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 Post subject: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 3:12 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
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State: Texas
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I may have asked about this in the past so forgive me if I'm repeating myself.

I have about a 9 year old dreadnought acoustic that was made by a gentleman in TN some time ago.
This is my personal guitar and the neck has developed a rather nasty hump from the 1st to the 3rd fret. Bad enough that the 1st fret sits below the 2nd just enough that I cannot play a 1st position chord without noise on any 1st fret note. Leveling the frets would require removing far more material than I'd want to off of the other on the neck. I don't really know the cause of this as the truss rod responds like normal on the rest of the neck.

Hide glue was used on all the joints and braces.

My possible causes that first come to mind are as follows.

1. Broken truss rod at the 3rd fret, causing the rest of the board to move freely.
Solution: Remove fingerboard, replace truss rod, Reglue board

2. badly deformed neck (inadequate drying before cutting?)
Solution: remove frets, level fretboard, refret

3. Fretboard pulling loose (no evidence of this on the edges of the board.
Solution: Remove fretboard, reglue

I've had this guitar since it was built and I'd like to repair it, but this issue is one that I have only dealt with in the past by leveling frets, never had one that was this bad. I am fairly bold with my own guitars so attempting an extreme solution is not out of the question. Cost isn't an issue cause well, I own it haha!

Any thoughts? Frank Ford can you help a poor padawan like myself?


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Thu Oct 19, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Koa
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Does this section of fretboard flatten back out when the weather changes - such as during heating season when things dry back out.

Not sure what the fretboard is - but ebony in particular tends to hide some really nasty grain - which can then rear its head several years later as the seasons change. It just never seems to stop moving for me.

If it's stable - why not just pull few frets off and level the fretboard - then refret.

I suppose the other option would be to pull the fretboard for a look-see... Perhaps a small section came loose.. Or perhaps some switchy grain is rearing it's head..


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 12:53 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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If the truss rod works why not remove the frets, level the board, deepen any slots that need deepening after leveling out the hump AND the entire board between the nut and the 12th, adding fall-away, refretting and then being mindful about how the frets fit and compression.

If there is a root cause beyond green wood or a poor initial fretting job without leveling the board of course fix the root issue, broken truss rod, etc.

Truss rods generally don't do squat in the fret one to three region anyway. It sounds like the fret plane was never level, was this problem always with the instrument or did it develop over time?


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 1:16 pm 
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Cocobolo
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State: Texas
Country: United States
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The fretboard section doesn't level out with the seasonal changes. it's pretty set in it's ways.

The fretboard is rosewood and it's fairly straight grained (doesn't mean it can't be hiding something nasty). I do like the idea of just leveling the area where the problem is, although I may push the leveling past the 5th fret or so just to be sure the problem is taken care of.

Hesh, the problem developed over time, after year 3 or 4 of the guitars life I began to notice it. it's just incrementally gotten worse over time, most of the time I just played around it. If the fret plane isn't level then it would make sense why it's doing what it's doing.


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 3:11 pm 
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If you're going to level the board then why not just do the whole thing? Not that much extra work but likely a much better result then you can set up the fret plane properly from one end to the other.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Hesh (Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:51 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Fri Oct 20, 2017 5:52 pm 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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SteveSmith wrote:
If you're going to level the board then why not just do the whole thing? Not that much extra work but likely a much better result then you can set up the fret plane properly from one end to the other.


Exactly!


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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:41 pm 
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Hesh wrote:
SteveSmith wrote:
If you're going to level the board then why not just do the whole thing? Not that much extra work but likely a much better result then you can set up the fret plane properly from one end to the other.


Exactly!



Good Advice here .. Do the whole thing . You will be happier in the longrun

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These users thanked the author WudWerkr for the post: Hesh (Mon Oct 23, 2017 12:59 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 2:38 pm 
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+1

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 Post subject: Re: Fixing 3rd Fret Hump
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 10:07 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
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State: Texas
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
Thanks for the advice gentlemen! Sounds like a full level of the fretboard is in order.

I'll probably get to it once I hit a lull with my usual repair work. Bills before pleasure


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