View Full Version : Worn fret removal
This question has probably been answered Many times and I just haven't found it.
I have a Mid-Mo which will soon need some frets replaced. It occured to me that new frets have "tangs" if that's the word which hold them in place on the fret board. These tangs may, or may not, cause a problem when removing the frets. It would seem that they might cause the fret-board to lose chips of fret-board wood as the tangs are drawn up and out of the fret-board.
Can these "tangs" cause problems or am I just looking for things to worry about?
Also... do I need to worry about the size of the fret wire fitting the grooves in my fret board or are the grooves (and fret wire) standardized on modern mandolins.
Yes, they are tangs.
Yes, they can cause chipping of the fingerboard when you pull them out.
No, the tangs and slots aren't standard sized.
Heat helps. If the frets are glued in,(a possibility) heat will melt the glue so you can pull them out.
If they are simply driven in, (most likely) heat will help soften the wood so there is less chipping.
You need specially flush-ground end nippers to pull the frets.
Tape placed along both sides of the frets will hold the chips so that they can be quickly glued back exactly in place if you have a particularly chippy board.
I'm going to try to post a link to Frets.com here, but since my computer crash, I haven't been able to get my new browser to post a link, so...maybe not. link (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/frets/D35fret/D35refret1.html)
Clicking that doesn't work for me. Does it work for you?
Any computer experts know why I can't post a link?
They DO cause problems, and you're doing well to think about that issue. When you do a total refret, the fretboard can be sanded and leveled to minimize chip problems. When doing a partial... it can be an issue.
I'd personally go very slow. Heat the fret wire with a soldering iron - get it hot, but not hot enough to cook the wook (burn). I'd also use a specialty fret puller, like they have at StewMac, but you can make your own by grinding flush cut wire pullers (make em flusher cutting and narrower). Then while the fret wire is hot... carefully start to east the fret up. Use a magnifier... look close! You're gonna get SOME chips, but if you get something major you might want to see if you can ease it down. Do that till the fret is out. If you had chips break, save em and superglue them back in. It might be well to run a line of water thin superglue at the fret slot, then clean it out - the thin stuff will run under and into the cracks and help seal things. You'll need to do a spot sanding/level of the fretboard. And you'll need to gauge the slot to make sure the new wire fits.
You can probably get some Mid Mo wire from them for a refret, if you call them.
Installing new fret wire.... there's the hammered approach, the pressed approach (what I like), and the pressed with glue approach. Some people use super glue, others use hide glue.
Then... you need to spot level that fret, and crown it, and polish it (probably polish all the frets.
see if this works...
fret help (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Frets/FretTrouble/frettrouble.html)
more help (http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Technique/Guitar/Frets/00028Refret/00028refret01.html)