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Thread: When to refret?

  1. #1
    Romeo Delight
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    Default When to refret?

    I have a few guitars that i've gotten a grind & polish on over the past few years, but when is it time to throw in the towel & refret?
    Also, stanless steel freets, thoughts?

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    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Plstrcast View Post
    I have a few guitars that i've gotten a grind & polish on over the past few years, but when is it time to throw in the towel & refret?
    Also, stanless steel freets, thoughts?
    Basically when neck adjustments/bridge height no longer eliminate buzz without going to extremes. To much releif causes buzzing in the upper frets, and too much saddle height, obviously makes the guitar feel more sluggish. I've got a guitar right now that needs a refret. It had a level/crown done recently, and it's playable, but I doubt I'll get a year out of whats left. Their pretty flat and excessively worn in the upper registers. Stainless frets.....tough call. Some say it makes the guitar sound a little cold, and the feel is less natural, but thats subjective because you may have a very warm sounding body wood, and the stainless frets may give it a little more bite.

    To put it in perspective, I'd have to guess that if you had say, a maple bodied Kramer Baretta, then they'ed sound too bright. if you had say, a basswood, ash or mahogany guitar, then it'd bee fine. I did have a Warmoth Tele neck that someone had installed stainless frets on that I changed out strictly because of the feel. They were a thinner fret to begin with and real tall, and they don't wear like a normal fret to your playing, so I put in some good ol'e nickel silver jumbo Dunlops.
    A lot of people dig 'em on the new Wolfgang though.
    Last edited by SLEEPER5150; 08.16.10 at 10:25 AM.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

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    I re-fretted my Gibson M-III with stainless frets and its the best thing i ever did. Anyone who says it changes the tone must have incredible hearing or talking out their ass, i noticed no tonal difference what so ever, they do feel different to begin with but you'll soon love them.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tommywho5150 View Post
    I re-fretted my Gibson M-III with stainless frets and its the best thing i ever did. Anyone who says it changes the tone must have incredible hearing or talking out their ass, i noticed no tonal difference what so ever, they do feel different to begin with but you'll soon love them.
    Yeah. For me it was just the feel of THOSE frets that were installed. Like I said, the "coldness" is just what some people say about them. I still think it's subjective. I do admit that the frets I had seemed a little thin sounding, but that's more again to do with their size. I like bigger frets cuz I bend alot. They do take quite a while to get that broken in feel, so a real good fret job in the first place is an asset. With conventional frets, all guitars buzz a little when right out of the box in a spot or two, but as you play, the frets wear down slightly, and those tiny high spots just go away.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Plstrcast View Post
    I have a few guitars that i've gotten a grind & polish on over the past few years, but when is it time to throw in the towel & refret?
    Also, stanless steel freets, thoughts?
    I would probably refret when you start cutting the nut down to a severely low height. I have seen people try to conserve to the point of making a guitar into a "fretless wonder" (like a Les Paul from a bygone era) and grind part of the fingerboard!!! I dunno- I like a very tall, very wide fret, and I would refret in stainless in the 6000 size if it were me doing a refret. They just don't wear. I am kind of seeing why the new Wolfgang has stainless steel, vintage-sized frets; he probably liked a vintage jumbo cut down...

    I am the dude that gets brand-new Gibsons refretted. I just like 6000 frets better!!! It's down to you; however, if you are asking the question, you probably would benefit from a refret. Just my opinion, however.

    The only thing about stainless frets is that they are harder to work on. Stainless is very hard on cutting tools. A good cutting oil should be used on the files for crowning and levelling of stainless frets.
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    Eruption
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    Has anyone on here refretted their guitars? How hard is it? How about stainless? Anyone done that refret job?
    Eddie must think I'm a BOZO to want to drop THAT much on one of his new Charvel Guitars!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Red43j View Post
    Has anyone on here refretted their guitars? How hard is it? How about stainless? Anyone done that refret job?
    No, but I think I'm gonna learn how soon.... The reason I don't currently build necks for my custom guitars myself is mostly that I don't have all of the fret / fingerboard tools, jigs, and hardware that I need to do a really good job.

    But now I've got about 6 guitars that need a refret pretty bad and another 1 or 2 that will need one soon.... I've got a neck with stainless frets and I love them, so I'm thinking about replacing all the frets on every guitar with stainless as they need it.

