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Refret job


Mr. E

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I want to refret a guitar cause the frets there suck. the guitar is a junior special, i mod it and it sounds nice, but the fret make the strings buzz, they are uneven and have string marks. i want to know if anybody can help me. i want to refret it, but dont have any idea how. the videos in youtube dont help at all.

 

can someone post a video or tell me where to go to learn how to do this?

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You do not need a re-fret.

 

What you need is a fret level.

 

A fret level will remove the gouged areas and take out any unevenness at the same time.

 

$75 or so, max, to have it done by a pro. Not a recommended job for a beginner but if you are feeling stubborn about it, start by buying a flat bastard file and grinding the handle off.

 

Then do a search on levelling frets... I am sure there are articles on the web that describe the process.

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You do not need a re-fret.

 

What you need is a fret level.

 

$75 or so' date=' max, to have it done by a pro. Not a recommended job for a beginner but if you are feeling stubborn about it, start by buying a flat bastard file and grinding the handle off.[/quote']

i thought about that, but after checking, i must say i do need a refret job, the fret in the fifth is higher than the one is the thrid which makes it buzz. the frets are totally off.

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No way they are that far off. A level will fix it.

 

However if you want to blow $250 re-fretting a $200 guitar' date=' go ahead.[/quote']

thats the thing, i dont want spend to much money and i think i should do it.

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Yeah but chances are you will end up worse than you started and you will have wasted our time and materials plus bought a bunch of tools for no reason. You do not learn how to do a re-fret by watching youtube, and the fact that you even think you can makes me think you are in over your head.

 

Start by learning to do a fret level. I'm betting it'll do the trick plus it's a skill that is easier to learn. Also there's less chance of ruining your neck. Also, if you can't do a decent fret levelling job there is no way in heck you should even be considering doing your own refret. That's like a guy who can't even change a tire wanting to do his own brake job.

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Yeah but chances are you will end up worse than you started and you will have wasted our time and materials plus bought a bunch of tools for no reason. You do not learn how to do a re-fret by watching youtube' date=' and the fact that you even think you can makes me think you are in over your head.

 

Start by learning to do a fret level. I'm betting it'll do the trick plus it's a skill that is easier to learn. Also there's less chance of ruining your neck. Also, if you can't do a decent fret levelling job there is no way in heck you should even be considering doing your own refret. That's like a guy who can't even change a tire wanting to do his own brake job.[/quote']

 

what exactly do i need to do this job?

and what should i do?

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Here you go; I found tis on the net:

 

"Fret leveling is performed for several reasons:

 

To level newly installed frets; to correct inconsistent fret height on an instrument; to remove shallow grooves worn into the frets by string contact; to correct worn or improperly crowned frets; or to lower the frets overall height and change the feel of the frets. Fret wire that is say .050 high often feels like a train track. The feel of some new instruments can be improved by fret leveling to lower very tall fret wire.

 

How is it done? To put it very simply...when performing a fret leveling on a guitar, bass, mandolin or other fretted instrument the frets are filed as a whole, after removing the strings and adjusting the truss rod as necessary to remove any curvature in the neck (check with a good straightedge across the fret tops), using a perfectly flat file (stone, bar etc.) which gives the frets a consistent height. Attempting to file frets individually will leave you with a roller coaster and no way to gauge your progress. Any loose or sprung frets must be corrected first. Once the tops of the frets are on a level plane with one another the crown is shaped.

 

Fret crowning is necessary not only to round the fret over for comfortable playing but also to insure the position at which the string contacts the fret is dead center. Crowning a fret simply refers to putting the smooth, rounded surface back on the top of the fret. This insures that the string contacts the frets center when fretted. The scratches created by filing and crowning are then sanded and polished out. A simple fret polishing can have a profound effect on how the strings feel when bending.

 

How low can ya go when leveling frets ?? Fret height is of course a big factor when considering fret leveling and there is a limit to how short a fret can be and still do it's job. Very short frets (say under .025 tall) can create a buzzing problem for some players, especially when the fret crown width is small. The strings need to break down and over the fret to sound clear and a very low fret often dictates the use of more pressure to obtain a clear note.

 

Grooves worn in the tops of frets by string wear can be removed by leveling."

 

Don't be afraid to use Google to find more info on the subject.

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Here you go; I found tis on the net:

 

"Fret leveling is performed for several reasons:

 

To level newly installed frets; to correct inconsistent fret height on an instrument; to remove shallow grooves worn into the frets by string contact; to correct worn or improperly crowned frets; or to lower the frets overall height and change the feel of the frets. Fret wire that is say .050 high often feels like a train track. The feel of some new instruments can be improved by fret leveling to lower very tall fret wire.

