Refret Tutorial

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

  1. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    9,729
    Likes Received:
    18,549
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Thanks Roman!
     
  2. steadystate

    steadystate Member

    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    32
    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2013
    This thread is exactly what I needed today. Thanks!
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. jbrybar

    jbrybar Senior Member

    Messages:
    310
    Likes Received:
    166
    Joined:
    May 4, 2011
    Many thanks to you for the in depth tutorials. I am so grateful for you and all other members graciously sharing your techniques for repairs, and building guitars from scratch. I have learned so much and am working on finishing my first build ever. I already have most raw materials and parts for my second build which I plan to document and share. I've been a member for awhile now but have "lurked" long enough. Again I can't thank you enough. I'm hooked!
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. Happy Trees

    Happy Trees Senior Member

    Messages:
    577
    Likes Received:
    250
    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    You are officially THE MAN!
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Ian Coros

    Ian Coros Member

    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    45
    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2011
    A hairdrier can work wonders when removing neck binding , though be very careful not to deform it , I just used it to make it touchwarm iyswim .
     
  6. Actinic

    Actinic Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,379
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    A how-to page on fret removal issues the following warning:

    DO NOT use a soldering gun to heat up the fret on a Gibson guitar, as you cannot remove the neck from the body easily. You could damage the pickups.

    How to Remove Electric Guitar Frets - Electric Guitar Repair

    This does not make sense. A soldering iron should not damage a pickup, otherwise covers could never be soldered to pickup baseplates. Where did this urban legend come from?
     
  7. MRJ5

    MRJ5 Premium Member

    Messages:
    1,528
    Likes Received:
    365
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2008
    I believe what is referred to as a "soldering iron" is actually should be referenced as a soldering gun.

    [​IMG]

    There is some truth to this. This type of soldering gun contains a transformer to regulate heat. This transformer creates a magnetic field when held close to the pickups, could demagnetize the magnet. This is not true for the pencil type soldering irons.

    I have seen people successfully use a soldering gun around pickups before with no damage but I have also seen the transformer in these types of guns weaken magnets. These warnings have been around for years and while I would not call them a urban legend, I would caution that improper placement of the transformer in these types of soldering guns to pickups could magnetize the magnets.

    Additionally they create way too much heat and could damage components when used to solder electronic parts. Soldering pencils (irons) are much better suited to guitar work.
     
  8. Actinic

    Actinic Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,379
    Likes Received:
    2,947
    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2011
    Those big guns are pretty scary, and Freddy does not use them. But when a hobbyist (one of us) uses a temperature controlled iron, you can have 2 amps shooting through a heater element that transfers energy to a tip. Voltage is around 25 V for a 50 W iron. AC is probably worse than DC, but DC is easier to control and maintain. Impact on the pickups is the primary consideration.

    Since most soldering irons produce a minimum of 400 deg F of heat at the tip, is this underkill or overkill for heating the fret? The good irons have a temperature sensing feature, and I want to use that to control the beast. I am trying to find excuses to put off a fretting job on a set-neck guitar, and any excuses members can give me to just wait and let a pro do it are welcome. The tools and supplies have already been bought. Man, they are expensive. :lol:
     
  9. milkjam

    milkjam Senior Member

    Messages:
    683
    Likes Received:
    499
    Joined:
    Jan 4, 2010
    just another thank you for these vids. i recently got an old guitar that is in very bad shape but i decided to have a go at refretting it. there is a ton of great info here on this site and this kind of sticky is an excellent resource. really really good of you to take the time and trouble to share your knowledge. cheers!
     
  10. Tugboat

    Tugboat Senior Member

    Messages:
    376
    Likes Received:
    86
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2012
    Some sage advise from a PM conversation with Freddy (Freddy should be by shortly to post his response to my question):

    I have another question if you have a few. I used your instructions to install my frets (I didn't have a drill press or fret press so I improvised with a 12" radius block and a fret hammer). Everything went smoothly but there's one fret that one end popped up on a bit. I didn't catch it until I'd already glued it in. Will this get fixed after a fret level or should I reseat the fret somehow? Or should I remove/reinstall?

