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

atquinn

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,748
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.

Hamer has the nibs on their binding as well. I think it looks cool, feels nice, and doesn't affect playability adversely. However, if I ever need to get a refret on my Hamers with binding, there's no way I'm keeping the nibs (not worth the cost to me).

-Austin
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Messages
14,878
Here are some pics of a Heritage H-535 I recently had re-fretted by Micahel Tuttle of www.bestfrets.com

Frets1.jpg

Notice Michael's trademark rounded fret ends. The rest of the fret job receives the same attention to detail.

Frets2.jpg

Notice the frets run over the binding to the edge of the fingerboard and are rolled back from there. I prefer this as it gives you a tad more fretting suface on the edges of the fingerboard. I never liked or understood Gibsons fret nibs - good riddance imho.

Frets3.jpg

Thats a tad over 3/64" at the 12th fret. Michael is the man when it comes to frets!
 

ratkent

Member
Messages
317
I've got a LP Custom that has been refretted twice and I don't even remember what it played like with those nibs. When I found an SG I had to have in 2005 I couldn't wait to get those nibs cut off. I have my guy use as much fret as he can.
 

bbarnard

Member
Messages
3,631
I noticed that in the first second of viewing that photograph. Stunning. Craftsmanship like that is very admirable. That dude must be a perfectionist...wow.

I believe he used to or still does work for Don Grosh because all of the Grosh guitars I've ever had are like that.
 

dwes

Member
Messages
1,218
Phil Jacoby is refretting my '70 Deluxe. My intention was to keep the nibs in order to have the guirar "look" original. However, Phil said that based upon wear, aging, board twisting, etc... in order to do the job properly that the nibs had to go. I'm 100% cool with it as the guitar is a player piece. Plus, I'd rather get it back in as new or better than new playing form - and Phil will get me there.
Dave
 

javahut

Member
Messages
381
Here are some pics of a Heritage H-535 I recently had re-fretted by Micahel Tuttle of www.bestfrets.com
Frets3.jpg

Thats a tad over 3/64" at the 12th fret. Michael is the man when it comes to frets!
Hey, man... where'd you get that ruler? That looks like a really good one. I've looked and looked and had a hard time finding a new one with those particular measurements on it.
 

Trebor Renkluaf

I was hit by a parked car, what's your excuse?
Messages
14,878

The Pup

No Complexity Without Value
Messages
3,646
I've been doing refrets since the late '60s and I admire his work.

Very pretty.
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,994
When did Gibson start using the "nibs" I've seen old guitars that most likely were not refretted sans nibs.
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
I don't know the answer to that one mc5nrg. I thought that they always had them like that with bindings.

I'll tell you one thing though...the sloppiness of the binding work is what made my decision to buy a Studio instead of one of the fancy ones. I love Gibson, I think the Les Paul is the pinnacle in electric guitar design but there was not one Gibson in the store that day that didn't have sloppy binding work IN MY OPINION. I could see file marks everywhere and it just looked generally untidy & rough. It has been the same with every subsequent time I have checked out Gibsons with bindings. I couldn't justify the price for an instrument like that, which in my opinion needed work which should have been done prior to, or during, factory set-up.

Now, I have an LTD that has the binding everywhere and it is so nice...and no nibs of course.
 

rick31797

Member
Messages
341
I would like to see the process of Gibson Taking off the excess Binding after its been applied> I womder what they use.. ( over head router?? Maybe somebody might know the process of this>

These are the things that cost money, All these extras steps. adds to the price >.
The easy way>>>>>> is to apply the binding and then the fretts.
But Gibson decides to do it the opposite way. They whole Gibson design is Techinical... Not the straight forward design that Fender chooses.

Rick
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
I would like to see the process of Gibson Taking off the excess Binding after its been applied> I womder what they use.. ( over head router?? Maybe somebody might know the process of this>
Someone who went on a Gibson tour told me that there was a lady there using a scraper doing something to the neck and it was during a discussion about bindings. It seems to me that it was a piece of glass...maybe...

It would be interesting to see that process!!
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
I have. They are interesting in my opinion...but I don't recall seeing that part of the process in the tour vids that I've seen.
 

smorgdonkey

Member
Messages
688
That's probably it!! This photo shows a dude performing a process which puts me in mind of the marks I've seen on the bindings too...
pt51.jpg
 

PeeWee

Member
Messages
114
Phil Jacoby is refretting my '70 Deluxe. My intention was to keep the nibs in order to have the guirar "look" original. However, Phil said that based upon wear, aging, board twisting, etc... in order to do the job properly that the nibs had to go. I'm 100% cool with it as the guitar is a player piece. Plus, I'd rather get it back in as new or better than new playing form - and Phil will get me there.
Dave

+1 on Philtone; Phil Jacoby is hands down the best tech I've ever found in the DC/Balto region. He's performed a variety of jobs for me over a 3 year period and I've never been unhappy with his craftsmanship or quality of work. He's the only guy I'll let touch my stuff anymore and it takes me 90 minutes to get to his place from where I live - well worth the drive for me.

The refret he did on my '01 R6 is flawless and no nibs! :AOK
 

playon

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,926
I wouldn't miss the nibs for a second, and I don't think that is what makes guitars play great. For one thing, there are a ton of people out there that can refret a Gibson so that it plays better than it did when new. On a lot of new Gibsons, the fingerboards aren't even straight... and I'm talking about $3000+ custom shop guitars.
 




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