 

How is it done? To put it very simply...when performing a fret leveling on a guitar' date=' bass, mandolin or other fretted instrument the frets are filed as a whole, after removing the strings and adjusting the truss rod as necessary to remove any curvature in the neck (check with a good straightedge across the fret tops), using a perfectly flat file (stone, bar etc.) which gives the frets a consistent height. Attempting to file frets individually will leave you with a roller coaster and no way to gauge your progress. Any loose or sprung frets must be corrected first. Once the tops of the frets are on a level plane with one another the crown is shaped.

 

Fret crowning is necessary not only to round the fret over for comfortable playing but also to insure the position at which the string contacts the fret is dead center. Crowning a fret simply refers to putting the smooth, rounded surface back on the top of the fret. This insures that the string contacts the frets center when fretted. The scratches created by filing and crowning are then sanded and polished out. A simple fret polishing can have a profound effect on how the strings feel when bending.

 

How low can ya go when leveling frets ?? Fret height is of course a big factor when considering fret leveling and there is a limit to how short a fret can be and still do it's job. Very short frets (say under .025 tall) can create a buzzing problem for some players, especially when the fret crown width is small. The strings need to break down and over the fret to sound clear and a very low fret often dictates the use of more pressure to obtain a clear note.

 

Grooves worn in the tops of frets by string wear can be removed by leveling."

 

Don't be afraid to use Google to find more info on the subject.[/quote']

Thnx

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Go to Frets.com for tutorials for leveling and replacing frets. The guy knows his stuff

and isn't afraid to help others learn.... apparently there's more work out there than

he can keep up with... or so he says.

 

Personally, I think they get an insane amount of money for refretting guitars. Maybe

there's a career in it for you.

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Go to Frets.com for tutorials for leveling and replacing frets. The guy knows his stuff

and isn't afraid to help others learn.... apparently there's more work out there than

he can keep up with... or so he says.

 

Personally' date=' I think they get an insane amount of money for refretting guitars. Maybe

there's a career in it for you.[/quote']

 

Thats exactly where I went. He makes it look easy. However, about half way through I started feeling in over my head. It took me all weekend, but I finished it and its a better guitar for it. I chewed up the edges of the fretboard pretty darn good though. I thought the same thing about the cost...until I did it myself. Now I understand the cost behind it. Although, $75 for a level/crown/polish seemes a bit much.

 

But I must say - I DO NOT recommend anyone try this without some prior experience. I got lucky. Very lucky. A luthier would look at my handiwork and laugh at me.

 

P.S. Get some super glue...yer gonna need it.

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thats the thing' date=' i dont want spend to much money and i think i should do it.[/quote']

 

Listen to Rotcanx, Mr. E. Refretting is a bigger job than you think. First of all, you

need a caul to press them in and maybe a fretting hammer. I've done one on a new

fingerboard and it turned out to be a lot of work..more than I thought it would

be and I ordered some tools from Stew-Mac. Fretting hammer...don't try banging

them in unless you curve the frets first. Caul..better, but you need to bend

the frets to the radius of the fingerboard first...ok forget the expensive fretbender,

you can do it manually, but you still need to either press them in or glue them in.

Cauls are around $40. Fret hammer $20, Fret setter..$18...then you need

a good file or a radius fret sander block $16,a good steel straight edge.

then a fret dressing file..a few dollars more.. get it wrong and you've

got a bunch of speed bumps which can catch your fingers on the edge

of the fingerboard.

 

If it's just a case of a high fret, you can try and bang it in with a fret set

tool, but you have to be careful there..lean on the hammer too much and

you've got a problem.

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  • 2 months later...

Mr. E

As Rotcanx said, you have to do a fret dressing after installing new frets anyway and it's easier to dress the frets you already have. You will cut enough off the tops to expose a new surface that is essentially a new set of frets. There's no reason to install new ones unless they are worn again after several dressings have been done or you just want frets with a different height or width profile.

 

See my thread "Goldie gets a fret dressing" for pictures of my home fret dressing. I got my action down to around 4/64" on the low E and 3/64" on the high E side with no buzz.

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i thought about that' date=' but after checking, i must say i do need a refret job, the fret in the fifth is higher than the one is the thrid which makes it buzz. the frets are totally off.[/quote']

 

Perhaps it's one fret that has "popped"out for some reason. Stew-Mac do make

a brass tool, (looks like a cold chisel at the end and has a groove that fits over

the fret crown), where you can position it over the offending fret and tap the

other end of the tool with a mallet or fret hammer(preferred). If you are gentle

with the tool and reset it, it may solve the major problem you have with one

high fret, but like Rotcanx mention, it might still need a fret levelling/dressing

and a neck adjustment.

I presume that you have sighted down the neck and don't see any abnormalities

in the trueness of the neck?

 

The tool comes in a couple of sizes #1662 for jumbo frets , and #1665

for medium frets. ($18.00) Fret hammer (brass on one face, plastic on the other face)

is #4895 for about $20, but you can get by with any small faced light tack hammer

if this is the way you want to go.

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