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Fretting - Rounded Frets?

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Coming to stage where I have to do some fretwork. Never done this before, so in for steep learning curve.

On Ibanez J Customs I have seen these nice rounded frets.



How would I go about achieving fret ends like these. Would I file/sand the sides of the frets even with the fretboard and then elute the step of putting 30 degree bevel/angle on sides on the frets, but go straight into the rounding fase.

And would be simple effective way of doing this.

Just small file and lots of patience?????

Hope any of you can shine some light on the matter.


Edited by RGGR
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I've been doing fret ends this way for over thirty-five years.

I will attempt to explain the method.

File the fret ends flat and flush at 90 degrees to the fingerboard.

Next use a crowning file to roll the top edge of the crown slightly until you achieve a round appearance in profile. Looking at the end of the fret from the side.

Next use a *modified three corner file to file the the pointy corners off of the skirt of the fret crown where it meets the very edge of the finger board. If you stand over the fret and look down from above the fretboard at the end of the fret these points are on either side of the fret where the skirt of the crown meets the edge. You want to not only file the points away but slightly under cut the crown end.

After all of the dressing is done then use 600 grit sandpaper with your fingers and go up and down the sides of the fingerboard to remove the file marks.

After that I use #0000 steel wool.

Then I use a Dremel with a flex shaft and a felt wheel and rouge polishing compound (After taping up the fretboard and binding on the sides leaving only the frets exposed) and buff them to a mirror finish. I don't stay on one fret for too long because buffing builds up heat.

Actually the fret ends are not truly rounded but they give that appearance

* Modified

I take a three corner file and belt sand one side smooth. I also round the very tip. When knocking off those points I referred to I hold the smoothe side flat on the fingerboard and use and exagerated sweeping motion in an arc around each side of those points with hardly any more pressure than to keep the file in contact with the fret. Go slow until you get a feel for it. Also it doesn't take much to cut too deeply. If you do there is nothing short of pulling that fret and starting over.

If you have any questions feel free to ask me and I'll try to help you.

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