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Hi,

Recently I took my Gibson Les Paul Classic to do a fret leveling. It was showing a slightly wear, nothing that I should be concerned about when playing, but I decided to do anyway due to aesthetics. 

On this process, the luthier simply destroyed my frets. He reshaped some of the frets, probably because he broke some of the biding nibs (image attached).

The thing is now when I'm playing on the reshaped frets, I cannot do vibratos, pull off or even bends without missing the fret and sliding out of the fingerboard.

 

There's no way to play the guitar this way, and I'm wondering what I should do. I'm thinking on refreting it, but afraid that this could end in a worse scenario.

I want to keep the same feel of the guitar. I know I'm going to lose the nibs and I'm already working this idea on my mind.

The thing is that is very delicate to refret and I'm considering shipping my guitar to Gibson in Nashville to do so. 

 

Do you guys have any idea on what is the original fretwire for this model and year?

I hear it is Jescar 55095. But Gibson Repair & Restoration department told me they use StewMac. Not sure if they changed the supplier recently or they always used StewMac.

 

I appreciate your help. I can tell taking my guitar for fret leveling was a huge mistake.

 

Best regards,

Marc Allen

 

 

 

 

2.jpg

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Where you located? there's some very capable luthiers out there that someone could recommend depending where you are. I'm in Northern KY in the Greater Cincinnati area. I highly recommend Jamonn Zeiler. He's done almost anything imaginable for me. 

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Take that clown to small claims court for being a sub par so called luthier and make him pay what it cost to fix it right by someone who can actually do it.

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I'm located in San Diego. It costs $600 to send to Gibson in Nashville. That's the only thing I'm considering. 

But what are those Gibson Les Paul Classic frets? 

 

Yes, I should take him to the small court, but that won't bring the frets/nibs back, unfortunately. That hurts.

Thank you!

Best regards,

Marc Allen

Edited by Marc Allen

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Mediums  maybe. I can't remember fret sizes.

Yes it won't but it might pay for the repair. 

Edited by Sgt. Pepper

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Gibson Repair & Restoration said they use StewMac #149, which is 103' wide 46' height. 

Gibson Customer Support said the factories do not release specific vendor information. But that the frets used on the Gibson Les Paul Classic 2008 were 90' wide 55' height.

Very confusing. I'm ordering samples of different sizes to compare with the original guitar. 

What a headache. 

Best regards,

Marc Allen

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I know it's no consolation, but you're only a guitar player after you've tried to fix something, made it considerably worse and spent a lot of money doing so.

On topic: the supposed luthier should compensate you. But I'm guessing he's already offered to fix it, and you don't want him to even LOOK at your guitar after he messed up the frets. Sticky situation.

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I'm considering selling it as it is for a cheaper price and move forward with another guitar than dealing with a refret. 

For what I saw and read, it is a very delicate job.  I had the chance to see some work made by different luthiers and each of them have different issues: glue on the fingerboard, sharp edges, shattered bidding, wood chips... They cannot guarantee there won't be issues also, cause you never know what will happen and you heat the fret (can melt the fingerboard finish), or when you take it off. 

How much you guys the guitar would devalue with the issue it has right now?

 

Best regards,

Marc Allen

 

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I'd say too much.

How many frets are affected? You could get a luthier to replace those frets.

If it's just a few frets, I probably wouldn't give up just yet. Sorry to hear you're having problems - it's such a PITA, especially when you realize that, oops, what the F did I do that for? But it happens to the best of us. Don't kick yourself - how were you to know he'd mess up the frets? It's not your fault. It's perfectly all right to get a fret leveling. It's the luthier's fault if he messes it up.

Hope it all works out.

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Hi Pinch,

Thanks for the words.

10 frets.

I don't know what are the frets used in this guitar. Gibson said it is .90 wide .55 high but I'm not sure. I compared to a .103'  wide fret and the originals doesn't seem narrower. 

I also heard it could be 95 wide 55 high. But the information is not clear.

 

I just ordered samples of all Jescar models to compare to the original ones.

But selling the guitar just became a real option now. Maybe it was meant to be. 

 

Best regards and thanks again.

Marc Allen

 

 

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First of all, you obviously chose a luthier with little experience. Refretting any guitar with binding is more difficult than one with an unbound fingerboard. It requires undercutting the bead or crown to remove the tang, leaving a small length of crown to lay over the binding. This trimming process is time consuming since you have to make sure the underside of the crown is perfectly flat so any remanent of the cut off tang doesn’t show on the edge where the binding and crown meet. Proper tools and experience. Any qualified luthier has done this many times. Ask to see their work or ask for past customer recommendation. 
Secondly, since you have received a sub standard repair, selling the instrument may feel like the best way out. I don’t agree. I have fixed many instrument that were mangled by poor quality repair work. The money you lose discounting the selling price due to the unplayability issues may be more than the cost of repair. A good luthier will be able to correct these mistakes and leave you with a great playing guitar, and the bad feelings you have from this experience will be history.

A footnote about small claims court: there is no legal guarantee that someone is going to be fabulous at their given trade. You have to prove an intent on their part to defraud you. “Buyer beware” is the bottom line.

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