Refret Tutorial

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Freddy G, May 8, 2011.

  1. Popskull

    Popskull Junior Member

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    So I just attempted a partial re-fret, As I suspected there was no trouble yanking the frets out but it turned out to be more work to do a partial refret than replacing all of them.

    All the frets ended up being different height/un-even due to not bending them enough (Don't own a fret bender), not cleaning out the slots enough thus the frets sat tall.

    SO... I have to do it all over again. This time I'm going use a saw to cut the slots clean, properly cut the tang as to hang over the binding and not dig in to it.

    Ah well, learning curve i guess.
     
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  2. RockinRyan13

    RockinRyan13 Member

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    question, what does everyone find to be the best method to removing scuff marks from filing down the fret edges?
     
  3. gtr-tek

    gtr-tek Fumble Fingers Premium Member

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    Sanding. Lots of sanding... Start at around 320 grit and work your way up to 1200.
     
  4. melomanarock

    melomanarock Senior Member

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    Hey Freddy,

    Do you have any special tips to avoid chip out when removing frets from an ebony board??
     
  5. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Have a bottle of CA glue ready and glue the chips back into place immediatley!
    Let the wire heat up well, go slow when pulling them out. Pay close attention, when you see a chip starting too pull up use another tool like a small slot screwdriver to hold the chip down as you continue.
     
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  6. Aleksander

    Aleksander Senior Member

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    To avoid the cheap put the strongest tape next to the fret you are removing, and heat it up. :dude:
     
  7. BPW666

    BPW666 Member

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    Quick question, the truss rod, do I take the tension off before levelling the frets?

    I've got a cheap battered old Ibanez shred machine that I love an want to spruce up a bit, one thing it needs is the frets levelling a touch. The neck is so thin that as I'm restringing it everything frets out until I've got 5 strings on to pull the neck straight. So if I level the frets with the strings off and don't adjust the truss rod I'll end up with a concave surface when the strings are back on.
     
  8. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Different approaches to that problem. You can use a jig like Dan Erlewine's neck jig which holds the neck in playing position when the strings are off.
    Another way if you don't have the jig is to sight down the neck when it's strung up to pitch and evaluate the problem areas. Typically what you might see is some uneven fret(s) height, perhaps a twist in the neck, perhaps there's a hump or rise near the highest frets (all just examples of what to look for). Also, what does the relief look like? A lot of times on a very thin neck the relief will get suddenly drastic just at the first couple of frets. It should be a more gradual curve.
    Anyway, make note of everything you see and which areas you should concentrate on leveling (keeping in mind that you have to work out these problem areas in concert with leveling out frets that are pitted).
    It will help to relax the truss rod so that the frets are in a basically straight plane when you do the levelling. You may find that you'll have to do some levelling, then string up to pitch to check your progress.
     
  9. BPW666

    BPW666 Member

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    Thanks Freddy much appreciated. I think once I've finished my current build I'll have a go at refurbishing the Ibanez.
     
  10. P-Five

    P-Five Member

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    So, if I understand correctly, WITH the jig you level the frets with the neck in playing position, so with a slight up bow? Without the jig you have to get the neck as straight as possible? those two methodes contradict eachother... Or are there more ways to achieve level frets?
     
  11. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    I can't speak for exactly how the jig works because I don't use one. Personally I evaluate the neck when it's strung up to tension and then work on the problem areas.
     
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  12. P-Five

    P-Five Member

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    Hmmm... From what I understand from the SM website, the neck is straightened with the help of the jig, without changing the trussrod.
     
  13. Marshall Arts

    Marshall Arts Senior Member

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    Thanks for the awesome vids, Freddy.

    I'm actually confident now to try it myself. It's a usefull skill to have.
    But not on my LP's to begin with. I don't think I'll ever have the guts to do them myself :p

    I have a cheap telecaster copy a friend of mine salvaged from work (land fill). I think I'll practice on that one first. It has a few bad frets and a few springy frets as you mentioned in your vid. (But actually a guitar with potential, believe it or not :D )
     
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  14. peach64

    peach64 Senior Member

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    Thank you, Thank you, THANK YOU Freddy,

    you are THE MAN! Now I know why I did lousy fret jobs, only to get them re-fretted by a professional luthier. I'm looking forward to giving it another go.

    Any suggestions for a bound brazilian fretboard for my Les Pauls?

    Thanks Again,

    Peach
     
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  15. Harborbreeze

    Harborbreeze Junior Member

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    I have seen your video it really entertaining. I enjoyed it very much. I believe that if want to learn guitar then we have to consult a good tutor or trainer because its very risky to learn without help.
     
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  16. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    A new addition. Here's a wacky refret job that that most of you will never have to deal with. I've never seen anything like this before so i thought I'd throw it up here...cheers! :dude:



     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2017
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  17. Mr Teeny

    Mr Teeny Senior Member

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    Amazing job as always Freddie, I was surprised the binding came away so easily. Was it as easy as you made it look or were there some hidden steps ?
     
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  18. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    Thanks,
    Luckily it came off with very little effort and no damage.
     
  19. TKOjams

    TKOjams Senior Member

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    I absolutely love those basses!!! (It's a getty thing of course):dude: wonderful job bringing her back to her former glory.:applause::applause::applause:
     
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  20. Roman

    Roman Master Luthier V.I.P. V.I.P. Member

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    Freddy, I just watched your videos over lunch. Very well done, concise, and informative.

    Hats off, you are the new Dan Erlewine! :thumb:
     
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