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FRETWORK

FRET WORK

ALL Re-Frets - Includes Essential Set Up

Fret Wire Not Included

£150   - Partial Re-fret - No Binding

£175   - Partial Re-fret - Guitars With Binding

£250   - Full Re-Fret - No Binding 

£275   - Full Re-Fret - Guitars With Binding

£50     - Refinish Maple Fretboard (from)

£70     - Fret Level, Crown, Dress & Polish Only (excludes any setup work)

Ideally before a setup can be performed on a guitar or bass, the frets should be checked that they are fitted snuggly,  signs of wear and they are level relative to one another. Frets should have a nice rounded profile and smooth playing surface with no sharp edges. This is especially important for players that are sensitive to string buzzes, have a discerning ear for intonation, or simply  searching for the holy grail - low/super low string action.

What Is A Level, Crown, Dress and Polish?

Before any fretwork begins the strings are removed and fretboard is taped off using low tack tape, leaving the full surface of the top and sides of the frets exposed. 

The truss rod must be adjusted to ensure the neck is nice and flat. 

 

Levelling describes the process of sanding the top of the frets with a levelling beam and course grit sandpapers. This process is necessary to give the frets a uniform height, eliminating problematic high and low spots. Levelling can be performed in small areas (partial) or across all of the frets (full).

 

Crowning describes adding back the rounded top to the frets that have just been flattened during the levelling process. Course and fine crowning files are used during this reshaping step. This is a labour of love and takes a long time to perform. 

 

Dressing describes the removal of any burrs and sharp fret ends creating by the levelling process or by fretboard shrinkage due to humidity/seasonal changes. A fret dressing file and/or fret bevel file are used in this step

 

Polishing is performed using a range of micro mesh pads with grits 1200-12000. Polishing compounds can be used and a final flourish with the buffing machine and vwala, hey presto you now have super sexy shiny frets to be proud of. Highly polished frets allow the player’s hands to move faster across the fretboard and make string bending feel much smoother an easier as well as looking great.

Poorly Executed Factory Workmanship or Badly Worn Fret Work Can Lead To:

  • Buzzing strings

  • "Choked" Bends

  • Dead Spots

  • Poor Intonation

  • Lack of Sustain

  • Increased Difficulty Playing Fast Runs

  • Awkward "Neck Feel"

What Causes Uneven Fretwork?

New Instruments Often Need The Frets Levelled!!

During instrument assembly, frets are installed into slots that are cut into a wooden fingerboard. Even in expert hands, it is virtually impossible to press or hammer 20 or more frets in a perfect plane with one another. Due to demanding production quotas, many instrument manufacturers do only a cursory job of fret levelling after installation. On student grade/entry level instruments, this crucial step is often seemingly overlooked altogether!  

After these instruments leave the factory, they are placed in shipping containers and trucks to travel around the world, before reaching your favourite guitar shop for sale. Once at the dealer, guitars may spend several seasons on a wall or in a warehouse before purchase. While all this is taking place, changes in climate and humidity can cause the wooden fretboard to swell and contract, potentially loosening and unseating the metal frets in the process, throwing them out of level.

A high string action can mask issues with the fretwork that become glaring apparent once the string height is set lower. Even with the frets in less than perfect condition, a guitar may play acceptably with the comparatively high action that many instruments have at the time of purchase. However, since many discerning players demand a higher degree of playability from their instrument, preferring string action to be set below the manufacturers spec, a fret levelling is the best way to remove these inconsistencies and allow the instrument to reach its full potential.

 

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