Fret-end file hack

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I'm just posting this in case it helps anyone building as a hobby and on a budget, or doing a one-off re-fret. Yes I know, it's not as good as the real thing, and it will no doubt offend some purists and stewmacolytes, but anyway...

You can buy from various sources a file built into a block and angled (usually at 35 deg) for filing an angle onto fret ends; you slide the block up and down the neck, and the file dresses back the frets and (if you wish) the sharp corner of the fingerboard. If you don't like the price or can't stand the wait for delivery, various youtube videos show you how to make one; but they generally need a table saw to cut the angled slot, and we don't all have one of those.

I managed to make do by knocking the handle off a triangular file and clamping it (the file, not the handle!) to a suitable bit of flat-faced timber using two thin offcuts of ply, the edges of which I'd sanded to an angle to grip the file (see pic).



The main piece of thin ply is glued, the smaller one screwed; so you  can easily have your file back when you're done. Here's how it's used (you can see the file's rat-tail beside the fretboard):



The angle of cut is around 30 degrees, which is near enough for me, and the tool was free since I had the file and the offcuts handy. Here's the result:



Sorry for the crappy photos (telephone in badly-lit garage!)

Hope it helps someone out.

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Comments

  • randellarandella Frets: 1912
    That's brilliant.  I made one with the table saw trick - only I didn't have a table saw at the time so I used a hand saw to cut the slot and a load of epoxy to glue in a flat file.  I got there in the end but this is much, much better.
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  • Thanks @randella - it's amazing the lengths we all go to just to conserve as much beer money as possible, innit?
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  • randellarandella Frets: 1912
    Hah yeah, ain't that the truth.  StewMac make some lovely stuff, but I have an aversion to their prices.

    If I did it for a living I'd just buy the stuff and have done, but half the challenge for DIY'ers like me is finding a way around with whatever's to hand.
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