Appreciation for Fret Work

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Offline darkbluemurder

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Appreciation for Fret Work
« on: April 22, 2021, 04:54:48 AM »
Since it has become increasingly difficult to take instruments to shops/luthiers to get work done I started doing more and more work myself whenever I get the chance. What I did during the course of the last few months was:

- fret leveling and crowning
- removing fret sprouts

Removing fret sprouts went surprisingly well. The neck no longer feels like a nailboard, and I completed the work in less than an hour. Certainly not professional quality but it worked.

The first guitar I leveled the frets on was my former no. 1 guitar I used with the last band I played in. For some reason it had a buzzy grating sound. I checked and found it had a slight rising tongue. I then marked the last six frets with a sharpie and filed them until the marks were gone. Then I repeated this with the last five frets, then the last four and so on. Then I recrowned and polished the frets. When I put on new strings and checked again the rise was gone, and the guitar plays a lot cleaner now. Again, certainly not professional quality but it works well now. The exercise was definitely worth it but the work was harder and more time consuming than I thought it would be. Kudos to all techs who do a good job on such things and are willing to do it.

I repeated the process on another guitar which improved as well but not to the same degree as the first one. I may need to redo that one some time in the future.

Cheers Stephan
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Offline Guitar74

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Re: Appreciation for Fret Work
« Reply #1 on: April 23, 2021, 12:17:31 PM »
I couldn't agree more. Fret leveling, recrowning, and just replacing them, at least to me, is a daunting task that I am neither patient enough for, nor good enough at to even begin to attempt it on any of my axes. I see why a re-fret job is so expensive compared to getting a new neck. It's work, skilled work, that justifies a premium price.
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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Appreciation for Fret Work
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2021, 03:13:33 PM »
I love that you've decided to do your own fret work. It's definitely a tedious and time consuming job. What did you buff your frets up to?

I gotta admit though, after doing so many fret jobs over the years, I'd much rather just get someone else to do it for my guitars now.
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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Appreciation for Fret Work
« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2021, 02:38:29 AM »
I used 1500 or 2000 grit sandpaper to do the buff. I think somewhere in the back of the large cupboard is still some 0000 steel wool left which would probably have done it even better. No problem though as I have to redo it anyway on the last guitar I did. With that I progressively lowered the last 8 frets but while it improved a bit the improvement was not enough. I will do the last 6 frets again on that one.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton

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Offline buddroyce

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Re: Appreciation for Fret Work
« Reply #4 on: May 05, 2021, 04:24:46 PM »
You mean you sanded/filed down the last 8 frets more than the rest?
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Offline darkbluemurder

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Re: Appreciation for Fret Work
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2021, 03:14:53 AM »
Yes, that's what I did in an attempt to remove the rise in the tongue. As I was not fully successful I will file the last six frets down even more. These are 6100 frets so there is plenty of height.

The frets below the 14th fret are fine.

Cheers Stephan
Area 67, Area 58, Area 61, VV Pro 54, Injectors, VV HB2, Virtual Solo, SDS-1, Area T, Area Hot T, Area T 615, Virtual Hot T, Chopper T, Bluesbucker, Breed set, Air Norton, Super Distortion, DLX+, DLX-90, DP240, DP198, DP168, VHPAF, AT-1, Norton