in my opinion.

  8. BellBottomBlues


    Feb 21, 2007
    New York
    Endorser:Fender User:Rotosound, LaBella, Ashdown, Lindy Fralin
    I think I might just get another neck because this shiz is ridiculous. I had issues with neck bow before, so the neck, while playable, isn't perfectly straight. Might as well get a new one and save myself grief in the long run.
  9. Wood contracts and expands with temperature, and especially with humidity - the main noticeable times being winter and summer.

    From time to time, on some necks, this causes the tine "burrs" you mention - nothing to worry about - it happens to 90% of instruments. I have had to have almost all of my basses attended to for this situation - Alembic Signatures, Laklands, Fenders, Sei Basses, Yamaha's - you name it!! 10 mins at your local repairer will solve the problem - quick dress of the fret tangs, and a buff of the fret ends, and you'll be flying up and down the neck with no problems whatsoever.

    Oh, and in case you think it shouldn't happen to expensive basses - last year Pino Palladino was having his vintage 1964 salmon pink P-Bass (the one Fender bases his signature Custom Shop model on) dressed for the same problem while I was having some of mine done!! (both of us had the problem sorted in 10-15 mins for each bass - very easily rectified - job done by Martin Peterson at The Gallery, London, UK)
  10. 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.

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