Question about frets.

AndrewLP1081996

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So I have all my frets in my fretboard and have started filing the excess off the ends. After 15 minutes of getting no where I fired up my rigid spindle sander and sanded a few fret ends down. It worked pretty good. I was wondering if this was ok to do on my sander. I dont know if the metal from the frets could mess up the sander some how. Anyone know if this is ok?

Thanks Andrew.
 

tnt423

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Lots of people use a belt sander to trim fret ends, I see no reason a spindle sander wouldn't work just a s well as long as you don't try and force it and put excess pressure on the bearings.
 

charlie chitlins

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Sounds dangerous to me.
It should be fast with a file.
Sounds like you need a better file.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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My files aren't the best they are harbor freight ones. I did notice the fret ends were pretty warm after the sanding. While I was filing it was hard not to hit my board and mess it up. What would be a good file to get?
 

LtDave32

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You can do it on a belt sander, but you need to take caution that you don't "dish" the board. Sometimes I do mine on a bench disc sander by placing the board flat on the sander base and just "kissing" it to the disc while in a smooth forward motion.

That being said, it's a simple affair to take a file to the fret ends that are exposed over the side of the board. Nickel fret wire files down remarkably easy. File in one direction, towards the bottom of the board, as you don't want the file to grab and pull a fret end up.
 

mux164

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i've used an angle grinder twice, have to be very careful to do that though
 

Freddy G

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filing fret ends with a power tool? that's playing with fire! I'm all for time savings and if I could pull it off I would do it but that's just too risky:hmm:
 

Barnaby

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Why would you not simply trim them close with flush cutters and then use a file? Any standard mill file should do unless it's clogged (and cheaper files do clog easily and quickly unless you clean them often). I've actually done the job more than once with 3M adhesive sandpaper on a 12" metal bar. :hmm:
 

charlie chitlins

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My files aren't the best they are harbor freight ones. I did notice the fret ends were pretty warm after the sanding. While I was filing it was hard not to hit my board and mess it up. What would be a good file to get?
Anything by Nicholson.
There are also sets of small diamond files available.
Even the cheapies seem to cut really well.
I use them for small work like rounding the ends of freshly-installed frets.
You'd be doing the frets one at a time like that, but it still shouldn't take more than about 1/2 hour to do them all.
Angle grinders....belt sanders...YIKES!
 

Jim_E

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Someone should dig up the Fender and Gibson factory tour videos, everyone who builds production guitars uses some kind of sander (edge sanders mainly) to flush the fret ends. The last thing I would think of doing is starting to flush with a file, I file once they're almost flush from the sander.
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Thanks guys for all your input. I trimmed my frets down wire cutters but I still have some excess. I think ill sand them down close to the board and file and sand them to completion.
 

emoney

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I'm a big believer in the belt sander trick as well, but like Jim there, I always do the finess
finishing with a file. My ADD wouldn't let me do all the work with a file, that's for sure.

Keep this between you and me, but with the proper safety procedures, I've also cut
many a fret end with a Dremel cut-off disc. Don't attempt this at home without wearing
a face-mask type eye protection, a leather welding apron and good, split leather gloves.
 

monsterwalley

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Ok….. I once fretted a couple of boards before I cut the taper. I put everything
in my jig on the table saw and ran it through. The blade didn't even know the frets where there. Worked great. I figured the blade would rattle them loose, but they stayed solid. I haven't done it since and they weren't stainless lol…
I saw Tom do it on one of his builds so I gave it a go. :thumb:
 

AndrewLP1081996

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Ok thanks emoney I'll have to keep those safety providers in mind. I always wear saftey goggles you never know what will happen.

Thanks monsterwalley I wish I had a table saw. I need one haha
 

mudfinger

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JFC, using power tools for a fretjob?!?!?

Good luck with that! :shock:
 

mux164

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only used them on the sides of the fretboard worked pretty well with a steady hand, i think its became a motto of my building, no fear, but i use cheap materials
 

AndrewLP1081996

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That's my plan to only use the sander on the ends of the frets. I sanded the fret markers down with the sander too. You have to be steady but it can work.
 

bruce bennett

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My files aren't the best they are harbor freight ones. I did notice the fret ends were pretty warm after the sanding. While I was filing it was hard not to hit my board and mess it up. What would be a good file to get?
go to Ace Hardware or Lowe's and buy a good Nicohlson file. they are cheap and work great.

and did you nip the fret ends off close to the board with end nippers first?
that will remove a lot of waste fret material. and majorly reduce your amount of filing.
 

emoney

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Grinding down a set of end nippers will also make your life a lot easier. Take a stock pair
and put them to a grinding wheel until there's a true "flat end". That way when you nip,
you're getting pretty darn close to flush.
 


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