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How hard is a re-fret?

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  • How hard is a re-fret?

    I've got an old '72 Strat that hasn't been out of the closet in years, because the frets are barely higher than the fretboard. I was thinking about trying to re-fret it. (Don't worry, it's been repainted a thousand times and is beat to hell, so isn't exactly a prize vintage guitar.)

    Anyway, I have ZERO fretting experience, but I figured I could get the Stew-Mac fretting tool kit with the Dan Erlewine fretwork book and go to town. Fret wire doesn't cost that much, so if I screw up, I can yank it all out and start over. Right? The only real hard part will be learning to effectively use the fret files. Right?

    Am I being overly naive, or can I do this?
    "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
    - C.S. Lewis

  • #2
    Re: How hard is a re-fret?

    The first time I was going to refret one of my guitars I was more nervous than a Belfast parking valet. I asked a friend if I could have one of his trashed necks (this guy thought he was Pete Townsend) and practiced on it until I felt comfortable enough to refret my Les Paul.
    ~Sid

    "If you play a Nickelback song backwards you'll hear messages from the devil. Even worse, if you play it forward you'll hear Nickelback." ~David Grohl

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    • #3
      Re: How hard is a re-fret?

      I think Texasguitar is on the money. Find something to practice on first.

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      • #4
        Re: How hard is a re-fret?

        A 72' Strat is NOT a good guitar to practice your Luthier skills on. I've
        done a few fret jobs on junkers (There's a learning curve) and special
        tools you have to buy. Even with doing a few re frets myself, And
        hav'in the tools. A 72' strat I would take to a pro. A bad fret job
        will devalue the guitar. You can't just keep yanking frets out cuz'
        you'll make a mess of the board especialy if it's rosewood.
        kmcguitars
        GuitarArtologist
        Last edited by kmcguitars; 05-06-2004, 08:08 PM.
        http://www.soundclick.com/whirlwindbluesrevue

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        • #5
          Re: How hard is a re-fret?

          Originally posted by kmcguitars
          A 72' Strat is NOT a good guitar to practice your Luthier skills on.
          Originally posted by BluesJunkie
          (Don't worry, it's been repainted a thousand times and is beat to hell, so isn't exactly a prize vintage guitar.)
          If it's an old beater that you'd never play anyway, I say go for it. Could be a valuable learning experience.
          "Time is an illusion. Lunchtime, doubly so." ~ Ford Prefect

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          • #6
            Re: How hard is a re-fret?

            You can get a great fret job done for about $175 - you'll spend that much in equipment and probably come out with a mediocre fret job, the most important part of a refret is dressing the frets out after they're in, it's an art and requires quite a bit of practice to get dialed in - but, if your into it just for the fun of learning something new go for it.

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            • #7
              Re: How hard is a re-fret?

              '72 Fender frets were put in from the side. As a result, you'll do some serious damage ripping them out. Take it to a luthier. I'm sure it's something that can be learned but a '72 just doesn't seem to be the choice for me. By the way, if it's not something that you'd play anyway, why are you even worried about a refret?
              www.enigmaduo.com

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              • #8
                Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                Originally posted by KoreanGuitarMan
                If it's an old beater that you'd never play anyway, I say go for it. Could be a valuable learning experience.
                Have you seen what a beat up 72' Strat is going for these days?? $$$$
                And ,Yes I forgot about the side fret thing.It's was a well keep secret
                There was a big artice about it in vintage guitar a few years ago.
                http://www.soundclick.com/whirlwindbluesrevue

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                • #9
                  Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                  Originally posted by Hellion
                  By the way, if it's not something that you'd play anyway, why are you even worried about a refret?
                  I haven't played it because the frets suck. I haven't bothered fixing it over the years, because I got into a lot of other guitars like Strats with floyds and humbuckers, Les Pauls, etc.

                  I've been listening to Jeff Beck a lot lately, and since the '72 is my only traditional Strat, I wanted to fix it and give it a go again. Even though it's a junker, I always liked the sound and feel of that guitar anyway.

                  I still can't decide what to do. If I try fretwork on a few junkers and then attempt the Strat myself, it will be months before it's playable, and I could possibly ruin my guitar. If I get it refretted professionally, I'll lose my sense of urgency, new GAS will take all my money, and I'll probably never get around to learning fretwork (which I was kind of getting excited about learning). I guess I'll just have to decide how long I can live without a Strat and how scared I am to attept a refret myself.

                  Anyway, thanks for all y'all's help.
                  "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
                  - C.S. Lewis

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                    Fretwork costs alot for a reason, its very difficult to do correctly.

                    I see where you are coming from, no lose in making a unplayable guitar at the moment even more unplayable. However the goal is to make it playable and by shelling out you get to jump on your jeff beck.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                      How about swaping a neck from your other strats on to the 72'??
                      Just a Idea
                      http://www.soundclick.com/whirlwindbluesrevue

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                      • #12
                        Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                        Originally posted by kmcguitars
                        How about swaping a neck from your other strats on to the 72'??
                        Just a Idea
                        Right now I only have three actual Fenders. The '72 is a three bolt and I have a four bolt. I have a three bolt paisley Strat I got for my daughter but, I don't want to steal the neck from it. It's not a whole lot better anyway. The frets on it are nearly new, but they're those tiny old Fender frets. I thought about getting a new neck, but it would cost as much or more than a refret.
                        "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
                        - C.S. Lewis

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                        • #13
                          Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                          Just pick up a Warmoth neck for about $175 and play it until you decide to sell the guitar, then just include the original neck with it. Let a future owner worry about the refret.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How hard is a re-fret?

                            JohnJohn - I sent you a PM.


                            KoreanGuitarMan - Who's the hot chick on your avatar?
                            "Of all tyrannies a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive."
                            - C.S. Lewis

                            Comment

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