Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:22 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

So, two of my guitars have sharp fret ends. my 97 S3040 and my Peavey Session Prototype USA. There is no tech near where I live so I was hoping to buy some toold and hopefully watch some videos, do some reading on how to do this myself.

I was looking at stewmac.com and was hoping you guys/gals could let me know what tools I should get to file down my fret ends to a nice smooth finish. Any help would be appreciated.
lorper is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 05:37 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,719
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

I'm going to assume you mean overhang because the wood has shrunk. That will require filling the ends back to match the wood, and at the same time will also make the ends of the frets sharper where you'lre cutting a fresh sharp edge into their ends.

The other side of the coin is the fret ends were never finished well enough to be comfortable and the end of the fret is sharp around the whole end. In which case you can use a jewelers file or crowning filr to round the ends.

But neither of the above are going to give you smooth fret ends. After any filling there is sanding and polishing, without which you will not have anything smooth to the touch.
Rich is offline  
post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

Hey Rich. I think overhang may very well be the problem. Im assuming since the guitar is 20 years old that the wood has shrunk. So what would you recommend in this case ? Should I wait and bring this to someone who knows what there doing or should Is this something I can do with the right tools ?
lorper is offline  
post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-15-2017, 10:55 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,719
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

That would depend on how much confidence you have you won't screw it up. You're either "handy" or you're not. I'm sure there are plenty of youtube videos on how to do all of it.
Rich is offline  
post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:29 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

I respect your honesty. Im pretty handy. Im a welder by trade so I know hot to work with metal using hand tools. This will be a bit more minor than usual and I will deffinetly be on the side of caution but I think with the right tools I can pull it off. What do you recommend for files and what grit sand paper to polish it all smooth at the end ?
lorper is offline  
post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 08:21 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 531
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

Lorper, a bastard file (fine) would allow you to file the sprouts back to fretboard. 400 grit paper and polishing eraser should be all you need if you're not going to ball end the fret ends. You can protect the neck, fretboard with a single layer of masking tape.
kissTheApex is offline  
post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 12:04 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,719
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

If you go to Stew Mac there is a fine selection of tools for doing the job. Not that you need a dedicated file to do the ends on a guitar once a decade but the difference is using the proper tool and trying to handle a regular file to shave the ends back without causing damage is a fine line.
Rich is offline  
post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:40 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by kissTheApex View Post
Lorper, a bastard file (fine) would allow you to file the sprouts back to fretboard. 400 grit paper and polishing eraser should be all you need if you're not going to ball end the fret ends. You can protect the neck, fretboard with a single layer of masking tape.

I dont see a Bastard file on Stewmac. There is a file called a "fret end dressing file". Would that work ?
lorper is offline  
post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-16-2017, 10:44 PM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,719
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools...ing_Files.html

Some "techs" actually use those to do fret levels. Run from them.
Rich is offline  
post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 07:45 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 531
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

Quote:
Originally Posted by lorper View Post
I dont see a Bastard file on Stewmac. There is a file called a "fret end dressing file". Would that work ?
I guess it would. To round the edges, I use my crowning file at an angle to soften the edges, so I don't have a specific fret end file.

Home Depot has the run of the mill bastard files. That's what I use to file down the sharp ends after fretting a neck. I have to say though, as I do this before carving the neck shape, I can run the long bastard file perpendicular to the neck and then hold the file at an angle to get roughly 30/35 degree angle to the ends.
kissTheApex is offline  
post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 09:48 AM
 
webmaestro's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Chandler, AZ
Posts: 757
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

I always suggest people buy a cheap/junk neck on ebay to practice on first... before taking files straight to your prized possession(s).

That'll at least give you a feel for how the files cut, and you have 44 - 48 fret ends to practice on. If you screw up or scratch the wood, it won't matter. If you want, you can then practice repairing the damage. It's a win-win.

Search ebay for "guitar neck" then sort by price + shipping lowest first. You'll have to scroll a few pages past all the nuts and bolts and crap, but eventually you'll get to a really cheap neck. As of the time of this post, I see at least 3 necks on there for less than $20 (including shipping).

Last edited by webmaestro; 01-17-2017 at 09:56 AM.
webmaestro is offline  
post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-17-2017, 11:40 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

Yea I have a few things I can practice on for sure. I have a bastard file at work that I use but I was looking at the fret end file on stew mac and it seems like a much neater tool than a big ole metal file that I use in my day to day work as a welder. I think the smaller fret end file would give me a bit more precision being new to this and all.
lorper is offline  
post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-18-2017, 07:32 AM
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Silver Spring, MD
Posts: 531
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

The reason I like the bastard file is, if you move it in the same axis as the neck centerline, you can file almost all of the frets at the same time. Like I wrote earlier, I use it for newly fretted necks so it suits my needs.







And this is after beveling the ends with the crowning file. Granted, they're not ball ends, but I'd rather buy the diamond crowning file before I spend $50 on concave fret end file from stewmac.

kissTheApex is offline  
post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 12:24 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: May 2014
Location: Newfoundland
Posts: 151
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

So here is what im thinking of ordering, What do you guys think ? :

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools...sing_File.html

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools...ng_Papers.html

Can someone clarify which Polishing eraser(s) I want.

http://www.stewmac.com/Luthier_Tools...l_6_grits.html

Besides 400 grit should I get any others ?
lorper is offline  
post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 01-20-2017, 12:30 AM
Vendor
 
Rich's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,719
Re: Looking for some tools to smooth out my fret ends

That's the dressing file I use, if I'm not using a diamond crowning file. If it's rosewood you'll find a good scrubbing with 0000 steel wool on the ends will do wonders to smooth everything out, and the same on each fret individually after you have fully masked off the fretboard. Then you can use a polishing paper on the playing surface [the tops alone]. Unless you have 10m hours to sit there with papers trying to polish the complete fret 24 times.
Rich is offline  
Reply

Tags
files , fret ends , repair

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Genesis 550 fret ends satchmo72 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 19 04-07-2014 04:54 PM
Prestige fret ends and maple necks sssteve72 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 42 08-25-2011 09:15 PM
Who cares about the fret ends? van01010100 All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 27 02-24-2011 08:52 AM
J-custom Filler Removing From Fret Ends infoworx All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 1 08-08-2006 11:31 AM
Filing Rough Fret Ends? Chris From Singapore. Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 10 10-13-2005 09:23 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome