Fixing fret buzz: spot leveling and re-crowning

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Issue 232 December 18, 2014

Dan Erlewine found a 1935 May Bell and fell in love with her. She has some fret buzz due to worn frets that are flat and wide. Dan shows how a little leveling and filing got her playing again.

About the guitar in this video: This old May Bell guitar has a “mother of toilet seat” pickguard and fingerboard. This model was made by Regal in 1935 and distributed by Slingerland. In the case with it was a metal raised nut to be placed over the string nut, presumably for playing Hawaiian lap-steel style.

In this Trade Secrets video:
  • How a worn fret can cause a buzz.
  • Spot-leveling with a sanding block.
  • Fret dressing with a 3-corner file.
  • Dan’s tiny homemade “draw file.”

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