View Full Version : Fret Dressing

Feb-06-2004, 7:05pm
Dear NG,

I know it's not much of a mandolin, but I have this Japanese Vega (standard vintage plywood construction, no truss rod), and on the G string two frets are buzzing (10th and 11th frets). I have moved up the bridge, but the buzzing remains on these frets. I figure that two fret wires are standing higher than they should.

So, knowing that I will not pay for a real luthier to do the work, I am willing to try my best. Should I use a flat file and take it real easy? Should I use some emory cloth with a wood backing? Should I build a fire - ha?

Thanks in advance.


Feb-06-2004, 7:24pm
Thats step one,leveling, but you will feel the sharp corners, next you need to round off the sharp edges needle files etc. StewMac has made for fretting tools .
see links on homepage.

Chris Baird
Feb-06-2004, 10:42pm
You may just need to push the frets down into their slots and glue them with CA. Frets come up on mandolins of all price ranges.

Feb-06-2004, 11:01pm
Before you take a file to the fretboard, take a look at Frets .com (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Musician/GenSetup/Frets/frets01.html)and this set of pages on fret problem analysis. Frank Ford has a few pages besides this where a lot of information is given. Also - if you have to surface the frets, use the flat hard wood block with some paper in the 320 to 600 grit area. It doesn't take a lot to get a board back to shape - or make it worse.

I usually take three or four brushes with the block; measure, examine with a magnifying glass, then adjust the paper and push some more metal off. Just take off enough to make it playable. You will need a good metal straight edge and some masking tape to make it easier to visualize.

Patience is a virtue -

Feb-06-2004, 11:54pm
you guys are great. Thanks alot!