New 5427T with rough fret edges

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
Love everything about this guitar except the rough fret edges. Anybody buff them down using small square StewMac buffing pads or their Fret Erasers? I have both, but I’m afraid to just do it. I realize I’d have to make cardboard cauls and use lots of painter’s tape to protect the guitar top, fretboard binding, and fretboard wood. Encouragement?

I also bought the large and small fancy StewMac fretboard files with the swoops wooden handles, but that seems like too much tool for this job. Thoughts?
 

juks

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 26, 2020
3,657
Fremont, California
I just posted about my first ever fret sprout fix. And it wasnt that hard at all. Cover the fretboard (over the edges as well) with painters tape. And then use the files. The file removes the tape from the sharp edges so you can see the progress. Finish with a small file. This is the stuff I used.

Slow and careful is right. I was surprised how quick it goes.

20221208_223332.jpg
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
I already have the wooden handled file he used, as well as the short version, but don't have the little StewMac fret end dress file he used so I ordered it, as well as two concave fret end files they make, also wildly overpriced but it's still cheaper than having a repairman do it and I have many guitars. But $177 for three files? 🤨

Screenshot 2022-12-09 at 4.20.41 PM.png Screenshot 2022-12-09 at 4.21.50 PM.png
 

Gregor

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Oct 17, 2018
1,543
New Brunswick, Canada
It's really not hard to do with any small triangular file. Grind the flutes smooth on one edge and you can lay that down on the fretboard without damage after masking and slowly work away. Lots of YouTube help available.
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
It's really not hard to do with any small triangular file. Grind the flutes smooth on one edge and you can lay that down on the fretboard without damage after masking and slowly work away. Lots of YouTube help available.
If I had a proper workshop with a grinder I’d do that, but I’ll just use the pricey StewMac stuff instead.
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,181
Monkey Island
If it’s just the occasional fret sprout you’re tackling, ask your wife for a disposable nail file(Emery boards round your way I think). Tape everything off and go to town.
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
If it’s just the occasional fret sprout you’re tackling, ask your wife for a disposable nail file(Emery boards round your way I think). Tape everything off and go to town.
My wife asks me for nail files, as I am a fingerpicker of some renown. And on my guitars I prefer to use overpriced but extremely high-quality tools from the good people at StewMac, thank you very much sir, and good day to you. 🤙
 

Ricochet

Senior Gretsch-Talker
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2009
23,181
Monkey Island
My wife asks me for nail files, as I am a fingerpicker of some renown. And on my guitars I prefer to use overpriced but extremely high-quality tools from the good people at StewMac, thank you very much sir, and good day to you. 🤙
Excellent work! Obviously I wasn’t addressing a consummate professional like yourself David. 😛
 

TConnelly

Electromatic
Gold Supporting Member
Jun 5, 2022
53
Sandy Or.
Hey there now! Looks like you need an overpriced holder for your overpriced StewMac masking tape there! Your picture looks familiar! :)
18AB6FA3-0708-418E-A825-D1F3BBDE0C1F.jpeg
I think we should have a thread where we show our overpriced StewMac tools that turned out to be completely pointless. Don't get me wrong. 99% of the stuff I’ve gotten from them is awesome and indispensable! But there are a couple that are not so much! Not this dispenser though. It’s awesome!

Cheers……………….Todd
 

Randy99CL

Country Gent
Gold Supporting Member
Feb 17, 2020
2,350
Albuquerque
After a lifetime of working with my hands I often try to do things my own way and with tools I already own (instead of buying the outrageously expensive stuff).

I have a knife sharpening kit with four 4" long stones, 120 to 1000 grit. I put a strip of painter's tape along the length of the neck just below the fret ends and lots of tape on the body where the neck overlaps. Carefully ran the stones over the ends of the frets, inline, coarse to ultra-fine and it worked perfectly to quickly even them out. No damage to the sides of the fingerboard at all, great!
Edit: The thing I like about using these stones is that they are stiff...if you use something less rigid (like sandpaper or an emery board) it will dip down between fret ends and mark the edge of the fingerboard. Amiright?

I had already purchased a set of Grip Guards guides, I carefully bent the end down to a 90 degree angle, then used a small hand stone to tediously and carefully smooth the edges of the fret ends. Is this clear enough that it's understandable? If you bend the very end of the steel guide (right at the end of the slot) down all that is exposed is the fret and you don't need to tape anything. And the guide can still be used for fret polishing.

Whole job came off perfectly, the fret ends look like mirrors from the fine stone I used and I couldn't be happier.


Not recommending anyone else try my way, just explaining how I did it.
 
Last edited:

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
Hey there now! Looks like you need an overpriced holder for your overpriced StewMac masking tape there! Your picture looks familiar! :)
View attachment 197086
I think we should have a thread where we show our overpriced StewMac tools that turned out to be completely pointless. Don't get me wrong. 99% of the stuff I’ve gotten from them is awesome and indispensable! But there are a couple that are not so much! Not this dispenser though. It’s awesome!

Cheers……………….Todd
Cool. I like everything they make so far, just so you know.
 

David MacNeill

Gretschie
Gold Supporting Member
Nov 13, 2022
100
Boise ID
After a lifetime of working with my hands I often try to do things my own way and with tools I already own (instead of buying the outrageously expensive stuff).

I have a knife sharpening kit with four 4" long stones, 120 to 1000 grit. I put a strip of painter's tape along the length of the neck just below the fret ends and lots of tape on the body where the neck overlaps. Carefully ran the stones over the ends of the frets, inline, coarse to ultra-fine and it worked perfectly to quickly even them out. No damage to the sides of the fingerboard at all, great!
Edit: The thing I like about using these stones is that they are stiff...if you use something less rigid (like sandpaper or an emery board) it will dip down between fret ends and mark the edge of the fingerboard. Amiright?

I had already purchased a set of Grip Guards guides, I carefully bent the end down to a 90 degree angle, then used a small hand stone to tediously and carefully smooth the edges of the fret ends. Is this clear enough that it's understandable? If you bend the very end of the steel guide (right at the end of the slot) down all that is exposed is the fret and you don't need to tape anything. And the guide can still be used for fret polishing.

Whole job came off perfectly, the fret ends look like mirrors from the fine stone I used and I couldn't be happier.


Not recommending anyone else try my way, just explaining how I did it.
The operative word being “tediously”. I respect your method but will not employ it.
 


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