Scallop Your Guitar Frets!




About: Spontineity

For those of you who don't know, scalloping guitar frets involves sanding down the fretboard between the frets. I won't be held responsible for irreversible damage done to the fretboard.

So first things first, do you really want to do this?
- Bends are easier due to decreased friction between your finger and the fretboard
- Strings respond to a lighter touch when fretting a note.
- BUT if to much pressure is applied the not goes out of tune.
Its something to get used to and it took me some time to finally decide to do this. But if you have been playing for a while, it should not be too big of a deal to adjust to.

Step 1: Gather Materials

Things you need
-Guitar- mine is an Epiphone Les Paul Special II which came in a guitar pack with an amp. Not the best guitar in the world. This is for practice before I maim my more expensive guitar.
- A round file-
- Various grits of sandpaper
- Masking tape- to protect the frets
- Some patience- I scalloped frets 17-22 and the whole project took me, at the most, 2 hours. Your results may vary.

Step 2: Prep Work

Obviously the first thing to do is remove the strings. I also took the neck off to avoid horribly scratching my guitar's paint job. Next, cover the metal frets with masking tape and cut of the excess. Then decide how deep you wan the scallop. I pretty much eyeballed it while I was filing and it worked out fine. Any suggestions in this area would be appreciated.

Step 3: Start Filing

Now,slowly start filing away at the wood. The scallop needs to be a tad bit deeper for the high e string, and more shallow for the low E string. Also, make sure the scallop stays smooth and even. Check the scallop every so often and smooth it out using a rough grit sandpaper. Do each fret like this until you have scalloped however many frets you choose.

Step 4: Clean-up

After scalloping my five frets with the file and the rough grit sandpaper, I smoothed it with smoother and smoother grits of sandpaper and finally ending with 1200 grit. Then, I cleaned the neck with some and put some lemon oil on it and it was good to go.

Now plug in and play.

Please leave comment, suggestions, or constructive criticisms. Also rate please! :)
If you like this be sure to vote for me!!



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    21 Discussions


    4 years ago on Introduction

    I lined up a steel rule along the tops of the side fret disc inlays. Draw a pencil line to file down to.


    6 years ago on Introduction

    That is true, but this isnt youre average epi les paul. This is the "squier" of the epiphone world.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    not really, the wood the body is made out of contributes a lot to tone and sustain. Fixing a cheap guitar(thus made with cheap wood)up will improve it, but it wouldn't match an expensive one unless you replace everything, and after doing so you might as well get the more expensive one thats already made out of Alder or Mahogany.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    There's a spell-checker included in the commenting layout. I would recommend you use it if you don't have the time to check your spelling yourself, or if you have no time to spell words properly. The kind of talk you guys are using should only be used when you're sending tweets or being charged per character. Instructables has no character limit to comments, as far as I know, so there.


    9 years ago on Introduction

    ya but you can change it up with different pickups  


    9 years ago on Step 1

    "Not the best guitar in the world" but a preety good les paul style if you dont have a lot of money. And you probably dont want to deface a real Gibson les paul right? :)

    1 reply

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Interesting. But, ¿why only a few frets at end of the mast?