Here is a question I get asked quite often so I though I would post it.
“Can you refret my 7.25″ radius neck and file the frets down flatter so I can play lead on it better?”
The answer is yes with a couple caveats.
Many people have 7.25″ vintage radius necks and want the frets filed flatter in the center so they can play solos easier and more comfortably. The reason people do it is to provide more distance to bend the note at about the 15th fret before fretting out. It can give a somewhat flatter effective radius. If you want to bend the high e to a minor third on a standard 7.25 radius at the 12th and beyond then the action has to be set high, 2/32″ and above to avoid fretting out on the frets forward of the one you are bending on. It is just a matter of geometry and the math doesn’t lie. That tight radius will not allow the bend without higher action. That is the compromise.
If the frets are flattened in the center you can work the action down to about 2/32″ on the high e and just make a minor third bend at the 15th before you fret out. That is an acceptable action but higher than a flatter radius neck. And you have lost some fret height.
The truth is another neck with a 10-16″ compound radius or even flatter should be considered to play solos. It’s a personal choice and depends on how and what you play. Guitars are like tools in the shop. One tool will not do every operation we have so we have many tools to accomplish our goal.
If you have a tight radius neck like a 7.25″ please keep in mind the higher action requirements to avoid fret out during bends higher up the neck..