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Old December 19th, 2003, 09:28 AM   #1 (permalink)
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How to dress fret ends to improve feel?

One of my Tele copies needs a little attention to the fret edges. I have several small files that I used for building plastic model kits - will these work for the frets?

Is there a specific procedure for this, or is it a common sense thing where you use caution and and remove very little metal?

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Old December 19th, 2003, 05:38 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I had this problem recently. Don't expect a lot of people to jump in for advice, guess it's been asked so many times you don't realize it and everybody's really tired of answering it.
I did a search and saw many people using small files. Taking the excess off was not much problem with a small saw file. The little points caused by taking off the excess was a little trickier. They use a file with a smooth side to avoid damaging the board. I used some dental tools that are called sulci discs. I probably could have done it all without the dental tools but it would have been more tedious. What copy do you have?
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Old December 19th, 2003, 06:15 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can either get a small, purpose-made (or purpose-sold) file at Stew Mac, or a small hobbyist file with smooth sides.

Either will work on the frets, but if you have a maple board, you'll probably damage the finish a bit.
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Old December 19th, 2003, 07:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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This is the Stew-Mac file that I use ...



... the left and right sides will cut metal quite finely, and the top is flat and the bottom is slightly convex - that rounded bottom (a "safe edge") allows you to dress fret ends without marring the fingerboard - yep, even maple boards, too.
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Old December 19th, 2003, 09:57 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Rob- Even though I didn't start this thread, thanks for answering it. Impressive, you even posted a picture. I'm getting one of those files!
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Old December 20th, 2003, 06:23 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The "safe edge" dressing file is easy to use - I'm right-handed but can easily dress fret ends left handed with this file ...



... and FWIW, here are my "tutorial" links for nut cutting, refretting, fret level & crown.
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Old June 20th, 2013, 01:41 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Guys, I am bumping this thread even though it is old. Is the Stu Mac Safe Edge file still the method recommended? Are there instructions? This will be my first time. The other alternative is to take it to my tech.
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