Filing fret nibs?

niceguy

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I just bought another Les Paul, and while it's stellar (LP Trad Pro 2010), it has one issue: the fretboard binding nibs aren't filed.

I have a Les Paul Standard from 2001, and I bought it new. It came from the factory with filed fret nibs---you can actually see the file marks on the nibs and even see a bit of red material in the marks. These frets are so damn smooth and such a dream to play on.

But, this Trad Pro I just bought has totally non-filed nibs. This is an issue because it results in a sharp feel when running my hand up and down the neck when I'm playing. It's very noticeable compared to my Standard.

There are no file marks on the Trad Pro's nibs, and they look angular and squared off, which is why they feel unpleasantly sharp.

Am I correct in thinking I could take some super-fine sandpaper and gently smooth and contour the nibs? Or, is it an issue with how the actual fretwire is cut?

I'll post a pic later, if that would help. Thanks!!
 

geezberry

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Gibson has no clue when it comes to fret ends. I have to dress every single guitar with the Gibson name because the fret ends aren't smooth when you run your hand up and down. I think they spend like 30 seconds at the factory filing the fret ends.
 

rockstar232007

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You mean, like this?:

Image70.jpg
 

ARandall

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Can we have some pics. The nibs have to filed essentially, as the binding would otherwise be sitting up proud of the fretboard.
 

kasu

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You can also use one of those black spongy sanding blocks. It will fix the problem in notime. Just run it up and down the neck a couple of times.
 

rockstar232007

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Damn, that's nasty!
Even my Epiphone Les Paul Standard looked better out of the box than that.
To look at the rest of the guitar (my '01 LP Classic), you wouldn't expect to see something like that.

Luckily, overall, it's a great guitar. Actually, one of the best LPs I've ever played...and, that includes a few 'bursts.
 

niceguy

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You mean, like this?:

Image70.jpg

Yes, my Standard has file marks like that, although not as prominent---and it is extremely smooth to play on.

I'll post pics when I get home. So, gently shaping and filing the fret nibs on my Trad Pro will solve the problem? It's not a matter of improperly cut fretwire underneath the nib, right?
 

niceguy

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Gibson has no clue when it comes to fret ends. I have to dress every single guitar with the Gibson name because the fret ends aren't smooth when you run your hand up and down. I think they spend like 30 seconds at the factory filing the fret ends.

How do you dress the fret ends? I like the looks of the file that someone linked to, but I don't want to buy a tool I'll use only once or twice.

I also like the idea of using a sanding sponge block.
 

geezberry

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How do you dress the fret ends? I like the looks of the file that someone linked to, but I don't want to buy a tool I'll use only once or twice.

I also like the idea of using a sanding sponge block.

I use a flat needle file wrapped in 600 grit paper, followed by 1000, then 0000 steel wool and polish. GO SLOW.

for nibs , you want to find the sharp edges and smooth them out.

Without nibs, you want this
007.jpg
 

niceguy

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Thanks everyone! Here are pics.

First, my Standard, with file marks. It feels very smooth.

P1000652.jpg


Next, my Trad Pro, which doesn't have file marks. It feels very jarring to run my hands up and down the neck.

P1000655.jpg


Is it even possible to file down the nib in this case? Or, will the fretwire be exposed if I file it?

EDIT: And here's another of my Gibson guitars. This one also has the nice sloping fret nib.

P1000663.jpg
 

TheNoodler

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I think this is the result of less workmanship going into the less expensive guitars. Even though a traditional or classic might look the same as a standard from a distance, up close you start to see the difference in workmanship that goes into the guitar.
 

niceguy

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OK cool, thanks again everyone.

Final question: is this cause for returning it? The ebay auction said "no returns," but I don't know if this would qualify as a defect.

The guitar was listed as as-new.
 

guitarfish

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My first LP was a used 2007 Standard, and the nibs were cut using a chainsaw I think.

Nibs1.jpg


I was able to clean them up pretty good with a razor blade.
 

niceguy

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My first LP was a used 2007 Standard, and the nibs were cut using a chainsaw I think.

Nibs1.jpg


I was able to clean them up pretty good with a razor blade.

Ha, I've actually come across your pic while researching for my problem! Thanks.

See, while your nibs are indeed rough here, you have a nice gentle slope leading up to the nibs. Like, from a sideview, the spaces between your frets are bowl-shaped.

With my problem Gibson, there is no gentle slope: it's a freaking right angle! Instead of a bowl shape between frets, it's a 90-degree angle. That's why I don't think simply filing my frets would help the problem---there is binding material which is missing, due to overzealous work at the factory.
 

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