1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Removing only a fret or two question

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jessicabass, Dec 25, 2013.

  1. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Have a beater bass that i love but the last fret or two is causing bad buzz and keeping me from getting desired action.
    Dont want to do a fret level and pay money so was thinking if i got a flathead screw driver, a hammer, and some pliers and removed one or two frets it would fix the problem.
    Question is would i need to fill it in when done and with what if need be?
    Would just taking 1 or 2 out mess up the rest of the neck in any way?
    Its rosewood if that helps.
  2. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 3, 2003
    Columbia River Gorge, WA.
    Owner/Designer &Toaster Tech Passinwind Electronics
    Why not just level the high frets?
  3. JLS


    Sep 12, 2008
    Emeryville, Ca
    I setup & repair guitars & basses
    Why not just bash them down with a rock?
  4. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Or just band saw the end of the neck off completely? Get rid of them there pesky frets!

    Passinwind is talking about a spot level. That is the repair that need be performed to allow for lowering the strings. The idea at that position of the neck is to create some fall away. It is an easy job for a skilled tech.

    Of course, if you don't want to spend money, there's always the bandsaw.
  5. Southway

    Southway So ugly, he made a train take a gravel road

    Jul 26, 2009
    Lake of the Ozarks
    No it will not hurt anything but the looks, so if you're not using those frets, you can pull them out. You don't need a hammer and screwdriver though, they should come out fairly easy. If you aren't concerned with cosmetic damage to the fretboard, then use a pair of wire cutters to pry them up, starting at one end of the fret and work across. Sometimes frets are glued in and you can use a soldering iron to loosen the glue, but that really just reduces the cosmetic damage.
  6. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Thank you sweetheart.
  7. You could also just get a metal file and file down the frets a little until they don't rattle. Cosmetically, no one would know the difference. The notes on those frets may not be perfect without recrowning frets, but you apparently don't play there anyway if you plan on removing them...
  8. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    +1 trying to rip them out without the right tools and skill is really bad advice.

    besides, are we even sure those frets are the problem? it could just be a matter of taking relief out of the neck with the truss rod then raising the saddles a little, rather than wrecking the neck with the wrong tools.
  9. jessicabass


    Dec 22, 2009
    Yes they are the problem. Everywhere on the neck i play its those two frets that are buzzing. Its just a beater bass i use in my punk band when playing out so i dont care about the looks.
    Thinking maybe they are pulling out already which may be causing the problem.
  10. pfox14


    Dec 22, 2013
    The proper fix is to do a fret level or at least file down the high ones. All you need is a decent triangular file.
  11. Thisguy


    Sep 28, 2013
    Abilene TX
    Punk band? Just rip'em out. Not going to hurt anything.
  12. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    how straight is the neck? if you hold down a string at the first fret and the last fret, how much of a gap is there between the string and say the 8th fret? if it's any more than like a business card thickness, you likely have too much up-bow, which means that lowering the saddles makes your strings hit right up at the end where you're having the problem.

    tighten the rod to straighten the neck, at which point your action will get really low; raise the saddles to get the action back in a normal range and the strings should now clear the last frets.

    if the neck is mostly straight and really is just ramping up at the end there, first try tapping down the frets if they're sprung up, with your last-ditch "who cares" fix being to file them down, not try to rip them out.
  13. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    Doing #1 has a high probability of turning your bass into a hacked mess with little value. That is the 100% WRONG way to remove frets.

    The answer to #2 is that it will mess up the neck by making it necessary for any future owner to re-install the frets.

    You will cost yourself much less money in the long run by doing it right and having the frets leveled. it's not expensive and won't turn your bass into a hacked mess.