Fret sprout

The acoustic bass I just got has severe fret sprout. Have any of you filed down fret sprout successfully?
I’m thinking of taking it into the luthier to get it fixed, but would rather do it myself, if I can do it without screwing up the neck.


You just need the correct type of file so as not to damage the neck.
I have done a little here and there but not ‘severe’.

The key to the file is it’s shape…which helps you keep from coming in contact with the wood.



Thanks, I ordered one


When I got my Sterling SUB Ray 4 I found the fret ends to be rough. Not finger slicing rough, but bad enough to be noticeable and uncomfortable.

I got the fret file referenced by @John_E from StewMac and it is like most StewMac tools, which is to say it does exactly what it was designed to do and does it extremely well.

My Ray 4 now has silky smooth fret ends and I’ve done some work on all of my basses.


This is really common on lots of basses, even really expensive ones. Fretboards are wood and can expand or shrink just like any other wood, with humidity and temperature. StewMac actually has a pretty good video about it.

It also varies by brand and type of bass. All of my Yamahas have had frets you can feel along the edge, but aren’t sticking out or sharp or anything - you can just feel them. Might be due to how they round them off or something.


This is one very good reason to keep those fretboards oiled so they don’t dry out (one of the big causes of fretsprout).


Humidity certainly has an important role. I started to feel the frets on my Sandberg by the end of Winter. I really should get myself some instrument to measure humidity or even regulate it :sweat_smile:


My music room has a de-humidifier, this is mainly for the saxes.
Too much moisture and you get moldy pads, too little they dry out, but too dry is also bad for wood.
Being in the basement it is generally too damp.
I try to strike a good balance between the too, but its not perfect.


That’s fine if you just have sharp fret ends but it doesn’t help if the fret tang is sticking out, you need a small flat file and maybe a fret beveling tool for that.

If you fix the fret sprout at the driest part of the year (usually winter), you’ll usually never have to fix it again.


[quote=“sshoihet, post:9, topic:21738”] fix the fret sprout at the driest part of the year

I live in Phoenix Arizona. Every day is the driest part of the year lol.