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vanessa

I need infos on refretting a guitar with bindings ....

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I have seen a few videos on refretting a guitar but none of them deals with a guitar with bindings . I imagine bindings should be removed before refretting . Does it mean rebinding a must in this case ? Please comment and explain. Thanks

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Vanessa

 

I can't help you with this but if you're thinking of re-fretting your own guitar then you're a far braver man than I. If you're thinking of re-fretting one with a bound fingerboard you're the bravest man I know. Even if you are a woman. [unsure] It's at times like this that i wish musikron was still on this forum.

 

Additional: Have you thought of getting The Guitar Player Repair Guide by Dan Erlewine. There's a whole bunch of stuff in there about re-fretting (along with loads of other useful tips and techniques). Compulsory read/purchase really if you're thinking of doing anything.

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Thanks, jonnyg for the tips . I am not a brave gal at all ! But I love tinkering and messing around with tools & hardwares . From the videos I watched ( on a unbound guitar by Erlewine), refretting a guitar much easier than tuning up a car ! It's tedious work and you need right tools to work with. I consider a guitar is just a tool to create sound . Nothing is secret here ...If I can play around with a 2o,ooo $ car, who cares about a 4oo$ electric guitar ? I'll do the refretting myself just for fun ( just replacing those worn-out frets, not the whole fingerboard ). BTW, i got a few old, broken acoustic guitars lying around .I think i'll practice on these first after gathering all the necessary infos on refretting techniques of bound guitars.

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Replacing frets isnt really all that hard. The leveling and crowning is where the difficulty comes in. I suggest that you invest in some fret files. You'll need certain files for beveling the fret edges and certain files for crowning. The reason for particular files for the beveling is so that you dont tear up the edges of the fret board...other than that its a pretty simple procedure, but very labor intensive. As for the crowning, they make concave files that shape the frets properly. I think they run just under $100 for a set. A good investment if you ask me.

 

Check out Stewart MacDonald for supplies.

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Also, I should mention that on a bound guitar, yes you have to romove the binding. But you should be able to reuse the old binding so long as its not broken into a bunch of pieces. Also, a bound guitar ups the difficulty with trimming the fret edges considerably.

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Thanks, RTH for your tips & comments. Apparently, most of Epiphone electric guitars have bindings :-( ! I recognized this thorny issue right the beginning ! I know I can handle refretting the fingerboard but rebinding is an entirely different ball game . I have looked at the bindings around the fingerboards of the Epiphoene Les Paul standard . It certainly requires lots of delicate work : a tiny notch is created on the binding to fit each edge of the fret !! I wonder I can buy Epiphone original binding for replacement ? I'm on the feasibility stage and love to here all comments .

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If you want to replace a few frets on an EPI guitar, why remove the binding?

 

If you had to do all 22 frets I can see why you might want to slide the frets out one end instead of pulling them up, avoiding some inevitable damage to the board.

 

But if you only have a few to do, considering the tang ends are notched short of the fret board edge, the fret will pull straight up without damaging the binding.

 

IMO there will be more damage to the binding if you remove it (and it'll be way harder to repair)than there will be to a rosewood board (which is way easier to repair and hide)if you pull it straight up.

 

Researching the topic will turn up all sorts of tricks to avoid damage to the board, like heating the frets etc. And if it all fails and you do damage the board, you'll get some practice at marquetry - an unfinished rosewood board is pretty easy to touch-up if you are careful when you pull the frets and damage is minimal.

 

If I'm missing something I'm sure someone will chime in...

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Thanks, James . I am thinking of heating up the fret with a solder then pull it out with a right tool . I am not sure ,though, if heating may damage the binding .

 

The next issue is trimming off the fret end and file it without touching the binding .

 

I realize that for a skilled luther, replacing a few frets in-situ poses no problem . But for amateurs like myself, it's a bit risky .

 

 

BTW, I checked out my three guitars again today ( Epiphone Les Paul Standard 3 years old, Epiphone SG400 custom 5weeks old, and Peavey JF1EX 2 years old ). They all share the same worn-out pattern : premature wearing on the first fret under the B string ! I think my fingering may have something to do with it : too much and unrelenting pressure on the fret . I play rhythm using open chords 99 % of the time !

 

What is the correct way to finger the strings ? Do I press on the string continously ? Or only press the string as I strike it with the pick ? I played classical guitar before switching to electric guitar 3 years ago .

