Would I be able to re-fret my guitar?

conanb

Member
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1,057
I have zero experience of doing this kind of thing. Is it hard? It's an Epi LP so it's worth about $300. I really can't see me spending half the value of the guitar on a refret (I don't have the money anyway :( )
 

conanb

Member
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1,057
Btw, the reason I need to refret is there's a large dent in most of the frets at the exact point where the high e string sits when the guitar was in storage for a couple of years. Cut right in there. Don't know how it happened, it was in it's proper case. Hmm....
 

Brian N

Member
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1,730
It's not impossible if you're really handy I guess, but you're more likely to screw it up without proper training. On top of that, you'll need specialized tools which will cost you more than the cost of having a pro do it.
 

JBid

Member
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1,440
Well, that would be the guitar to learn on, I suppose. Get a good book on guitar repair. Chances are that a level, crown and polish will be sufficient.
This video gives you some idea of that process.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uflkxIgPr1c
A complete refret is a more involved deal and I would probably say to go to a tech and ask if you can watch him do it before you attempt it yourself.
And the tools ain't cheap.
Good luck.
 

Fatboy666

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,634
this /\

at the very least you will need fret wire and something to level the fingerboard and subsequently the frets, and something to dress the frets ie round them back again, and then polish them

and that's after you successfully remove the old frets and install the new ones

if it seems like something you might do multiple times, it might be worth it - maybe even look for a junker guitar on Craigslist or garage sales to practice on first. There's a bit of a learning curve so you're better off learning on something you don't care about
 

conanb

Member
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1,057
Thanks. I guess I should really bring it to someone. I just can't really justify the outlay if it's gonna be around the $100-$150 mark. I could maybe justify $50 but anything over that and it's kind of throwing good money after bad. Such a PITA that it's got this issue. Really deep groove in quite a lot of the frets at that one point. Don't suppose there's any kind of cheap fix? Like a filler of some kind?
 

conanb

Member
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1,057
It's my first electric so I don't want to junk it. I'd like to be able to play it, at least. I've got a nice couple of guitars for live and recording.
 

dewey decibel

Member
Messages
10,589
I have zero experience of doing this kind of thing. Is it hard? It's an Epi LP so it's worth about $300. I really can't see me spending half the value of the guitar on a refret (I don't have the money anyway :( )

You're gonna DIY? It's gonna cost you that much just to get the proper tools. There's more to it than just replacing the frets- after you'll need to level, crown and polish, which leads me to my next point- if there's just a little dent you maybe to get away with just a level and crown (much cheaper than a refret). Take it to somebody who knows what they're doing and get an estimate....
 

Brian N

Member
Messages
1,730
Thanks. I guess I should really bring it to someone. I just can't really justify the outlay if it's gonna be around the $100-$150 mark. I could maybe justify $50 but anything over that and it's kind of throwing good money after bad. Such a PITA that it's got this issue. Really deep groove in quite a lot of the frets at that one point. Don't suppose there's any kind of cheap fix? Like a filler of some kind?
A refret would be more in the $300 range. The other option is to get them leveled, which would bring all the frets down to the level of the deepest groove. It sounds like at this point, though, the grooves are too deep to do that and have much fret left. The level would cost you around 150 anyway.

You're kind of out of luck, sorry.
 

moosewayne

Silver Supporting Member
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5,962
I highly doubt learning how to remove, install, level and crown would qualify as 'a waste of time and effort'.
This being your first instrument and having sentimental value, take it in and have it done.
But if this is something that interests you I would recommend investing is some proper tools, a good Dan Erlewine book and pounce on $75-$100 craigslist canoe paddles to practice on.

Unless you have some innate, untapped skill and the patience of a Saint you probably would screw your Epi up and I'd hate to see that happen.
Fretwork is more than a little tedious. But all these things--wiring, fretwork, setups etc.--are skills that you can learn to do.
Like every job, the right tools are paramount.

Give it a try! Just not on your only guitar.
 

RayBarbeeMusic

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,912
He didn't ask if he could learn it. He asked if he could do it.

No.

No more than he could successfully remove his own appendix.
 

Rayzaa

Member
Messages
1,542
Thanks. I guess I should really bring it to someone. I just can't really justify the outlay if it's gonna be around the $100-$150 mark. I could maybe justify $50 but anything over that and it's kind of throwing good money after bad. Such a PITA that it's got this issue. Really deep groove in quite a lot of the frets at that one point. Don't suppose there's any kind of cheap fix? Like a filler of some kind?
Where are you finding a refret that cheap? Hec if i could get one done for $100 id jump on one of the classic series 50's Fenders that have vintage frets and put bigger frets on it right away. Wouldnt be worth it to me though for the $300 i expect it to cost.
 

DustyRhodesJr

Member
Messages
11,921
Don't suppose there's any kind of cheap fix? Like a filler of some kind?

There is, but you will probably get a lot of folks saying it doesnt work.

I have done it a few times, and it does.

Get some nickel solder (has to be nickel) and very lightly use it and a soldering iron to "fill"
the grooves. Then buff and smooth any excess with 600 or 800 grit wet/dry paper.

You may want to practice first because you do not want to overfill the grooves. You want it
as close to level as you can get it so you will only have to sand minimally.

I have done it 5-6 times and it has worked flawlessly for me, but like anything, it gets easier
the more you do it.

Here is a video from a guitar shop who uses it


 

CubanB

Member
Messages
2,148
I'll most likely be doing this in the next few months. I already learned how to work on amps, tube changing, circuit mods, woodworking, tolexing etc last year. Earlier this year I learned guitar wiring, and how to solder pickups, switches etc. The next step is fretwork.

I'm expecting the tools to be expensive but to pay off in the long run. I always wear out frets and it's a very expensive thing, but very cheap if you already have the tools, the time and the ability to do it yourself.

If it's your only guitar.. it's probably too early or too much work. But if you get a couple more in the future, and you know that you'll be always playing.. it could be a good thing to look into at some point later on. There's PLENTY of online resources for this and other guitar related stuff these days. Where there is a will, there is a way.
 

thiscalltoarms

more gadgets than Batman.
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,976
Expect to pay 100-250 in tools depending on the binding and what you have already. Expect it to take 3-5 guitars to become passable at it. Around 15 refrets to become highly competent.

That was what I saw from a buddy that is a great tech. Honestly he's probably done 40+ refrets now and I wouldn't consider using him. I'd much rather pay more to have someone with 100s of instruments under his belt. A bad refret can ruin a guitar nearly forever.
 

agiehler

Member
Messages
529
You'll need something to pull the old frets, trim tangs on the new ones, hammer the new ones in, cut/file the excess wire and then level and crown the tops. Technically if you have a dremel, some basic tools and the ability to make some of your own custom tools, you'll only need to buy a crowning file for the final leveling.

Will it come out perfect? Highly unlikely, but if you're pretty handy and generally able to fix/work on random things you should be able to get a decent playing guitar. It's not rocket science, watch some youtube videos and see if it's something you think you'd be able to handle. It all depends on the competence of the individual doing the job, as with anything really.
 




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