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A simple guide to - Fret replacement.

As discussed in my previous article on fret levelling, sometimes the frets are so worn out a re-fret is required. In some cases I will suggest a partial re-fret. I tend to end up doing this for acoustic players who really use open chords as a large part of their playing. The fret board can be a big teller of your comfort zone as a player. In a situation whereby the first four frets are highly worn down then there is no real need to replace all of them. I can replace the most damaged frets and then level them all to the same height. This can be a slightly cheaper option than a full re-fret with the same great results.

Fret wire is available in a few different materials - nickel silver, brass and stainless steel. Nickel silver being the most common material used. The best possible upgrade for your frets is to replace them with stainless steel. 'SS' frets are highly durable and will need very little work further down the line. As opposed to nickel silver or brass which are softer metals - most likely a fret dress will still be required in future. There are various sizes of fret wire available from thin to jumbo. Generally I will suggest replacing 'like for like' when it comes to the size of your frets. Re-radius

A re-fret presents a good opportunity to check the condition of the fret board itself. Often the board will develop grooves in the wood from playing. A natural 'patina'. Personally I quite like this look on a guitar, a bit 'road worn'. However, with the removal of the frets it is possible to re-radius the board with a radiused sanding block. This will return your fret board to 'like new' condition prior to installing your new frets.

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