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Eric O'Reilly

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I recently was sanding the back of my ax40 neck and oiling it like I do every year, but noticed some sharp fret ends on the high e side( probably from the sanding over the years) so I used a mill file and filed down the side and , may have over beveled them a little, now im having some high e slippage, still playable by far, but annoying, my question is, do you think a good luthier can easily fix this with a fret level and dressing, by grinding the height of the frets down so it will get rid of the bevel and be back to normal.
 

DrKev

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A good luthier might be able to do that but it's impossible to say without seeing the condition of the frets and the bevel. Worst case scenario is that it may require so much material to be removed that you may hate how the guitar feels with significantly lower frets. It may also be more cost effective to do a refret. You'll just have to take the guitar to somebody and have them examine it and see what they suggest.

BTW, sharp fret ends are usually due to humidity changes (wood shrinks as it dries, so the fret ends protrude). Filing the fret ends assures it will never happen again but just humidifying the room or guitar case could have resolved the issue too.
 

Eric O'Reilly

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I have a world class luthier here in Boston across fro Berklee college of music, name Steve Morill, great guy, he quoted me $150 for a full fret level, dress, crown etc... Or $350 for a full refret in stainless steel which I inquired about because of there durability. And he said most likely he can easily fix this with the $150 fret level and dress. Lets see and hope, i think it will work out, there just at the point of slippage, but it annoys me, the bevel isnt giant, its just enough to slip a little, plus I think this axe could use fret work anyway since ive had it for over a year and play it almost everyday , its got some fret wear already, now i wish I never filed it. But i think it should be fixable.
 

Kenji20022

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Go big, Stainless is the way to go. If you love that guitar do it, you'll spend more on 150$ fret levels every year or two. With stainless frets you may not wear your frets for years to come at all, much less to the point of needing to be leveled
 

uOpt

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If the slippage is only on one side of the neck (only one E string but not the other) you should jerk the neck into the right position first.
 

Eric O'Reilly

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The neck on this guitar is perfectly straight, there is the same amount of space on both sides, its the bevel of the frets on the right( high e side).
 

Eric O'Reilly

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Im going to go with the fret dress and level and crown, for $150, im sure this will fix the problem, maybe way in the future i might go stainless, ive only ever tried them once on a new wolfgang and they felt great.
 

uOpt

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The neck on this guitar is perfectly straight, there is the same amount of space on both sides, its the bevel of the frets on the right( high e side).

I not talking about neck straightness. I'm talking about neck angle in the horizontal pane, so that you available frets are centered under the strings.
 

Kenji20022

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uOpt, his problem isn't anything to do with the neck. He said that he over filed one of the frets and now the string slips off sometimes.

And good luck! I usually count it out like this, people usually do 4-5 Fret Levels/Dressing over a decade, at your going rate that's 6-800$ spent on Fret Servicing, if the Stainless Fret job is 350, and you don't need to do any dressing over that decade you're saving money in the long run.
 

beej

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Right, but sometimes there's a little give in the neck pocket, so as uOpt mentioned, it might be possible to shift the neck slightly to one side, so the strings sit a little more towards the other side of the neck. (It's worked for me with other guitars when the strings didn't sit evenly ... ditto moving the saddles slightly to one side.)
 

KEOKI

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I have been using stainless frets since 1995. I haven't fretted over such issues since. And I gig a lot.
 

Eric O'Reilly

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Yes, the neck pocket on my ax40 is indeed very tight not allowing any horizontal movement, I did think of that myself and it is good advice, but in this instance i actually need the fret dress for other fret wear too.
 

uOpt

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uOpt, his problem isn't anything to do with the neck. He said that he over filed one of the frets

No, the OP doesn't say "one" and he says "maybe".

To me it looks like there was a bit of wood shrinkage making the fret ends stick out and the OP filed them down, with us not knowing whether it was too much filing or not. We don't know whether a refret would do any good or not since if the wood has shrunk you would end up with either the same short frets or fret ends sticking out, returning the OP to the original state. Of course the OP could post a picture so that we could have a look around.

Either way if there is a problem with one side of the neck seeing the string slip off and the other does not then you can re-angle the neck if it is bolt on.
 

Eric O'Reilly

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Just to clarify, this was due to over filing, due to sharp fret ends that were a result of sanding the neck before oiling, I've never had shrinkage( thank god) due to the humid New England climate, but I was playing today and it really is not that bad. Im sure a fret job at this point done by a skilled luthier would suffice, and I would say that its time for a fret level, dress and crown at this time, since the guitar is 5 years old, and I got it used, and have since played it a lot. Thank all of you for the advice, and when I do have to have a re fret, I'm definitely going stainless steel, seems the way to go now a days, I think all high end guitars should come stock with them from now on. It seems like evolution.
 

Eric O'Reilly

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Well, i took a block off wood with some 600 grit, and went up and down along the high e side and it actually worked! So it brought the height of the frets down and took some of the bevel away , making it better with the slippage, it still needs a pro job to be perfect, but it sure is better than it was!
 
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