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WhenDogsSing
06-28-2009, 07:29 AM
I've noticed a lot of folks on UU complaining about their instrument having sharp fret ends...:(

To fix this problem, go to Lowe's Home Improvement or Home Depot and buy a sanding sponge with fine grit aluminum oxide. These things look like a bar of soap and have the grit applied to 4 sides (the ends don't have the grit). Loosen the top string, move it out of the way of the fingerboard edge, and run that sanding sponge up and down the edge of the fingerboard until the ends are polished smooth. The sponge will mold itself around the edge of the fingerboard and will remove those sharp edges from the ends of the frets. Then do the bottom string the same way. Anyone can do this, it is very easy. If you're afraid of scratching up your instrument, apply some masking tape anywhere you think you need to on the instrument (body, neck) for protection.

You should now have an instrument with a broken-in feel, fretwise...:D

DaveVisi
06-28-2009, 07:43 AM
I use a fine file instead of a sponge sander because I don't want to flex around the fret end and remove any wood. Masking tape is essential for doing this. Tape over both the fretboard and the fret end you want to work on. Stop sanding when you start cutting into the tape before you hit wood. For a finer finish, you can even use Scotch Tape as it's thinner and allows you to file the fret even closer before you damage anything.

WhenDogsSing
06-28-2009, 08:47 AM
My attention span isn't good enough to do that job fret by fret...:(

The sanding sponge method will remove wood from the edge of the fingerboard but...you'll end up with that "broken-in, years of play, comfortable" feel...:D

Moore Bettah Ukuleles
06-28-2009, 09:25 AM
Dave's got the right idea here. A soft sanding block will only remove more wood than it does metal and make the problem even worse! It'll make things "feel" smoother but the fret ends will actually protrude more and you'll be prematurely wearing your uke away.
You want to use a file or a wood backed sanding block. It's helpful to round the sharp fret ends when you're done and this is normally done with a file but in a pinch you can use 00 (not 0000) steel wool. Remember to do this all on an angle, approximately 30 degrees.

amute
06-28-2009, 09:52 AM
Nice post and info! Thank you guys. :shaka:

My brand new Bushman Tenor has some NASTY sharp frets, my $80 Uke seems to have better care put into the fret work... :(

Thanx again for the info.

WhenDogsSing
06-28-2009, 10:40 AM
It's very unfortunate about the sharp fret ends on your new Bushman. Is it possible that the instrument experienced some significant temperature and/or humidity changes from the time it was shipped to you or after you got it? That could have caused a change in the geometry of the instrument including the fret ends...:)

amute
06-28-2009, 10:51 AM
It's very unfortunate about the sharp fret ends on your new Bushman. Is it possible that the instrument experienced some significant temperature and/or humidity changes from the time it was shipped to you or after you got it? That could have caused a change in the geometry of the instrument including the fret ends...:)

You know that's a good question bro. Thing is Bushman shipped my Uke via the post office, which made me wonder WHY not Fed-ex or UPS cause not only did it take 6 days to arrive (I asked & paid for FirstClass Shipping)
But the mail person left it on my door step sometime during the day while i was at work... :wallbash: The temp. outside that day in the sun was maybe about 95 degrees.

But I really don't know too much about what it would take to change the geometry of the fret ends, so I can't say. But it does make me wonder.
Maybe that's also why (posted this question also) my string height is SO freak'n high. Yes, as folks are saying I can sand down the saddle and sand down the frets and even in-lay my NAME in gold into the head stock but :D I don't have the cash or experience to be doing that stuff.
I'd really hoped that buying a well know & respected Uke like a Bushman would aford me the right to just take it out of the box and enjoy it. I was told by Bushman that they would 100% set it up before shipping it to me...

Good question though bro, I wish I knew.

DaveVisi
06-28-2009, 10:53 AM
I don't know anything about Bushman but if a setup is part of the agreement then maybe you should be contacting them. Sharp fret ends and high action sounds to me like they just threw it in a box and didn't set up anything.

I got mine (Kala) from MGM "with setup" and he did a beautiful job. Frets were smooth and level, and the nut and saddle were perfect.

amute
06-28-2009, 10:59 AM
I don't know anything about Bushman but if a setup is part of the agreement then maybe you should be contacting them. Sharp fret ends and high action sounds to me like they just threw it in a box and didn't set up anything.

I got mine (Kala) from MGM "with setup" and he did a beautiful job. Frets were smooth and level, and the nut and saddle were perfect.

Yes bro you're 100% right. I'm just awaiting a reply for anyone at Bushman... I too feel like it was just thrown in a box and shipped.
Yea it's all treakable but that's not what I paid for and I would have went with a Kala or other brand had I know this bs was going to happen, no question about that.

jkevinwolfe
06-29-2009, 12:22 AM
I'm pretty sure all the Bushman's come in from China with no nut, saddle or tuners, so technically setup should be part of the finishing process when they get to the US. I would assume that smoothing fret ends is too.

The Bushman I bought a year ago has smooth frets ends and they remain that way. The action felt a little high to me and the nut is actually not glued in, so it was easy to run both the nut and saddle across a sanding block a few times to lower it.

gheepn
06-29-2009, 06:54 AM
I used a diamond hone block to do this and worked great. Yea the same kind you use to sharpen your blades with.