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Thread: Fret level after 10 months

  1. #1

    Default Fret level after 10 months

    My mandolin was getting plinky up high lately, so I took my strings off to check things out. Needed a truss rod adjustment, and it is surprising how much fret wear can develop if you play two or three hours a day. Also how much grime can build up. After a level and crown, all is well.

    It took playing some nice new mandolins to get my attention. Deterioration of tone sneaks up on you.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  2. #2

    Default Re: Fret level after 10 months

    Yeah I’ll need to buy the tools soon. I’ve been putting it off on my guitars and now my mandolin.

  3. #3
    Lurkist dhergert's Avatar
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    Default Re: Fret level after 10 months

    Yea, I just did a minor level on my F-9... No fret wear (Evo Gold), but I significantly lowered the action to accommodate my aging left hand and fingers, and it became evident that there's been some movement. So after checking for loose frets, a little touch-up here, a little touch-up there and everything plays easily and sounds clear and pretty.

    How low action? My Fender Heavy flatpick slips between the G strings and the 20th fret with just a little friction.

    I sort of hated to touch up these frets, they're so pretty, but they're still pretty now and they play so easily.
    -- Don

    "It is a lot more fun to make music than it is to argue about it."

    2002 Gibson F-9
    2016 MK LFSTB
    1975 Suzuki taterbug
    (plus a large assortment of banjos, dobros, guitars, basses and other noisemakers)
    [About how I tune my mandolins]
    [7/29/2019 -- New Arrival!!!]

  4. #4

    Default Re: Fret level after 10 months

    I would say that after basic setup skills are acquired, fret work is the next thing to learn. Either start with your least expensive instrument or go buy a beater. I had multiple tele style guitars, some had big divots. I started on the worst one, leveled the frets, and that worked out so I did three more. Later I bought the Michael Kelly to learn mandolin setup. Then right before I built my mandolin, I bought a wreck of an archtop and refretted that and bound the top.

    A basic fret level and crown is somewhat routine now. If you have over half a dozen instruments, it's worth learning this skill.
    Silverangel A
    Arches F style kit
    1913 Gibson A-1

  5. #5

    Default Re: Fret level after 10 months

    [QUOTE=Br1ck;1729941]I would say that after basic setup skills are acquired, fret work is the next thing to learn. Either start with your least expensive instrument or go buy a beater. I had multiple tele style guitars, some had big divots. I started on the worst one, leveled the frets, and that worked out so I did three more. Later I bought the Michael Kelly to learn mandolin setup. Then right before I built my mandolin, I bought a wreck of an archtop and refretted that and bound the top.
    I put together a tele partscaster with EVO gold fretwire 3 years ago and it shows NO wear (granted it's medium jumbo). Build's #4 and 5 have EVO gold and I love it. Looks nice too)Click image for larger version. 

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