Filing Guitar Frets - Advice from GEAR 411

GEAR 411 is an exclusive advice section on The Rock House Method web site (www.rockhousemethod.com) is it written by Tony Pasko, The Rock House Gear Doctor.

Question: Hey Tony I have a Beringer guitar I use as a repair dummy. Right now I'm learning how to get rid of a high fret. I've tried hammering it back in and filing it down and none of those worked. its only buzzy on the 3rd and 4th fret. am I not filing it down enough?

Filing frets can be a very dangerous endeavor if your not sure what your doing. Good thing you sacrificed a guitar that you can practice on.

This is what I would do:

1) Tape the fretboard, covering the wood and only leaving the frets exposed. (Scotch tape works the best)

2) Tape or cover the body area around the fretboard. (This is to protect the finish from the file if you happen to slip)

3) With a black sharpie mark a line down all the frets. (Just the top of the fret should have marker on it)

4) With very fine sandpaper and a sanding block, rub lightly over the frets. This should rub off the marker. If the frets are level, then all the marker will rub off evenly. if not and some frets are to low, then the marker will still be there.

This is a good way to guage what has to be done to fix the problem. I would recommend a radius sanding block and a couple of fret files.

Having the right tools is always a good idea, especially when you are working on your instrument.

Check out the Stewart Mcdonald website. Stew Mac.com I think? This website has every tool you need for guitar repair. They also have videos for sale that will walk you through certain projects.

It's nice to see that you are trying to learn these technics. Keep it up working on your guitar brings you closer to your instrument and your craft, with a few of these skills you will be-able to take a cheap guitar and tweak it to where it's a monster guitar.


Tony J. Pasko

1 comment:

guitar picks said...

Thank you for this post. I actually have tried hammering it down but it just did not work. I am not so confident to try new techniques because I love my guitar so these tips will greatly help. Thank you so much.