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View Full Version : Frets are too tall. Can I fix it?



UKESTAR
10-29-2009, 07:22 PM
One of my ukes has amazing sound, but the thing that bothers me is that the frets are too big/tall. I prefer a lower profile fret. What are my options AND are these options easy enough so that just any guitar luthier around town should be able to do??

camface
10-29-2009, 09:40 PM
I am no luthier, but I think you should be able to get some sandpaper and sand them down. Using some flat surface should make them even.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PNcpY37LyYA

This seems to show the basic idea. Just make sure you don't get overexcited and take them down too low!

ukantor
10-30-2009, 12:18 AM
That's a tricky one. In order to make a worthwhile difference in the height of the frets, you would have to take a significant amout of metal off the tops. That's stating the obvious, I know, but usually you would only stone or sand frets just enough to get them all level - a few thou' only. How much can you take off the top of a fret before you start to damage it? I don't know.

To replace the frets would be an expensive job.

Show it to someone with experience before you do anything.

Ukantor.

Sigmund
10-30-2009, 01:26 AM
Is it an old uke that may have had the frets replaced? In that case someone might have put guitar frets on. That would take a lot of filing to correct.

It may also be the way the frets are profiled that makes them feel too high. If the tops are squared they will feel higher than if they have a nice round profile. In that case dressing them down a bit might help the feel a lot, even though you don't take much off.

EdLew1s
10-30-2009, 03:13 AM
You could either re-fret your uke which is quite easy to do: Here is where to get new frets http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/the-4/Fretwire-ukulele-fret-wire/Detail
OR
you could use a needle file small rasp and some very fine sandpaper to get rid of the scratches. Needle files are good for getting curve back into the fret. http://www.hanalimastore.com/servlet/the-74/File-Inlay-metal-assorted/Detail and http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Nuts,_saddles/Special_tools_for:_Nuts_and_saddles/Needle_Files.html

RonS
10-30-2009, 03:54 AM
I think you would be better off leaving the frets alone.

Either get use to the "high" frets or trade the uke for a new one.

(I'm assuming the frets are seated right.)

thistle3585
10-30-2009, 04:27 AM
I like larger frets myself, but it isn't a big deal to have it refretted as long as the repair guy knows what he is doing. There are lots of variables to consider in doing the job. My biggest concern in going from larger to smaller wire is whether the tang on the new wire is thick enough to "grab" in the old slot. Also, in a neck without a truss rod, the neck relief may change a bit due to the change in size of the fret tang.

IamRobbyah
11-02-2009, 11:33 AM
I hope I'm not hijacking here, but I've wondered if there was an easy fix to my similar situation:

I get fret buzz on my a-string on the first fret. I hate doing, say, a Bb chord because of the buzz. I dont want to raise the action too much, so what's the best step to take?

PeformanceUke
11-02-2009, 02:43 PM
I hope I'm not hijacking here, but I've wondered if there was an easy fix to my similar situation:

I get fret buzz on my a-string on the first fret. I hate doing, say, a Bb chord because of the buzz. I dont want to raise the action too much, so what's the best step to take?

If it is high end name brand uke then i would take it back to the lutiher you bought it from for service our possibly contact them for some advice on how to approach it.

Our if you don't mind messing around it yourself you could ,try and see what fret the string is buzzing off of, and locate the touching fret and raise it up a little till its even, you may have to do one end at a time to get it also after you get it set i would put a little glue in it. Its also possible if you raise our lower to much you can move the buzz onto another section our string so before you set it pick threw all the notes and strings to make sure all is good. Also buzzing can come from other things then uneven frets as well. Also adjusting the action higher might help on that one string. But if your in doubt then the best bet would be to take it to a professional.

BTW who is the girl in your picture? She looks Hot :) .

And also to the OP are you sure the fret height is off and not the action? Maybe you can bring down your action? What kind of ukulele is this?

IamRobbyah
11-02-2009, 03:43 PM
Thanks! Its a Lanikai that my cousin gave me. I've been meaning to try the glue method - maybe I'll give it a shot. Someone once told me that I could have some fretwork done. I think I'll start with the glue method first.

Edit: the girl? she's alllll mine, hands off! ;)

PeformanceUke
11-02-2009, 03:58 PM
Thanks! Its a Lanikai that my cousin gave me. I've been meaning to try the glue method - maybe I'll give it a shot. Someone once told me that I could have some fretwork done. I think I'll start with the glue method first.

Edit: the girl? she's alllll mine, hands off! ;)

LOL @ about the girl.

Lanikai ukuleles are made overseas in china if I am not mistaken, i wouldn't waste money on it trying to get it serviced. "not hating on Laikai". If the buzz is not that bad i would leave it alone.

If you Haven't already known its possible even different strings can cause a buzz on some ukuleles. Make sure you run the proper size strings for your scale.