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Frets that wear out that quickly can really only be explained by soft fret wire. I did quite a few Tele necks last year with Dunlop wire and there is absolutely no sign of wear.

 

I can see Epi having trouble with fret wire, as would anyone using that much wire. Unless you purposely buy the best quality wire - which we know Epi wouldn't do as they don't charge top price and just can't.

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Thanks James for the tip ! It really bothers me to see premature wearing on my LP , especially when I rarely bend the string while playing !

 

James:

 

I found this website selling precut Dunlop fretwire .

 

http://www.guitarpartsresource.com/hardware_fretwiredunlop.htm

 

They have several types and I have no clues as for the right type for my guitars ( i.e. Epiphone Les Paul Standard & Epiphone SG400 custom ) .

 

What would be your recommendation , James ? Thanks...

 

Best regards

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If you go to the stewmac site, you will find a special fret trimmer that trims them in the shape required for bound necks.

There is no real reason to remove the binding. The frets can be removed by working them up out of the slot. Again, buy the right tool for the job.

 

My link

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If you go to the stewmac site, you will find a special fret trimmer that trims them in the shape required for bound necks.

There is no real reason to remove the binding. The frets can be removed by working them up out of the slot. Again, buy the right tool for the job.

 

My link

 

I did not know that. I suppose that makes more sense if you are just replacing a couple of frets. Good to know, Gord!

 

Vanessa, your fret wear isnt from bending. Bending gives you wide flat spots on the frets, I've got lots of those on my guitars. Your fret wear is from playing mostly in one area and most likely clamping down on the strings (accentuated by softer fret wire). Electric guitars require a softer touch. You only have to apply enough pressure to get a clear ring out of the strings. Your fingers generally dont have to make much contact with the fret board.

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Thanks , RTH. You are right on ! I need to change my fingering pressure . Techniques from acoustic guitar playing days most likely die hard . I'll try ... Wish me luck , RTH . :-)

 

Best regards,

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Another thing about string pressure is that you should make sure your guitars are set up well. If the strings are old and stiff - and the action is high, you will have to apply more pressue than typically needed to make proper contact with the frets. Its not quite so bad playing open chords because that is the lowest point of the strings to the fretboard, but it will still make a difference.

 

Yeah, old habits can die hard. But I think that once you get used to applying less pressure, you will find that you can do the same on an acoustic guitar as well...provided that your acoustic has low action and good playability. Some acoustic guitars just dont have that type of action.

 

As for holding down the strings all the time, its really a matter of playing style, I guess. If you are playing mostly arpeggiated open chords or just full-on strumming, you arent going to let go of the strings too much.

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RTH :

Your tips & advices are most appreciated ! I'll try to change my bad playing habits and see... Meanswhile, I'm planning to do the fret job myself . Thanks, RTH .

 

 

 

_I just received StewMac 2010 free catalogue . They sell uncut fretwires for less than 5$ US/2 ft. , compared to 20$ US for precut Duncan fretwires [ i.e. 24 pieces @ 2-5/8" each , equivalent to a total of 63. inches of fretwire ].

I wonder if anyone has used the fretwires from StewMac ? If you did, please comment on their quality . Thanks...

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I buy all of my supplies and some of my tools at StewMac. Great place but the shipping can be steep. I wouldn't pull binding from the neck, or anywhere unless it was damaged and needed replaced.

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Thanks, TheX . I agree : leave the bindings in place and tape them up while refretting .

 

_I check on the prices of some common tools ( i.e. fret cutter, fret puller etc..) , they are double the prices of equivalent tools found in hardware stores and shipping costs haven't even been added in yet !! Except for really specialized tools, I would not buy tools from StewMac .

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I have seen a few videos on refretting a guitar but none of them deals with a guitar with bindings . I imagine bindings should be removed before refretting . Does it mean rebinding a must in this case ? Please comment and explain. Thanks

 

Vanessa,

You might be able to get by with a fret dressing if the wear isn't too deep. Fret dressing can cut a little off the top and after crowning and polishing, you might find that the guitar actually plays better. Gibson fret wire is much higher by design than Fender wire and a Strat starts out with lower frets.

 

I'd take it into a music shop that does repairs and ask them what they think. You might not need new frets this time and can save the money and the hassle. You can learn to do a "Magic Marker" fret dressing fairly easy.

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