    See the pictures below:

    [​IMG]

    Another picture (it's the third fret):

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    9,729
    Likes Received:
    18,549
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    Once you heat CA and break it's bond it's useless. So yes, I would pull that fret and replace it. You might try running a bit of thin CA glue into the slot after you pull the fret out. Then after the CA is hard recut the slot with your saw. This will give the barbs on the fret tang some solid material to grab onto.


    I add glue to freeze the fret in the slot regardless of what species the fretboard is.
     
    1 person likes this.
  12. twinrider1

    twinrider1 Senior Member

    Messages:
    3,080
    Likes Received:
    1,352
    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2007
    Thank you Freddy G. Greatly appreciated. Just watched Part 1 (how'd I miss these?)...at 13:20, careful, that's hot. :)
     
  13. sevycat

    sevycat Member

    Messages:
    53
    Likes Received:
    41
    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2011
    I did two refret jobs on my beater guitars as practice, this tutorial gave me something new to add to my skill set as I move forward in learning.
     
  14. Baylin

    Baylin Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,150
    Likes Received:
    846
    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2014
    2 people like this.
  15. EssexBlues

    EssexBlues Junior Member

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2015
    I think I got here just in time. Got the neck of my Hamer on the bench. Thanks for straitforward approach.
     
  16. kakao

    kakao Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,533
    Likes Received:
    607
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2014
    Thank you for the great video ..
     
  17. CheopisIV

    CheopisIV Copper Slinger MLP Vendor

    Messages:
    3,484
    Likes Received:
    2,379
    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2010
    I've been sitting on a USA Tele neck for a while with intent to refret. Finally bit the bullet after finding this thread and got at it. Total beginner work here but I sure learned a lot! She ain't pretty but it's definitely playable now and feels very nice. I got it cheap as the previous owner pulled the first fret and damaged the board some. Nothing too bad, just cosmetic so doesn't bother me.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    #1) Measure your fretwire before ordering. I ordered much narrower wire than was previously on it, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, but the new stuff shows some of the spur holes from the old wire and the discoloration.

    #2) Get the Fret Polishing guards!! I didn't and scratched up the board pretty good even though I taped it off. Tape doesn't put up with much friction or heat. I intend to sand it down and refinish it someday anyway as it already had some worn through spots on the front and back.

    #3) Take your time and do it right! Freddy's Vid was perfect and it was a lot easier than I anticipated. I rushed through and did the whole board in 2 days (maybe 4 hours total) and it actually turned out very good from a players perspective. Craftsman perspective I rate my work as 2/10 but it's a testing guitar (and my own) so I don't care much about the pretty factor :)

    #4) Getting the nut right gave me a whole lot more issue than the frets and it's still not quite right but close enough for now. I ordered a 'pre cut Fender' nut from Mojotone and it still needed a lot of filing to get to the right outside dimensions. I think I spent as much time on the nut as I did on the refret!
     
  18. Dr Gonzo

    Dr Gonzo Junior Member

    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2015
    Thanks for the tutorial. However, after seeing this I know I am not ready to do this on my own ;-(
     
  19. fatdaddypreacher

    fatdaddypreacher V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    5,417
    Likes Received:
    3,407
    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2011
    just wanted to stop in and say thanks a million on a splendid thread, freddy. I've only done one refret, as what little i do is a few new hobby builds, and the one i did was already butchered by someone, so i couldn't hardly hurt it. I do however, have a refret someone wants me to do so i studied your videos and found them exceedingly helpful. well done, well filmed, and easy to understand--even for an old fart like me.

    thanks for all you do for the forum, and especially this contribution. i'm sure you spent much of your valuable time compiling and posting this. thanks again.
     
  20. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

    Messages:
    9,729
    Likes Received:
    18,549
    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2007
    I'm glad these videos are proving to be helpful!
     
    1 person likes this.

Share This Page