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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Do I need to refret and should I try doing it myself?

WT. Foster Guitars Tech Tip of the day April 9, 2015
There is no easy answer to this one. However, we can say that often guitars are re-fretted when they only needed a neck adjustment and set-up by a professional. Most manufacturers of fretted instruments use nickel alloy fret wire which is softer than stainless steel frets; market standard nickel alloy fret wire should last the life of your guitar. For most guitar players, the original frets will never have to be replaced however a fret level and polish may be required at some point in time. Failure to keep the fretboard clean of dirt and finger snot will wear away frets almost as fast as the string will. Professional and session guitarists who consistently play one instrument are the ones who typically require a refret at some point during the life of the guitar. A word of caution: Poor refrets are the number one cause of fingerboard replacements due to improper fret removal. It is not recommended that you attempt to refret your guitar unless you have personally done this under the supervision of a professional. There are so many stages to refretting a guitar that the layperson wouldn't have the knowledge to accomplish or have the correct specialty tools needed. If you really have that burning desire to refret a guitar, grab a old cheap used guitar and practice on it before diving into the work on your favorite guitar.