68 tele refret

Discussion in 'Vintage Tele Discussion Forum (pre-1974)' started by davebolden44, Dec 23, 2016.

  1. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    hello, new to the forum, and have a quick question and may need some advice. recently acquired a 68 blonde tele. the frets and nut are pure shot and i am going to begin repairs. i havnt ever purchased fret wire and was wondering if i could get some advice from somebody with more experience. i just want to know what wire size would be wise. i prefer medium jumbo just dont know a size number that would work well or if it is just a preference thing. any and all insight is most welcome. thank you.
     
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  2. Danman

    Danman Tele-Meister

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    Hi Dave, I often refret Fender guitars with Dunlop 6105. And that's often referred to as Medium Jumbo.
    Originally the wire would have been slightly smaller in 68. But a lot of people prefer the 6105. But yes, it is a matter of taste. So you'll most likely get lots of different opinions. Perhaps it's a good idea to try out a few guitars in a store and then ask which fretwire was used.

    Sorry if this is a dumb question... But are you going to do this yourself? You say you have never bought fretwire. Have you ever refretted a guitar yourself?
     
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  3. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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  4. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    Really????

    You have a potentially valuable guitar and you're going have a go at refretting.

    The only sensible advice is take it to a pro with experience of vintage instruments.
     
  5. fiestared69

    fiestared69 TDPRI Member

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    especially if it is a maple cap neck ......
     
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  6. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    This is one reason I got a '75 Tele for $275 with a spare Allparts neck tossed in, that I later sold for $100 (net cost for '75 Tele: $175). Previous owner had tried to do a partial refret 1-9 and botched it badly. Great local tech redid them for me with new nut for $100, rewound the original neck pup (was scratched badly) for $50 to vintage specs, and I fixed some other issues myself (put OV pup in bridge, new volume pot, cleaned up bridge and replaced rusted grub screws) and now have a great-playing '75 Tele for $400 total. If I had a '68 I definitely have a pro do it!
     
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  7. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    fellas i appreciate your concern for this vintage instrument truly. no i have never done a refret, and yes i am going to do it myself, because i want it done right. arrogant? sure lol. i do fine work everyday of my life for a living, build tube amps and cabinets from scratch and have worked on my guitars since i was a teenager. i am not in the least bit intimidated by this task. my largest hurdle now is simply getting the specific tools for the job. i was raised under the philosophy why pay somebody to do what you can do yourself. i understand the concern because i too cringe at the sight of people with an unsteady hand and poor execution destroying something. take that for what it is, think i am an idiot or not, it will be fine in my hands. that being said, i think the 6105 is definitely the route i will be taking. it is a rosewood board, and it will also be receiving a new bone nut as whoever installed the last one did a piss-poor job of fitting it to the neck radius. it is all original and in awesome structural shape with heavy natural relicing from a one owner family. it is missing the tone knob and it looks as it was do to an impact to the control cavity and the pot itself needs replaced because the shaft will pull in and out like a push pull. it is all original electronics. high e tuner was bent and wouldnt do a 360 but i already fixed that. found it on ebay listed as a highway one and bought it for 599. sorry for lousy punctuation and bad grammer but i am lazy
     
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  8. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    [​IMG]
     
  9. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Nice guitar.

    I'd search out jescar wire company and get medium stainless steel, so you'll only need to do it 'once'. Cut all the frets to length by using side-nippers that you crimp/score and then bend the wire. Don't cut them to length after pressing into the fretboard. Other than that it's the same as using regular wire.

    A strip of granite counter top or some have used 'marble' door thresholds from big box hardware store about 18 inches long and a slotted level are the key unique items. A flat needle file with the narrow edges and tip ground and polished smooth for fret ends and the fret bevel a six inch file mounted in a block of wood at 45 degrees (I use 20 degrees though). Then sand paper 240 for the leveling beam, 600, 800, 1500 to polish with a small wood block.

    Read the 'Ron Kirn' fret level instructions in the base forum sticky links.

    I've purchased but also made slotted levels, notch a strip of steel to clear the frets and then scrub the edge flat on sandpaper fixed down to a known flat surface.

    Minimize ripping the fretboard out when removing the old frets by using a good soldering iron, a little solder to spread the heat and heat up the old frets. Then use end-nippers to slowly rock them out of the slots while keeping heat on.

    Keep old parts like the broken pot in a little envelope you have in the case. Someone somewhere someday will appreciate all the original parts are there.

    .
     
  10. Bluebird

    Bluebird TDPRI Member

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    Am I reading this right? You got the tele for $599?
     
  11. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    Yes that is indeed the truth. I was shakin in my boots clicking buy it now. I bought it last saturday and got it yesterday. It was a gamble cause there wasnt much info on it it just caught my eye as authentic. Was listed as a highway one.
     
  12. simond

    simond Tele-Holic

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    Don't forget that fender pushed their frets in sideways back then so you can't lift them straight out without taking chunks of fretboard.
     
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  13. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    Was hoping to use heat and patience with one of those razor blade looking fretboard protectors. Any other suggestions are most welcome
     
  14. Justjammin

    Justjammin Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    if that is a 68' I would look into having the frets done professionally.
     
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  15. tap4154

    tap4154 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Interesting. The '75 I wrote about in my previous post above was listed as a Baja for $500. There's a long thread here several years ago in which I was asking folks here what it was, and trying to get the CL seller to give me a serial number etc. because it looked like a mid 70s, but she never did. So I passed. Then several days later she emailed a reduced price of $275, with the spare neck. I drove an hour each way to grab it! Came with the original case as well.

    After some TLC from my tech & myself... my $400 '75 Tele :D


    75TeleCouch72.jpg 1975TeleBack72.jpg
     
  16. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    Heck yeah thats awesome. They are out there but its the right place/ right time. I search tirelessly and have acumulated a handfull of decent vintage gear. Like the telacoustic too btw i have always wanted one.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
  17. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    When i wanted to work on tube amps i would search forums and
    ask for advice and it was the same thing, its dangerous, take it to a tech, blah blah blah. Well i have scratch built about five now and i have restored a few vintage fenders and marshalls. And i reitterate, i work with my hands for a living i do not need a professional luthier to do this. I have watched every video and read enough literature on the topic over the years it looks pretty simple to me. I will say no more, i will post the results however. Bear in mind however i am in no hurry. Remember every tech in the world who does frets had a first fret job and it just so happens the instrument i need refretted is a 68 tele that i love dearly and intend to play for years to come.
     
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  18. monkeybanana

    monkeybanana Tele-Meister

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    I think it's awesome you're doing it yourself. At first I did think you were crazy but if I didn't take on crazy projects myself I never would have learned anything, right? It's your guitar and you got it for nothing. Show us when you're done!

    I'm working on my fourth amp and knock on wood I'm still alive. I'm really careful, drain caps when going in, and it's much more satisfying to make something with my hands rather than read about it all day. Shout out to Robrob for his awesome site I visit almost daily.

    Beautiful guitar!
     
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  19. davebolden44

    davebolden44 Tele-Meister

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    I thank you sir for the kind words, i do respect a man who uses a trusted tech for his repairs. I just enjoy being at my workbench lovingly doing it myself.
     
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  20. Hexabuzz

    Hexabuzz Friend of Leo's

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    Just be careful...

     
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