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Author Topic: Bettering a Beater  (Read 9290 times)
BenF
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« Reply #60 on: March 21, 2011, 03:12:56 PM »

In the light of day, it needs some more polishing.  Parts of it are really good, and others are a little patchy.  Here are some pics anyway.  The before pics are on page 1 of this thread.  Edit, added the before pics as reference.


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Ben
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« Reply #61 on: March 21, 2011, 03:16:11 PM »

headstock shape improved (in my opinion) - simplified at least.  the front came up nicely with sanding and steel wool, but the back was really uneven, and the result is therefore patchier.  Doesn't really matter on the back though.  Hope the Larrivee family don't object to the use of their branded tuners on a kindling guitar!  Thanks again ducktrapper - easiest install ever - straight drop in.  The smaller washers on the front look much neater too.

You may also note that I managed to put them on straight, whereas mr or mrs Fender factory person clearly couldn't!

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Ben
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« Reply #62 on: March 21, 2011, 03:44:55 PM »

 nice guitar  It looks great Ben, thats the nicest looking fender headstock I've ever seen. Good job!   
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Roger


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« Reply #63 on: March 21, 2011, 03:50:18 PM »

Nicely done Ben. Glad the tuners worked so well. Better than them gathering dust for another twenty years until my kids have to clean up the estate. 
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« Reply #64 on: March 21, 2011, 04:00:13 PM »

Nicely done Ben. Glad the tuners worked so well. Better than them gathering dust for another twenty years until my kids have to clean up the estate. 
But just think how much those Pings could be worth in 20 yrs, maybe put a grandchild through medical school.      GO PINGS 
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BenF
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« Reply #65 on: March 21, 2011, 04:36:18 PM »

the screatches on the back are the biggest improvement.  Still needs a polish one one side at least though (I was getting tired by that point!)

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Ben
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #66 on: March 21, 2011, 06:35:44 PM »

Friggin beautiful. nice guitar
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« Reply #67 on: March 21, 2011, 07:13:32 PM »

Rob, how hard is a refret, given that I have basic tools only, and almost no budget.  I had a look at Frets.com, and they use all sorts of weird and wonderful tools like fret wire bending machines, fret hammers, modified soldering irons, special pliers.

Is this a job you can do on a shoestring with a bit of care and attention.  The frets are very thin, and the first 4 are pitted really bad (to the point where fretting is difficult)  Would you generally do them all, or just the first 12 for example.  I really think it could be worthwhile now.

My uneducated approach would suggest that: -

I have a set of files, with various sizes, pliers, of various sizes, mole grips etc.  I have a soldering iron if that is the best tool for heating the frets.  I have a really small hammer, which could be padded with layers of masking tape to make it suitable as a fret hammer.  I have hands that are pretty good at bending things.

What do you think, a challenge too far?
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Ben
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« Reply #68 on: March 22, 2011, 03:40:20 AM »

Tools that you would need are a soft plastic hamer or if you can find one a naugha hide one.For pulling frets go to the store and buy a tool called a dike,electricians use the the cutting edge is on the face not the side.You'll need to grid down the face which is faily round to as flat as possible to just about the cutting edge.By doing this you can then start at one end of the fret and gently pinch the fret out.For radiousing the frets I've always use my hand,one of which is in a heavey leather glow.I radious the fret one at a time dry fitting it as I go until I match the radious of the finger board.Its best to replace all the frets.You will need a dental pick to clean out the fret slots of dirt.DON'T rush pullinh the frets as rushing will cause tearout.If you think that the frets have been superglued you will need the soldering pen to soften the glue.Make sure that you don't breath in the smoke and that its done in a well ventalated area.If you see a neon blue/green smoke DONOT breath it in as that is ciynide and it will give you major head pain and mess up you long more then smoking 6 packs a cigs a day.So its not that hard remember one fret out one fret in.

Before you do a refret if you have a very fine mill file you might try dressing the frets.Using a black majic marker mark the tops of all the frets,with out a lot of down presser and starting from the soundhole and the high E side evenly pust the file towards the nut.By the way rest your thumb on the nut so you don't knock the nut out.After the first push draw the file back towards the soundhole,with each swipe move the file towards the low E side overlapping the push/pull as you do so.Once the blacker has been removed by the file use some 320 grit sandpaper in the same motion as the filing this will remove the file marks.After about 13-14 strocks move on to some 600 grit then to some 800 grit.After all that use some 0000 steelwool in the same fashion this should get the near last of the file marks.If you can get a crowning file you'll be able to crown the frets creating a soft round top of the fret.
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« Reply #69 on: March 22, 2011, 07:09:33 AM »

Thanks rob, that is really helpful. The first 2 frets are totally done - nasty pits almost down to the fingerboard. They make fretting even open chords near impossible. The fret wire is puny thin stuff too, and I far prefer a chunkier fret, like Larrivee use.  I think I'll give it a go next.

