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Author Topic: Worn frets - advice, please?  (Read 4716 times)

MartinS

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Worn frets - advice, please?
« on: October 21, 2008, 04:38:19 PM »
Hi. I've got a 1979 Gibson 335 (with BK Mules).

I've noticed that there are some notable dents in the frets, particularly towards the nut. I'm not sure how serious this is, whether it's a problem that needs fixing, or what. I do quite a lot of vibrato, so maybe that's contributed to it. Should it be dealt with through a fret redress, perhaps? Given the bound neck, I'd imagine a re-fret would be expensive and potentially damaging.

Any ideas / advice?

Thanks.

Twinfan

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2008, 04:53:08 PM »
A fret dress will fix any immediaite issues.

In the longer term it will need a re-fret as the frets wear out, but a good luthier can do that no problem.  Even keeping the binding 'nibs' if they do it properly (time consuming).

I'd take it to a good tech and get the frets dressed/levelled/crowned  :)

WezV

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2008, 05:38:45 PM »
Even keeping the binding 'nibs' if they do it properly (time consuming).

just because gibson does it that way doesnt make it 'proper' :P   

a fret dress should sort you out unless they are really deep.. all need re-fretting eventually - just make sure you get someone who comes well recomended.  its a bit trickier because of the size of the guitar, the binding (especially if you keep the nibs), and the set neck... so it should be expensive - dont trust too cheap quotes

ToneMonkey

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2008, 05:42:41 PM »
Hey where the hell did my post go that I made before.  Either way, yeah, what they just said.

Where about's are you, maybe someone can rocemmend someone good in the local area.  Always worth going a good recommendation.
Advice worth what you just paid for it.

Elliot

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2008, 05:48:45 PM »
Jon from Feline did a masterly job of fret dressing my strat - I would recommend him to anyone in the SE of England (or further afield)
BKPS: Milks, P90s, Apaches, Mississippi Queens, Mules, PG Blues, BG FP 50s, e.60s strat custom set

mikeluke

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2008, 06:20:01 PM »
Agree - very common sight on the lower frets - especially on the G/B strings- worthwhile spending with someone who knows what they are doing - you don't want to ruin a nice guitar by giving it to a gorilla with a sharp file!!
Mules, Riff-Raff

MartinS

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2008, 07:33:55 PM »
Thanks. I'm in Birmingham. I'll try to get some photos to post to illustrate.

What kind of cost are we talking for a re-fret?

AndyR

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2008, 08:14:37 PM »
I can recommend Jonathan at Feline in Croydon as well, they've just refretted my telecaster - wonderful job.

His prices are here http://www.felineguitars.com/repairs/repairs.htm.

Doesn't look cheap when you add it up - seems quite scary if you've not even thought about it before - but I would stress what Wez said about cheap quotes, it's quite a piece of surgery to get it just nice. Ten years ago I let a friend do his first refret on a guitar of mine for cost - it plays, but fret ends are a little inconsistent, he damaged the board a bit here and there. I knew what he was doing and I'm happy with the choice I made at the time... but it's your baby and you're going to have to live with it afterwards.

Are you getting buzzing on the worn frets? If it's not severe, and they've never been dressed before, then you might have a few dresses in it yet. My tele was easily dressable, but as I've had it new only 7 months, it was obvious I was wearing into the soft frets quite quickly, so I reasoned that I could easily spend the price of a refret (with quality, harder wearing wire) on fret dresses over a year or two!!

If you find a decent luthier like Jonathan, he'll be upfront over what's involved, hidden costs etc (eg you'll probably need a new nut on a refret) he'll look yours over, advise you on your options, etc. Hopefully you can get to see and feel some examples of their work as well.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 08:17:17 PM by AndyR »
Play or Download AndyR Music at http://www.alonetone.com/andyr

MartinS

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2008, 09:04:21 PM »
OK, I guess this is about the worst. (I found it difficult to get decent shots.) I'm not sure it looks like much. Various frets are worn in various players along the length of the neck. What do you lot think?


MartinS

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2008, 09:14:15 PM »
Anyway, here's a picture of the whole thing...



FELINEGUITARS

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2008, 10:49:59 PM »
Looks like it needs a careful fret dress.
Next time after that you'll want to consider a refret


This guy seems good  - not too far from Brum if you drive
http://www.leicestershire-luthier.co.uk/
« Last Edit: October 21, 2008, 10:52:43 PM by FELINEGUITARS »
www.felineguitars.com - repairs & custom built
Great fretwork!
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Jonny

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2008, 10:58:39 PM »
Hmmm. Natural goodness.
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ToneMonkey

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2008, 11:17:27 PM »

This guy seems good  - not too far from Brum if you drive
http://www.leicestershire-luthier.co.uk/

And close enough to me to come round and buy me a pint  :D
Advice worth what you just paid for it.

MartinS

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #13 on: October 22, 2008, 07:39:34 AM »
Looks like it needs a careful fret dress.
Next time after that you'll want to consider a refret


This guy seems good  - not too far from Brum if you drive
http://www.leicestershire-luthier.co.uk/

Thanks - probably less than an hour from me. I've sent an email.

tomjackson

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Re: Worn frets - advice, please?
« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2008, 02:03:46 PM »
I did my own recently on my strat using a nail file, some fine sandpaper, masking tape and some metal pollish.
It took a while but I must say, I did a great job.  The frets are now better than when they were now, they are a smooth as mirrors and not a 'Jumbo' as before.  The guitar is set up great and it intonates well.