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DIY Guitar fret replacement?

Scrump 12 Sep 06 - 07:41 AM
Leadfingers 12 Sep 06 - 08:14 AM
Grab 12 Sep 06 - 08:32 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 12 Sep 06 - 08:34 AM
mandotim 12 Sep 06 - 05:18 PM
GUEST 12 Sep 06 - 05:28 PM
Shiplap Structure3 12 Sep 06 - 05:41 PM
Doug Chadwick 12 Sep 06 - 06:46 PM
Scrump 12 Sep 06 - 07:13 PM
Murray MacLeod 12 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM
Big Mick 13 Sep 06 - 07:20 AM
Richard Bridge 13 Sep 06 - 07:58 AM
GUEST,DonMeixner 13 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM
Mooh 13 Sep 06 - 12:32 PM
Mudjack 13 Sep 06 - 10:44 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 13 Sep 06 - 11:29 PM
Thomas the Rhymer 13 Sep 06 - 11:34 PM
GUEST,Jon W. 14 Sep 06 - 04:55 PM
Mooh 14 Sep 06 - 06:50 PM
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Subject: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:41 AM

I noticed my "workhorse" guitar has some fret wear and I guess eventually the frets will need replacing (at least, the ones that get most wear, nearest the nut). Should I consider replacing them myself, or is this soemthing best left to a luthier? Just wondered if anyone's tried it and if anyone has any tips. If I do get it done professionally, what should I look out for? Any advice welcome.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Leadfingers
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:14 AM

I asked a Luthier of my acquaintance this question about my Hand Built Mandolin ! He said It would be safer to do it first time on an instrument that wasnt too expensive , and recommended a professional job ! Apparently , its relatively straightforward but make sure you have the right guage of FretWire !
Good Luck


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Grab
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:32 AM

A job I need to do myself on my old guitar, when I get round to it. Frets.com has lots of good stuff about fret replacement and the various resulting worms that may need re-canning.

Graham.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 08:34 AM

I've done this myself. I'm pretty good at it. It is not a DIY project in my estimation without considerable help from a pro.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: mandotim
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 05:18 PM

The principle is simple, but the execution is a lot easier if you have the proper tools; a luthier would probably use;
-A neck caul, to support the neck whilst hammering new frets in (or an attachment for a drill press to squeeze them in)
-fine pincers, to get the old frets out
-A good straight edge
-Fret levelling file
-Tang nippers (removes a bit of the end of the tang so the fret goes in without spoiling the edge of the fretboard)
-Fret end bevelling file (a fixed-angle file)
-Crowning file (rounds off the frets after you've levelled them, plus a fretboard protector
-De-burring file
-jewellers rouge for polishing

Mind you, if you've bought that lot from StewMac, you could have saved some time and money and taken it to a luthier....
Tim


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: GUEST
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 05:28 PM

Get it done by a pro. It is not a job for amateurs.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Shiplap Structure3
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 05:41 PM

You'll probably find that if you take a workhorse guitar to a luthier you'll pay the value of the guitar for the repairs thats if they will consider doing it They would much rather work on some high value guitar as the owner is less likely to get cold feet over the charges and not bother to collect the instrument.
You do need tools for the job,Mandotim makes a good point.
Do have a look at frets.com and also past threads on the Acoustic Guitar (magazine) luthery forum.Doing the work yourself may be the only option


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Doug Chadwick
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 06:46 PM

When I was young and foolish, I replaced a couple of frets myself because nobody told me that I couldn't. Perhaps it was more by good luck than good management, but everything seemed to go OK without the help of a professional.

DC


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Scrump
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:13 PM

Thanks for all the replies - I'm beginning to think I would be better off buying a new guitar. Although the guitar is good, and has served me well, I got it cheaply years ago and I've had my money's worth. I'm pretty certain a setup and fret job would cost a lot more than its value.

To be honest, the guitar is good for what I paid for it and I love the sound, but I'm thinking of getting a new one anyway, and maybe this is the incentive I need to start looking properly. Once I hava a better one I won't be so bothered about risking this one, and maybe I'll have a go at it myself.

