Les Paul fingerboard replacement: What would you charge?

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
1,668
An acquaintance reached out to me to let me know that one of his friends has a Les Paul that was slightly butchered. Somebody scalloped the fingerboard. I haven't seen it but the assumption is that it's bad.

What would you say is a fair market price for fingerboard replacement if you were to do the job for a customer?

I'm busy, I don't really want to take on the job, and in fact I've turned it down already, but I do want to at least give the owner of the guitar a realistic expectation of what he can expect to pay if he can find someone to do it.
 

valvetoneman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,298
I'm guessing around £300, a refret is between £200 to £250 I think

I've got to replace a fretboard on a warmouth neck and I'm charging him £275, it's not a bad job imo, rip frets out plane the board off and put it through the sander and glue a new board on, the rest is easy enough

I'm probably too cheap
 

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
1,668
I did do a fretboard replacement a few years ago, on a Gibson ES-295 made in 1953. It came off with heat. And some GENTLE prying with a thin blade. Doesn't work on all glue types, though.
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
42,172
Reaction score
139,916
A lot more than $300. I have such a job booked for a Les Paul.

You have to get the old board off without damaging the neck.

You have to cut, inlay, fret and bind a fret board.

You have to make that board with binding to the exact specs of the neck underneath so the sides match up perfectly.

You have to re-spray the job, even where the neck goes over the body on the upper bout.

So it varies with the type of guitar and level of intricacies.

Re-boarding a Fender style neck obviously would be much less costly than a full-tilt LP.

What does one charge for a refret, or a level, re-crown and polish? Figure that , then figure all the rest of the work.
 

valvetoneman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,298
A lot more than $300. I have such a job booked for a Les Paul.

You have to get the old board off without damaging the neck.

You have to cut, inlay, fret and bind a fret board.

You have to make that board with binding to the exact specs of the neck underneath so the sides match up perfectly.

You have to re-spray the job, even where the neck goes over the body on the upper bout.

So it varies with the type of guitar and level of intricacies.

Re-boarding a Fender style neck obviously would be much less costly than a full-tilt LP.

What does one charge for a refret, or a level, re-crown and polish? Figure that , then figure all the rest of the work.
I agree, luckily my one is only a fender style with dots
 

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Premium Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
42,172
Reaction score
139,916
I agree, luckily my one is only a fender style with dots
That there, $300 is about fair for the amount of work.

Then again, I charge $350 for a whole new Fender style neck, sprayed with nitro.

It's really about all the dang work involved. You're going to be there a while, and its going to get tedious.

But dots and the absence of binding, and the fact that you can take the neck off and move it in position, you don't have to worry about the body match up with the nitro, etc.. It's a piece of pie compared to a trap-inlayed Les Paul.

I had a mishap a while back. something during the gluing process got messed up under the fret board. What had happened was one of the locating pins when gluing a fret board up to a neck had come out during the setting of the fret board into the glue. And I had no idea it had happened. And I couldn't see any problems with all the clamps on there.

But when I took the clamps off, there's this goose egg on the fret board down on the bass side 18th fret or so.

I had to heat the neck off, and it had not been fretted yet.

With a clothes iron, heat and patience and some home made spatulas got the fret board off in under a half hour. With no frets to transfer the heat. The Iron had to sit on the fret board and just radiate heat that way. But it slowly worked loose.

When I got it all off, I checked out the goose egg, and sure enough that little pin caused all that damn havoc.

New fret board was made, it all glued up really nice, flat, true and straight.
 

SlingBlader

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2013
Messages
645
Reaction score
891
An acquaintance reached out to me to let me know that one of his friends has a Les Paul that was slightly butchered. Somebody scalloped the fingerboard. I haven't seen it but the assumption is that it's bad.

What would you say is a fair market price for fingerboard replacement if you were to do the job for a customer?

I'm busy, I don't really want to take on the job, and in fact I've turned it down already, but I do want to at least give the owner of the guitar a realistic expectation of what he can expect to pay if he can find someone to do it.
Yeah, I think Dave already covered most of the considerations, but as soon as I saw your post, $500-600 popped into my head. It's gonna be a lot of work. Start a thread if you take the job. :)
 

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,189
Reaction score
1,668
I'm absolutely certain that the new owner isn't in any position to drop that kind of coin on a guitar he got for cheap. And I don't want the job. But I can tell him what it'll probably run to get it done. Good enough. Thanks.
 

fatdaddypreacher

V.I.P. Member
Joined
Feb 5, 2011
Messages
6,600
Reaction score
4,754
That there, $300 is about fair for the amount of work.

Then again, I charge $350 for a whole new Fender style neck, sprayed with nitro.

It's really about all the dang work involved. You're going to be there a while, and its going to get tedious.

But dots and the absence of binding, and the fact that you can take the neck off and move it in position, you don't have to worry about the body match up with the nitro, etc.. It's a piece of pie compared to a trap-inlayed Les Paul.

I had a mishap a while back. something during the gluing process got messed up under the fret board. What had happened was one of the locating pins when gluing a fret board up to a neck had come out during the setting of the fret board into the glue. And I had no idea it had happened. And I couldn't see any problems with all the clamps on there.

But when I took the clamps off, there's this goose egg on the fret board down on the bass side 18th fret or so.

I had to heat the neck off, and it had not been fretted yet.

With a clothes iron, heat and patience and some home made spatulas got the fret board off in under a half hour. With no frets to transfer the heat. The Iron had to sit on the fret board and just radiate heat that way. But it slowly worked loose.

When I got it all off, I checked out the goose egg, and sure enough that little pin caused all that damn havoc.

New fret board was made, it all glued up really nice, flat, true and straight.
i have a cake cutter, or cake knife i used to remove a fretboard, as i found putty knives flimsy. i filed the leading edge down quite a bit leaving a blunt edge, but narrow enough to get it started without stressing the fretboard unduly. it works great, as it is quite a bit stiffer and i find it easier to control. i hope i never have to use it again, though...unless it's a repair job....if you know what i mean,.
 

valvetoneman

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 14, 2011
Messages
1,606
Reaction score
1,298
I just had a guy ask me to quote to turn a LP studio into an aged goldtop, new fretboard add binding refinish and age, I said it's not viable imo because of the cost and work involved, I said £850 plus as a guess
 


Latest Threads



Top