Refret or fix?

Cerb

Anti conformist reformist
Jan 22, 2016
15,513
Sweden
The neck on my partscaster has some sharp fret ends, because the frets aren’t properly seated near the edges. The fret are level though, and except for the sarp ends it plays well. The previous owner of the neck had the frets leveled and dressed.

Now… if it was just sharp ends I would have just filed them a bit, but the sharpness comes from them not being seated. I’m thinking about refretting it myself, unless there’s a way of fixing the seating issues?

What does the expertise say about this?

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henderman

Dr. Stratster
Dec 4, 2013
11,007
largo,fl
i always vote refret but i have i all the tools and at least 25 guitars experience... i use super fine sponge backed sandpaper to slightly round off and un-rough fret ends. i just run them up and down the length of the neck.

yours are a little more sharp than normal but it could make things smoother until refret time.
 

Believer7713

The Pink Bunnyman Frankenstein
Silver Member
Dec 27, 2016
17,959
KC
One of these files does wonders.
I use mine for situations like yours a well as on refrets and get fret sprouts.

Edit: Yours looks like the tang is folded over due to bad cutting technique. That would cause the frets to not seat properly for sure. If you don't mind spending the money, time or both then a refret wouldn't hurt you.
 

jvin248

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 10, 2014
5,831
Michigan
.

Are the frets moving at the ends? If they are firm, and there are a lot of guitars out there with frets not fully seated like that but solid in the fret slot, then leave them alone.

Assuming they were solid when leveled by the previous tech. Fret rocker shows no problems? As long as the tops are level for playing, no dead notes or buzzing, and the frets are firm, I'd leave them alone.

Get a $5 set of rat-tail files from harbor freight, grind off the edges of either the triangle file or flat file and polish with high grit emery/sand paper -- so you have a file with "safety edges". Then round the ends of the frets until they are no longer sharp. There is a technique to doing the fret ends that you can find on youtube. Look up Ben on Crimson Guitars channel for his fretting and you'll see him use a triangle file (it's larger than what is in a rat tail set but that's not an issue or secret of the method). Rounding the fret ends is a ten or fifteen minute activity, barely an inconvenience if you are watching your favorite television show while doing it.

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Cerb

Anti conformist reformist
Jan 22, 2016
15,513
Sweden
.

Are the frets moving at the ends? If they are firm, and there are a lot of guitars out there with frets not fully seated like that but solid in the fret slot, then leave them alone.

Assuming they were solid when leveled by the previous tech. Fret rocker shows no problems? As long as the tops are level for playing, no dead notes or buzzing, and the frets are firm, I'd leave them alone.

Get a $5 set of rat-tail files from harbor freight, grind off the edges of either the triangle file or flat file and polish with high grit emery/sand paper -- so you have a file with "safety edges". Then round the ends of the frets until they are no longer sharp. There is a technique to doing the fret ends that you can find on youtube. Look up Ben on Crimson Guitars channel for his fretting and you'll see him use a triangle file (it's larger than what is in a rat tail set but that's not an issue or secret of the method). Rounding the fret ends is a ten or fifteen minute activity, barely an inconvenience if you are watching your favorite television show while doing it.

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I did file the ends. But the sharpness comes from the bottom of the frets, the space between the frets and the fretboard.
 

FrieAsABird

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 18, 2020
3,820
Germany
I’ve been learning about refrets and tried doing one myself lately, on a Cv 50s Tele, so a lacquered maple neck… it went okay. Honestly, I made some stupid mistakes despite having the right tools and I must say it’s a learning experience, so honestly, if you go for a refret, be prepared for cursing and damages lol. On the other hand of course it’s a great skill to have and if you master fretwork, you can make any of your guitars play perfectly. If you go slow and steady, you can definitely do it, but again, just warning you based on my own experience:)
 

StratUp

Dr. Stratster
Sep 5, 2020
10,112
Altered States
You could try rounding the corners in the other plane. That is, from above, looking down at the fretboard, each end would be rounded into a U, but a very shallow one. More like a D but with no sharp ends to the curve.

Then, down by the bottom edge of the fret end, where it's away from the wood, round the raised flat edge so it's radiused instead of being a knife edge.

Might make then comfortable. Then again, the raised edge might still be catching you even if it's rounded. I don't think you have anything to lose by trying.
 

dirocyn

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 20, 2018
7,271
Murfreesboro, TN
If it bounces back up when you hit it, the only real options are to replace the fret, or clamp it down and glue it. Which will mean you need to apply some heat to get it out, when you go to refret later.

File it like @StratUp Describes, if you want to put off making the decision for a while.
 

Cerb

Anti conformist reformist
Jan 22, 2016
15,513
Sweden
Thank you all! I’m leaning towards a refret. My Greco needs one soon and this will make for a nice guinea pig.
 

dspellman

Senior Stratmaster
Mar 24, 2013
1,318
Los Angeles
The neck on my partscaster has some sharp fret ends, because the frets aren’t properly seated near the edges. The fret are level though, and except for the sarp ends it plays well. The previous owner of the neck had the frets leveled and dressed.

Now… if it was just sharp ends I would have just filed them a bit, but the sharpness comes from them not being seated. I’m thinking about refretting it myself, unless there’s a way of fixing the seating issues?

What does the expertise say about this?

View attachment 596170 View attachment 596171
You can wick very thin superglue under the frets, press them down and let them set. StewMac has a video and newsletter about this. Once done, check the frets for level and have that done. Refret unnecessary.

I’ve been taking my guitars in to a favorite tech who has a PLEK machine, and he does a fret superglue before he does the PLEK procedure. I have guitars that had this done a decade ago that are still in perfect shape, fretwise. The superglue procedure eliminates “fret sprout” when the weather changes as well.
 

Scott Baxendale

Most Honored Senior Member
Silver Member
May 20, 2020
6,593
Sante Fe, NM
The neck on my partscaster has some sharp fret ends, because the frets aren’t properly seated near the edges. The fret are level though, and except for the sarp ends it plays well. The previous owner of the neck had the frets leveled and dressed.

Now… if it was just sharp ends I would have just filed them a bit, but the sharpness comes from them not being seated. I’m thinking about refretting it myself, unless there’s a way of fixing the seating issues?

What does the expertise say about this?

View attachment 596170 View attachment 596171
I would glue down all the loose frets and then do a level and recrown. Refreting is also a fix, but probably not necessary here.
 


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