filing frets

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When a fretboard dries out from low humidity, the wood shrinks, exposing sharp fret ends. Here’s how to deal with this vexing problem.

I can always tell when we've had a cold winter by the guitars that come into my shop. When folks crank up the heat during cold weather, it removes moisture from the air. A guitar's fretboard can actually shrink in a low-humidity environment, causing the fret ends to protrude slightly on either side of the neck. You can generally prevent this by using a room humidifier or inexpensive guitar-humidifying device, but once the sharp fret ends are poking out, you need to deal with them, because they make the guitar very uncomfortable to play. It's not difficult to repair sharp frets, but it takes the right tools and materials, and you have to know what you're doing.

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