What will a refret do to the binding of my Les Paul?

phoenix 7

Member
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25,746
Does it depend on the skill of the tech? I need a refret (having intonation problems due to lots of fret wear), and am a little anxious about it. Wondering if I can trust the local shop (which is generally pretty good).
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
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38,019
if done properly, nothing. it will overhang the binding and be flush with the edge.

 

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Silver Supporting Member
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3,642
I just did a refret not long ago on a '60s Super 400 where I kept the binding nibs...what a tortuous job!

There is no utility value for saving those nibs!
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
if done properly, nothing. it will overhang the binding and be flush with the edge.

If it is a Gibson...they don't do it like in the above picture. They have the binding match the relief of the fret. I think it is ridiculous but that's the way they do it.
 

trisonic

Member
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13,156
If it is a Gibson...they don't do it like in the above picture. They have the binding match the relief of the fret. I think it is ridiculous but that's the way they do it.
Not sure what you mean?

My Les Paul was recently refretted and it looks a lot like Walter's photo - it's actually more playable than it was. Suppose it depends on who does it, maybe.
Best, Pete.
 
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3,131
Forgive The Fuzziness This is the fret drssing on a triple bound GibsonSuper 400 neck still factory fresh.



EnJoY ThE MuSiC
Groovey Records
Listening to The Plastic Ono Band
 

devinb

Member
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2,031
Does it depend on the skill of the tech? I need a refret (having intonation problems due to lots of fret wear), and am a little anxious about it. Wondering if I can trust the local shop (which is generally pretty good).
I spent a little time in Columbus, what local shop do you use?
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
Not sure what you mean?

My Les Paul was recently refretted and it looks a lot like Walter's photo - it's actually more playable than it was. Suppose it depends on who does it, maybe.
Best, Pete.
Ok...I'm not sure if Gibson does this on 100% of their guitars (judging by Groovey Records' pic they don't) but this is the typical Gibson binding with the binding matching the fret relief:
 

David Collins

Member
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2,246
Have the nibs leveled off and refretted in a more sensible overhang style. They were never a good idea, and are not worth saving.
 

Mr.Hanky

Member
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3,999
Some techs can save and replace the nibs, personally I do not miss them but some guys are very particular about that.

It will also cost you more $$ cause saving/replacing the nibs is a pain in the bawls.
 

trisonic

Member
Messages
13,156
Ok...I'm not sure if Gibson does this on 100% of their guitars (judging by Groovey Records' pic they don't) but this is the typical Gibson binding with the binding matching the fret relief:
You want to keep the "nibs"? Not worth it in my view (it will cost you big bucks) get the overhang - they don't cut through the binding (except the "nibs" go away) but sit on top. You get an extended playing area.

Best, Pete.
 

BluesForDan

Silver Supporting Member
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8,308
first of all, you have to find somebody who can actually do the job and preserve the binding nibs. Then you have to be prepared to pay up to 3x the cost of a normal refret (no nibs) and be aware you have no right to bitch about the price. It IS a major PITA, and some guys flat out refuse to do it.

I had a '03 brz R8 that some previous owner refretted, no nibs. It wasn't even an issue for me, but boy, when it came time to sell, what a ****ing hassle. fortunately i found a like-minded buyer but i tell you, so many people care about stuff that means absolutely nothing to the tone or playability of a guitar.

Did you wear the frets out? Bought the guitar that way? Are you sure it really needs a refret? Post some pics of the frets if you can. If you wore the frets out, sounds like you'll be playing it for some time to come, refret it and screw the nibs.
 

guitarfish

Silver Supporting Member
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4,056
I never understoof the purpose of the nibs...it seems like they'd be susceptible to breaking off anyway. The fret overhanging the binding seems much better to me.
 

skeeterbuck

Member
Messages
1,666
I never understoof the purpose of the nibs...it seems like they'd be susceptible to breaking off anyway. The fret overhanging the binding seems much better to me.

The reason the nibs are there is because of Gibson's production process.

They fret the fingerboard BEFORE they apply the binding. Then they remove the excess binding material, which leaves the nibs at the ends of the frets. These act as a transitional area smoothing the frets into the binding.

Everyone else installes the frets AFTER the binding is applied. The ends of the frets are then dressed providing the transitional area. This is also the way 99% of the re-frets are also done which caused the nibs to go bye-bye.

I think the reason some like to retain the nibs, is because it retains more of the originally of the guitar. Might be a consideration on a highly collectable Gibson.

Hope this explains it.
 

phoenix 7

Member
Messages
25,746
Thanks very much, everyone, for the good thoughts and photos. Much appreciated.

I spent a little time in Columbus, what local shop do you use?
I go to Phil at 5th Ave. Fret Shop these days. They've done pretty good work for me so far. (I use to go to Tom Davis until he wrecked one of my acoustic pickups during an install and was a complete jerk about it.)

Any thoughts about 5th Ave. Fret Shop?
 

digthosetubes

Senior Member
Messages
1,659
Darn fussy binding. What good is it? Less wood area and more plastic area. I guess it's pretty cool looking, though, even if it's extra production steps and extra maintenance steps for something that does nothing for the tone.
 




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