My dad has one of those tools that you say for removing frets, and it is damaged. Could be just the fellow for grinding down as a fret puller!
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Ben
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« Reply #70 on: March 22, 2011, 02:37:30 PM »

  Looks good Ben. On the frets be very slow at pulling them out and if chips break loose you can super glue them back as soon as you have removed the fret (the large chips). That way you can keep track as you go. I think I would heat the fretboard with a lamp or each fret as you go if you do experience a lot of chip out.
  I have replaced just one or two frets and done OK. On a beater that you just want to play well I think that replacing the worn ones would be fine if you can keep the new ones level with the old ones you don't change out.
 
  Once you have installed new frets you can ask how to level them and crown them. I made a leveling file and a crowning/edge file myself that I prefer over the fret crowning file that I ordered. But I seem to always prefer the tools I made over the the others.
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« Reply #71 on: March 22, 2011, 03:46:08 PM »

Cheers Danny, helpful advice.  The existing frets are horrible thin things. I think the guitar would be much more playable with some (what fender would call) jumbo fret wire. It's a job i'd love to have a go at. I spotted an eBay shop that offers pre radiused fret wire.

I'm going to leave it for now though. Wintertime project I think!
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Ben
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« Reply #72 on: February 18, 2012, 02:36:01 PM »

Been a while since I got the urge to work on the old beater again, but playing it this morning it's lack of volume was annoying me.  Just a lack of clarity from the players perspective, so on the spur of the moment I got the drill and files out and made a sound port.  I scratched it a little, getting the hang of the drill powered files, but its pretty minor.  VERY pleased with the sound difference.  Much more articulate to my ears, and more than a little louder too. 

Here are some pics.

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Ben
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« Reply #73 on: February 18, 2012, 02:39:10 PM »

Unfortunately, I think I am now at the point where this guitar would actually be a very nice little player with decent frets.  I'm going to have to have a go at a refret soon.  ohmy ohmy

Unclrob, Danny, what guage of fret wire should I be looking at?  I like the size of Larrivee fret wire, but even a tiny bit thicker might be better on this guitar.  The original frets are very very thin in comparison to my Larrivee.

I had a mexican telecaster once with 'jumbo' frets, which I loved to feel of. 

I'm going to tackle this ASAP, so any advice would be much appreciated. 

I have files, and a soldering pen, as well as a plastic mallet.  I will buy a tool for pulling frets as described by rob earlier, and I'm good to go.
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Ben
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« Reply #74 on: February 18, 2012, 03:09:50 PM »

I think they were Dunlap 6150.I'll double check after I've had more  

I prefer to remove one fret at a time.So this is how it goes
1.remove fret:I start at one side and work my way across making sure not to chip any wood so go slow.
2.Using a very fine safty pin clean out the fret slot of all cr*p.Using a can of air blow out the slot.
3.Shape the fret to match the radious of the fingerboard and dry fit without putting it in to make sure that I'm as close as possible.Also I try and get it to fit as close as possible from side to side so that all I have to do is file off any excess.
4.Hammer into place.
5.Move on to the next fret.

I'm sure I forgot something so again I'll reread and fix anything after more 
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« Reply #75 on: February 18, 2012, 03:43:18 PM »

Cheers, I found a seller on ebay who makes the fret pulling tool you described, and it looks absolutely perfect.  Without metal working tools, I think I'll just buy one reasy made.  He also sells proper rubber mallets for the task, so I'll get one of them.  He sells 60mm lengths of fret wire at 2.0 and 2.4mm.  Are you saying that you have a preferred brand of fretwire that you always use, or are they all pretty much the same?  The 2.4mm stuff sounds like it would be much better for me than the 2.0mm stuff, but if there are other options I will explore further.

Thanks for replying again so quickly.  Know I've not be around much, but I still read and I still love you guys!!
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Ben
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« Reply #76 on: February 18, 2012, 04:43:29 PM »

Really love that headstock shape. A great improvement to my eye. 
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Barefoot Rob
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« Reply #77 on: February 18, 2012, 05:15:07 PM »

No preferance just a searchable name.When I did refrets I bought it by the foot in a roll,use to have 7 rolls of different size's.Could you post his weblink,I'd like to check it out.Have fun and enjoy.Don't forget if frustration come's in walk away.Also I'm sure you can find more info on doing refrets on the net as my way is pretty much anal and I'm really picky.If I wasn't happy I would do it over until I was happy,its such a critical job and I'm pretty critical on myself as I'm asking people to pay me for what I do and it just has to be right,not perfect but as right as it can be without ending up in in one of those white wrap-a-round jackets with the buckle's in the back.   wacko
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« Reply #78 on: February 18, 2012, 06:18:25 PM »

Fret Pullers
Mallet
Fret Wire
Jacket with Buckle at the Back

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Ben
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« Reply #79 on: February 19, 2012, 01:09:45 AM »

Nice job on the sound hole, Ben.  I did one on one of my guitars a couple of years ago.  My wife thought I was crazy -- if she'd seen the jacket, I'm sure she would bought it for me.

Keep us posted on the re-fret job.

WileE
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Larrivee 00-40R
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