Next I might have to start a thread asking for guitar recommendations - but I'd better check the archives first...


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Murray MacLeod
Date: 12 Sep 06 - 07:50 PM

mandotim omits to mention that you also need a soldering iron to heat the old frets prior to removal, this is the most important step of all, since it will minimize tear out of the wood at the edge of the fret slots when you remove the old frets.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Big Mick
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 07:20 AM

Don't be so quick to get a new one. Have a luthier give you a quote. Decent guitars age well. Their sound comes with age, especially if they are played a lot. They sound better the longer you have them, keep them humidified, etc. If you like the sound, then the price of the neckset and frets is well worth the money. I once had a little Seagull s6 that I paid a little over $200 US for years ago. Had a cedar top. This was just one of those guitars. It had a wonderful sound that warmed more over the years. If United Airlines hadn't destroyed that little honey, no amount of money would have been too much to keep her right.

Mick


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Richard Bridge
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 07:58 AM

Getting a quote is sensible.

If the guitar is scrap without a refret or partial refret, what do you have to lose by giving it a go?


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: GUEST,DonMeixner
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 08:02 AM

I agree with Mick. What is your "Workhorse"? Some people view an old Gibson nothin' special LG-2 as a workhorse others may see a Yamaha FG-180 as one. Don't be quick to replace it.

Also a Workhorse isn't a Beater. My Workhorse is the go to guy in my arsenal when I want to be sure the job will get done. My beater is the guitar that I don't worry about if it rains a bit at the camp fire.

Don


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Mooh
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 12:32 PM

I agree with those above who suggest to keep it, and fix it. I'll add that it doesn't necessarily take a luthier to refret your guitar, even if you don't attempt it yourself. I'm no luthier, but I have done lots of successful fret and other repairs. Some luthiers would rather build than repair and send such work elsewhere anyway. Others will do it but you'll pay dearly. A few will do the work at reasonable cost. Shop around.

For what it's worth, you should consider a dressing before replacement.

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Mudjack
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 10:44 PM

All seem to have you headed in the right direction. What I did not see as a requirement is the fret material you are going to use for a partial fret replacement job. matching your old frets will be the toughest and usually why repairmen prefer to refret the entire neck.
I like the idea of DIY since you have nothing to lose.
Mudjack


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:29 PM

Be careful! If you don't replace all the frets between the 'nut' and the replacement furthest from the 'nut'... you can create problems worse than you have now. New frets are quite a bit taller than the worn originals... and consequentially... will be compromised by having their view of the 'bridge' partially or totally obstructed. Serious 'buzzing' or inoperativeness will ensue at the original fret.

By the way... make some calls. If you in fact only need to replace the last six or so... as is the case for most players... it won't be all that expensive. And... since you have been playing that guitar for some years now... new frets properly installed will likely make your guitar better than new.
ttr


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Thomas the Rhymer
Date: 13 Sep 06 - 11:34 PM

Sorry...

Should read:

" New frets are quite a bit taller than the worn originals... and consequentially... the *original frets left behind the new ones* will be compromised by having their view of the 'bridge' partially or totally obstructed."


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: GUEST,Jon W.
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 04:55 PM

I've never done a "re-fret" but I've done several fret jobs on new instruments I've built. One thing I will say is that you don't really need a lot of fancy files. One good flat file, 8 or 10 inches, for leveling the frets, and then a small file with ground off edges (can be flat or triangle) for crowning/dressing the frets. I also second the advice to replace all the frets at once, unless you can closely match the original fret wire.


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Subject: RE: DIY Guitar fret replacement?
From: Mooh
Date: 14 Sep 06 - 06:50 PM

Oh, I don't know, dressing new frets to match the height of existing ones, assuming your frets of choice are close in dimension isn't as much work or as costly as a full fret job, imho. I like new frets, but I don't see the point in replacing ones which aren't worn...less wear and tear on the fingerboard too.

Stew-Mac (www.stewmac.com) has lots of fret sizes as do some other suppliers.

Fwiw, I used to hammer in my frets but lately I squeeze or press them in using a home made arbour mounted in my drill press (not turned on).

Peace, Mooh.


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