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White fret markers stick up too high on fretless...

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by fretlessman71, Mar 27, 2013.

  1. ...wasn't sure how to search for this, and I'm sure it's been answered. Can you fix this without using a radius block? What do you do?
  2. Bump. Want to be clearer as to what I'm asking, too...

    Bought an SX fretless jazz copy. Everything is great except a few of the white fret markers stick up just enough that I get "fret marker buzz".

    I'd love to make it perfectly smooth, but I'm afraid that anything that I do will not just sand the fret markers, but sand the wood down as well, and that just re-creates the problem, not to mention making an awful lot more work for me.

    I had thought of taking a scraper and just going along the fretline lightly until it's smooth. Dunno if that's sharp or precise enough to get the job done, or if there's a really good reason NOT to do it this way...?
  3. Rip Topaz

    Rip Topaz

    Aug 12, 2005
    Willow Street, PA
    Beta tester for Positive Grid
    Aside from radiusing the entire board, that might be your only chance at getting them level. Shouldn't be too hard to pull off as long as your scraper is sharp.
  4. Mickey Mao

    Mickey Mao

    Jun 7, 2011
    SF Bay Area
  5. darkstorm


    Oct 13, 2009
    That'll be the first time Ive ever heard of such a problem on a fretless neck. But being sx, not terribly surprised.
  6. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    You can trim them down with a scraper, a small sharp chisel, or a very fine file (like a #2 or #4 Swiss). Just use a very gentle touch, lightly skimming across the surface, and being careful not to dig in the corners.

    If you do scratch the board, you can lightly sand it using a rubber block. You don't need a radius block. For taking out small scratches in most (non-clearcoated) fingerboards, I'll start with 800 grit 3M gold paper on a firm rubber block, then go to gray Scotchbrite, then white Scotchbrite. That will bring it up to a semi-gloss. A dry (no compound) buffing wheel will bring it up to a full gloss.
  7. I've seen it an awful lot on basses. The stock Squier Fretlesses that came out close to 10 years ago had that problem. Also here in Colorado, fingerboards shrink in the dry air, and frets and plastic fretlines don't.

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