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fixing neck on cheap guitar

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I am new here and I have a left handed "G2" strat, cheap Chinese guitar.

I want to improve on it (without having to buy a new guitar) as it has a lot of fret buzz. On closer inspection with a piece of paper I found that I was able to fit the piece of paper under the edges of the frets. I removed the highest fret (closest to pickups) and eye balled along the top of where the fret sat. I found that it looked a little like a mountain. The wood seemed to rise, very slightly where the fret went in.

What is the best way to get the wood level without damaging it? 

What sort of sand paper (if that is the best method) would be best if that is the option? 

I would like to get the frets seated first before leveling and I believe that this problem exists on most of the frets on the neck. I am practicing on the highest fret as I don't play that high, so it shouldn't matter too much at this stage. I look at this guitar as a real practice guitar, something to play and work on.

Also, what is the best way to seat the fret. I know some people use a soft mallet/hammer with plastic or rubber face. I was thinking about building a fret press. I have some experience with metal work and building things. Has anyone ever tried building the insert for the fret press?


Have a happy new year


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Take a small triangle file and bevel the fret slot edges. Frets have a fillet (radius) where the tang transitions to the base and this will leave a gap when frets are installed in slots that have not been lightly beveled. The little rise you saw was likely caused by pulling the fret out, but beveling the edges of the slot should take care of that and the gap you are seeing. There's no reason you cannot build an insert for a fret press, just be sure to match the radius of your fretboard. I tap frets in with a small piece of aluminum bar stock laid across the fret and the plastic faced hammer.


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