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    When to refret? Here is a good example.

    One time I got mad and broke the neck off my guitar. I later refretted it.

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    Good Enough SLEEPER5150's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Red43j View Post
    Has anyone on here refretted their guitars? How hard is it? How about stainless? Anyone done that refret job?
    Yes. I've fretted and refretted many guitars. It is a bit involved. Don't get me wrong, you can learn to do it, but it's best to learn the basics, and practice on a junk neck. Pulling old frets can be a challenge too, because you have to fight the urge to pull up a fret, then try to pull it out by hand rocking fret the back and forth if their stubborn. You use flush face cutters to grasp the fret, and work left to right back and forth till the fret basically comes out on it's own. You don't want to widen the slots, (or lift a chunk of the fretboard with the fret.) as it'll make it tougher to not pop a new fret once the neck is under tension (relief). i can PM you with a basic tools list, later tonight if interested. Check out StewMac, and particularily Dan Erlewine on Youtube. There's a wealth of info on the site. I'd recommend their fret kit.
    here's a quick overview of their kit I just found on Youtube.

    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

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    Eruption
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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Yes. I've fretted and refretted many guitars. It is a bit involved. Don't get me wrong, you can learn to do it, but it's best to learn the basics, and practice on a junk neck. Pulling old frets can be a challenge too, because you have to fight the urge to pull up a fret, then try to pull it out by hand rocking fret the back and forth if their stubborn. You use flush face cutters to grasp the fret, and work left to right back and forth till the fret basically comes out on it's own. You don't want to widen the slots, (or lift a chunk of the fretboard with the fret.) as it'll make it tougher to not pop a new fret once the neck is under tension (relief). i can PM you with a basic tools list, later tonight if interested. Check out StewMac, and particularily Dan Erlewine on Youtube. There's a wealth of info on the site. I'd recommend their fret kit.
    here's a quick overview of their kit I just found on Youtube.

    SLEEPER...
    I'm up in the air as to if I wanna try it. I don't exactly have the best location to do projects (I'm living in an apartment). I have an old Kramer Focus neck, that needs some work, and I'd love to give it an overhaul, but I'm concerned that I may wind up biting off more than I can chew. I don't think the frets are horrible, but this thing hasn't been bolted up to a body for probably a good 15 years or so. Worse, where the locking nut goes, my uncle (it used to be his neck) in a nite of brilliant drinking, decided to repaint it, and sanded too much off at the area where the lock nut went. To me, it doesn't look like the lock nut would sit right, but then, what do I know? But ya, I'd love to give the neck a complete overhaul, and restore it to its former glory, thats why I'm asking about the possibility of doing a fret job. Hmmm, why not send me the basic tools list...I may pull the trigger. Thanks!
    Eddie must think I'm a BOZO to want to drop THAT much on one of his new Charvel Guitars!

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    Quote Originally Posted by SLEEPER5150 View Post
    Yes. I've fretted and refretted many guitars. It is a bit involved. Don't get me wrong, you can learn to do it, but it's best to learn the basics, and practice on a junk neck. Pulling old frets can be a challenge too, because you have to fight the urge to pull up a fret, then try to pull it out by hand rocking fret the back and forth if their stubborn. You use flush face cutters to grasp the fret, and work left to right back and forth till the fret basically comes out on it's own. You don't want to widen the slots, (or lift a chunk of the fretboard with the fret.) as it'll make it tougher to not pop a new fret once the neck is under tension (relief). i can PM you with a basic tools list, later tonight if interested. Check out StewMac, and particularily Dan Erlewine on Youtube. There's a wealth of info on the site. I'd recommend their fret kit.
    here's a quick overview of their kit I just found on Youtube.

    That's amazing! I might have to try this out on a cheap neck....

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjstudios View Post
    That's amazing! I might have to try this out on a cheap neck....
    Yeah....that's the best way to go. learn the fundamentals, then just go for it.
    I say check out some books. Guitar Players Guide to Guitar Repair is excellent, and you can get it at any book store with a decent how to section. Dan Erlewine is the man though, guys. Anything I've had misgivings about, I basically check out his books, or more recently video tips. Always worked out great.
    She looks so $#@!'n good ,so sexy and so frail....Somethin's got the bite on me, I'm goin' straight to Hell.

 

 

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