Fret leveling on a new Warmoth neck?


Senior member
I recently received my first Warmoth neck that actually needs a bit of fret leveling.  I have had several other Warmoth necks (7 I think) where I just bolted them on and was set.  The frets were perfect.  This one the 11th fret by the low E is a little high.  I get some buzz there that keeps me from lower the action down to where I like it.

I looked at fret files at but I am not sure about spending the money to only file a small portion of one fret.

Do others here ever need to do fret work when setting up a new guitar with a Warmoth neck?  Is there a good home grown method other than a fret file to level a fret?

The frets are stainless steel, if that makes a difference.  Thank you all.
questions questions

1. maple or rosewood?
2. radius?
3. how high exactly is "where you like it"
4. relief is set to what ?
5. has the nut be adjusted?

Ok thats enough for starters.  DO NOT DO ANYTHING TO THE NECK (yet).
I just saw the other thread on fret dressing, which answered some of my questions.

The neck is maple with a kingwood board and compound radius.  I haven't made any adjustments to the nut.  I loosened truss rod adjustment slightly, probably not enough to even make a difference.  I don't know that I can measure the action accurately.  It is a higher than my Gretsch and other Warmoths.  I put thicker strings on and that eliminated some of the buzz, but that 10th fret still makes me wince when i hit it.

To be honest I am afraid to hammer the frets and uneasy about filing them.
When you hammer the fret... use a hard plastic mallet.  This type of mallet is available at Home Depot and at Sears even.  And you're not driving nails here....  its more of a very gentle tap-tap-tap.  I'd really suspect a high fret that needs seating rather than a all the rest being low. 

When W machines the fretboards.. they're fairly accurate with it.  Ditty for the consistency of the fret wire thickness.  The big "ooops" that can happen is with the actual seating of the fret.  Its not an uncommon thing really.  I suspect with stainless wire it might be something more common too.


<link to the bottom mallet - under $4.00!!!>
Thanks for you help.

Can you tell if the fret isn't seated right by looking at it?  I don't see any space between the base of the fret and the board, but the distances are so small it is hard to be sure.
No you need a straight edge for that, and a strong backlight.

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