string marks on the fretboard - frets too low or pressing too hard?

Callum83

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Hi there,

I've noticed some string marks on my fretboard on my 1981 custom gold burst, and I wondered if this happens to others or if it is a sign the frets are getting too low?

Or am I pressing too hard? I do tend to push too hard, especially when bending, and I'm trying to adjust my technique.

It has the original low and wide style norlin frets. I use thicker strings with the guitar tuned down a whole-step and ernie ball not even slinky which are 12 - 56 gauge, which tend to probably sit a little closer to the fretboard itself.

Any advice would be appreciated and I'm seeing my luthier in the next few weeks to suss it out.

IMG_3375.jpg

IMG_3376.jpg

IMG_3367.jpg
 

cmjohnson

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I'll go with "41 years of play wear" for 1000, Alex.

It's a combination of all those factors. Low frets, heavy fretting pressure, time being played, and a fretboard that isn't quite diamond hard and totally wear-proof.

It happens.
 

mudface

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I looked over those pics a couple of times and haven’t found a gold burst in them.... is this like finding Waldo or something?

;)
 

Callum83

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heres some pics for those who are asking, i still have the original tim shaw for the bridge too. I've been looking for an excuse to change the frets out, and I reckon its about time. I really prefer the feel of the frets on the R8's and 9's, i'll ask my luthier what he recommends.

62784395_10157408730309772_4258160993936343040_n.jpeg
 

cmjohnson

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That's a cool finish. And a real bronze powder gold, too. That has a look to it that nobody has ever been able to match with modern metal flake or metallic finishes. Sweet.

I'd straighten up those tuners. That one being cockeyed would drive me nuts.
 

cmjohnson

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Oh, just want to point out that that's an ebony fingerboard, as I'm sure you know already, and refretting ebony boards requires patience because the ebony tends to chip out when the fret tangs yank them as they come out. Especially close to the inlays. Get a GOOD refret specialist to do the job who has experience handling just this kind of scenario.

My way of handling fret removal on an ebony board where the risk of chipout is high is:

Start by soldering a full bead of solder across the top of each fret. This breaks down any glue that may be holding the fret down.

Try to hold the ebony solidly in place using cauls and clamps, right against the edge of the fret, as you lift the fret from the end. This will prevent unnecessary chipouts.

Do it one fret at a time. If any ebony bits come loose, glue them back in place where they came from, using slow set superglue and a magnifying glass to get them set just right.

After every fret is out and any loose chips are glued back down, clean the board, recondition the board surface with a sanding block and fine sandpaper (600 grit or finer), bevel the edges of every fret slot for easy installation of the new frets, nip and file every fret to exact length if you are trying to save the binding nibs, and refret it ONE fret at a time.

Patience will be rewarded with excellence.
 

Callum83

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I would love to make some additional fret marks on it. Not on purpose mind you…haha
That's a cool finish. And a real bronze powder gold, too. That has a look to it that nobody has ever been able to match with modern metal flake or metallic finishes. Sweet.

I'd straighten up those tuners. That one being cockeyed would drive me nuts.
oh wow I didnt even noitce that until you pointed it out! thanks will do and cheers its a cool finish i agree
 

Callum83

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Oh, just want to point out that that's an ebony fingerboard, as I'm sure you know already, and refretting ebony boards requires patience because the ebony tends to chip out when the fret tangs yank them as they come out. Especially close to the inlays. Get a GOOD refret specialist to do the job who has experience handling just this kind of scenario.

My way of handling fret removal on an ebony board where the risk of chipout is high is:

Start by soldering a full bead of solder across the top of each fret. This breaks down any glue that may be holding the fret down.

Try to hold the ebony solidly in place using cauls and clamps, right against the edge of the fret, as you lift the fret from the end. This will prevent unnecessary chipouts.

Do it one fret at a time. If any ebony bits come loose, glue them back in place where they came from, using slow set superglue and a magnifying glass to get them set just right.

After every fret is out and any loose chips are glued back down, clean the board, recondition the board surface with a sanding block and fine sandpaper (600 grit or finer), bevel the edges of every fret slot for easy installation of the new frets, nip and file every fret to exact length if you are trying to save the binding nibs, and refret it ONE fret at a time.

Patience will be rewarded with excellence.

thanks for the post but I find changing strings to be a pain in the ass, so no way am I attempting that haha

I have very good luthier who is also a well respected guitar builder here in Australia who'll do it, thats some of of his custom work his page :

 

cmjohnson

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They look like they do really good work.

I'm just saying, that kind of fretjob is best done by someone with advanced fretjob skills. It's not one I'd entrust to a beginner.
 

Callum83

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They look like they do really good work.

I'm just saying, that kind of fretjob is best done by someone with advanced fretjob skills. It's not one I'd entrust to a beginner.

oh yeah for sure when its time to refret theres only two luthiers in town I'd use and he's one of them, cheers
 

Tollie

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Thank you for posting the pictures. What an amazing finish. I love the wear on the back of the neck. That is a killer Les Paul.
 

Callum83

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Thank you for posting the pictures. What an amazing finish. I love the wear on the back of the neck. That is a killer Les Paul.
no problem apparently this was more of a paint defect then anything else. Not a lot were made compared to silverburst and some were sent back to the factory to be refinished in black or other colours from what I read.
 

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