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sharp fret ends

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Chris J, Apr 10, 2005.

  1. I think the fretboard one of my basses shrank slightly over the years and now quite a few of the frets are poking out the sides of the wood. I suppose taking it to a tech to dress the frets would be the best thing to do but I can't afford that right now. Do any of you guys know of a cheap way of doing this myself? I was going to file the ends but wasn't sure about the risks of doing it myself.
  2. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    I'm not sure what to do, but perhaps when you find out, you could pass this information on to Gibson for use on their Tobiases. I played a brand new one the other day that almost cut my hand off. Ridiculous.

  3. RobertUI

    RobertUI Thumper Supporting Member

    Apr 7, 2005
    Herndon, VA - NoVa
    If you have a nice set of fine thread files, you should be able to this yourself. Take a look at the other frets and you should be able to follow the contour about the same way (to properly taper off the ends). Just be sure to take your time, don't rush this, and you should be very happy with the results. Once you've gotten them where you want, you should be able to take some steel wool (very fine) and polish up what you just filed. Good Luck!

    FWIW This is one of the first "repairs" that I ever made on a guitar, but then it was a $40 "Premier" Les Paul, so I wasn't TOO concerned. :D
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    If it isn't a terribly expensive bass, this would be a good opportunity to learn to dress them yourself. I did this on my $99 SX P copy.

    But you will ding and gouge the wood on the side of the neck and fingerboard, even if you tape everything off.
  5. Although this bass is more or less a budget bass I really don't want to damage it at all. It's my only 5er and right now my only bass. Do you think a good tech would gouge the wood like that? I would hope not.
  6. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Supporting Member

    Exactly. A good repair person will cost you some money, but won't damage the bass.
  7. SteveC

    SteveC Moderator Staff Member Supporting Member

    Nov 12, 2004
    North Dakota
  8. Bob Rogers

    Bob Rogers Left is Right

    Feb 26, 2005
    Blacksburg, Virginia
    I have the Stew Mac file and it works well. But if the ends are out quite a bit you need to do a bit of work before you use it. You can use a smooth, short, flat file with the tang (pointy end) removed to file the ends down flush with the edge of the finger board. Be careful and you won't remove any of the finish on a maple board or get down tothe wood on a resewood. Bevel the ends slightly to your preference. Use the triangular file to round any corners. Then use very fine 6-800 sandpaper to start the polishing process. Work your way up to 1200-1500 paper.
  9. Jbass987


    Mar 20, 2002
    Rapid City, SD
    I had this done last week to my USA equipped Jbass. Only cost me 20 bucks
  10. redwood


    Oct 3, 2002
    Buffalo, NY