SHARP UV fret edges... ouch! - Jemsite
Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods Guitar workbench discussion such as setup, repairs, mods, installing new parts and more.

LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 03:58 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 344
SHARP UV fret edges... ouch!

Hey guys!
I'm currently doing a restring and complete setup of an Ibanez Universe UV777bk {black w/pyramids}. Everything is going pretty well so far. The action on the treble side around the upper frets could be better, i suspect a small shim is needed.... Anyway, one of the biggest problems are the darn fret edges! These things are extremely rough and pointy on both sides of the board. The fretwork on my Dillion 7 strings is fantastic, so this is really bothering me. What can i do to remedy this??? I've never done any fretwork before {other than beating a slightly protruding fret back into a slot}, so please walk me through this in baby steps. I have a set of small, fine, thin files, i'm guessing they'll prove to be useful.
Jupiter is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 05:43 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Italia
Posts: 4,725
no fear, just mask frets on both sides, then file their edges down. be careful, dont file too much fret off under the outer strings
nuno is offline  
post #3 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 09:15 AM
site founder 0% owner
jemsite's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: NJ - USA
Posts: 11,479
Reviews: 1
sounds like the wood contracted a bit. is it stored at a semi-constant humidity level ? if so then you can file down the fret edges. i'd probably "humidify" it first (ie. it's winter here and heat can dry these things, especially forced air)... glen
jemsite is offline  
post #4 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 11:05 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
I know jupiter is new to this, so re-humidificationcould be the easiest way. But I for one love it when the fretboard shrinks back because I can get a new dressing on the ends, especially with factory necks that I don't particulartly like the style. Then, if I know I've flushed them off at that humidity level, they'll never come back again. But if you've never done it I don't know I'd tackle it on a UV. Although with the binding you're not talking about having to file the tangs, just the crowns, so it's a bit easier.

You take a flat fine file perpendicular across the edge, to nip off the offending metal. Then blend that into the rest of the fret's shape, with the file. Then either totally re-treat the fret ends, or at least de-burr them from the filing. For that you need a little file, preferrably with a safe edge, and/or a "sanding stick." With binding, if you finish off with 600 grit on a block, it will push metal filings into the binding and discolor it along the edge, unless you change paper almost every stroke. You can clean that and buff the whole fretboard edge at once, or just polish each fret end individually. That's pretty quick and basic, but if you take your time a newbie can get acceptable results. I'd still get a tutorial with pictures either online or in a book.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #5 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 11:07 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: California
Posts: 1,895
And take the neck off first. If you're new, you haven't developed the finesse with the files to avoid a finish accident.
frankfalbo is offline  
post #6 of 6 (permalink) Old 02-04-2004, 12:42 PM
Rich's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: South Jersey
Posts: 25,717
It used to take me hours to get good fret end radiusing done but I finally had a breakthrough in technique. It's mostly about how you support the file with a finger in front of the cut. Now the whole job takes me about 40 minites start to finish. It also depends on what type of finishing you're after. If I'm doing a dead mint LNG [which typically have a very small radius on the fret end] I want to match it to what should be there. If I'm doing a J Custom which has much rounder fret end radiusing there's alot of filling involved. Like doing a 3 angle valve job, knock the edge at a 45, back cut it, then front cut it, then blend it all together with a sanding stick [thanks for that tip Frank! The stick works great!] [I was using posicle sticks with 400 taped on and having to change paper so much it was nuts]. When you do the inital file of the protruding fret though you will take clear off the binding, and probably flatten the bindng with the file. Tape it off where the binding meets the wood, sand blend any deformation you cause, and then coat with tung oil just long enough to leave a gloss, wipe excess right off.
Rich is offline  

tung oil , upper fret , upper frets

Quick Reply

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


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:


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
Do rolled fret edges make a difference? 63Blazer Gear, Equipment, Recording & Off Topic 0 01-14-2014 01:50 PM
intonation below 12th fret okay, above is sharp?? anyone? mikeymike Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 9 03-29-2007 03:33 PM
sharp frets edges on new guitar john1880 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 8 04-12-2005 07:09 PM
need help: strings getting caught on fret edges davester1234 Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 17 03-02-2004 12:24 AM
Smoothing fret edges - any experience? Josh Blagg Tech: Setup, Repairs and Mods 6 01-25-2001 08:57 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