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Question for Professional Luthiers

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by mellowinman, Feb 7, 2016.

  1. Is Something to Worry About

    0 vote(s)
  2. Is Nothing to Worry About

  3. Is Frequently Nothing to Worry About but has the Potential to be Something to Worry About

  1. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    In this thread in Miscellaneous, I talk about fret sprout at Guitar Center, and a number of posters are stating that fret sprout is nothing to worry about. I am basing my position on ownership of acoustic instruments, and reading I have done on the subject. I believe fret sprout can be a symptom of a larger problem, that being the wood is shrinking due to very sudden changes in humidity, and that real damage can be done to finishes, bindings, and in some cases, even the structure of the instrument.

    What do you craftsmen say?
    guy n. cognito likes this.
  2. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Well, I'm not sure how to vote in your poll. Fret sprout is caused by wood shrinkage. Wood expanding and shrinking with changes of humidity and temperature is a fact of life and physics. It's a major consideration that we Luthiers always have to consider in our designs and build processes. So, we're always worried about it. We have all kinds of tricks to minimize the problems from wood movement.

    Fret sprout is the result of wood shrinkage, but the fret sprout itself isn't a big problem. It can be corrected in a few minutes with the right fine file.

    I guess I'd vote that wood movement is a big problem that we're always dealing with. Fret sprout is a minor problem that's easily fixed.
  3. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    mdogs likes this.
  4. mdogs

    mdogs Supporting Member

    Apr 13, 2010
    Constant state of flux
    Strike 2...
  5. Hopkins

    Hopkins Supporting Member Commercial User

    Nov 17, 2010
    Houston Tx
    Owner/Builder @Hopkins Guitars
    I guess it is something to worry about, because it does need to be addressed, but it is in no way a serious problem, and generally only needs fixing one time and it will usually not return.
    mdogs likes this.
  6. Zooberwerx

    Zooberwerx Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 21, 2002
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Kind of a "canary in a coal mine" scenario. This is a great question for somebody who does a lot of acoustic instrument repair.


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