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Chip Out On Re-Fret...

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by boneyguy, Mar 8, 2021.

  1. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have the StewMac fretboard protector thing that goes under the fret crown when pulling frets....I heat up the fret with a soldering iron...I have the StewMac fret pulling plier things. On paper I'm doing everything right. But I'm still getting some chip out on both rosewood and maple.

    Actually, pulling the frets seems to go fairly well but on these last couple of jobs I've had to deepen the fret slots for the new frets going in and that seems to be where it's happening I think. Not huge chips but enough that they will slightly peek out from under the new fret wire which is even wider than stock. I just can't seem to control this damn chipping!!

    So I'm thinking that from now on after pulling the frets I will use a toothpick or something similar and just run a small bead of super thin CA glue on either side of the slot....particularly if I'm having to saw the slots deeper.

    What are you guys doing out there to prevent this chipping business?
     
  2. Laren

    Laren Tele-Meister

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    Probably doesn't help now but when building you should run a small triangular over the fret slot to help avoid chip out when refretting.
     
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  3. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Poster Extraordinaire

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    I do get some chip out when pulling frets, if it is bad I reglue the little piece with some CA. I've only done one maple board and will not do any more, rosewood and ebony both chip but its never been very bad. I did have one board that had so much oil over the years that CA would not stick, I'll watch for that next time.

    My only tricks are heat on the fret (soldering pencil), make sure the slot is really clean before installing the new fret and a couple of very small drops of CA when I do. Press them in with an arbor press, if there is any damage to the board repair with CA. I've posted some refretting threads, I won't repeat them here.
     
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  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    the little chips on a rosewood, or ebony boards can be repaired by applying a drip co thin ca then sanding lightly.. the accumulated "dust" will fill it and the CA will make sure it stays put.. if it wicks into the slot a swipe or two with a fret slotting saw clears it out...

    On maple boards many forget to run a xacto knife down the sides of the Fret to score the lacquer/Poly... that allows it to break free from the accumulated finish without resulting in spurious irregular chips... sometimes.. :p

    there are many videos available on the Stew Mac sites with great info.. but you have to be able to ignore the plethora of the self serving promotion of tools which are of "marginal" use.. most are easily replaced with common shop tools.

    r
     
  5. Boreas

    Boreas Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Make sure you aren't doing old Fender necks with slide-in frets!! Those need to slide out.
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    A small triangular file passed over the fret slots once or twice is a Frank Ford technique for minimizing the chipping on the removal of the fret. This is best done on the first fret wire installation. It still doesn't guarantee anything, especially in ebony, but it sure helps the fretting removal and installation. You can see the bevel on the slots on the right. It also seats the frets for better installation. It's a good technique to try.

    Other cool Frank Ford Techniques here FRETS.COM


    triangular file on fret slots.jpg


    I do 2 swipes per slot.


    triangular file.jpg
     
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2021
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  7. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

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  8. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Chipping out is just a reality of pulling frets. Even when you do everything correctly, you can still get it.

    Knowing how to deal with it when it happens is what separates the men from the sheep. OR something like that :twisted:
     
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  9. Fatcat211

    Fatcat211 Tele-Meister

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    I’ve done one refret in my life so fwiw, it was a 52 reissue with nitro over the frets and like Ron said, I carefully scored both sides of the frets with a new xacto blade. I had 2 very small chip outs that I glued back in with CA. They pretty much vanished when I carefully sanded the lacquer bumps flat with a radius block and then polished.
     
  10. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    This has been my experience as well....they just happen. The under fret gizmo that I use does help I think.

    In the case of the current neck I'm refretting I first stripped of it's finish. And even though it was stripped I still scored both sides of each fret...due diligence!! I heated the frets before pulling them and it all went quite nicely...no significant chipping...nothing that the new, wider Jesscar frets I'm installing wouldn't cover.

    Next I sanded the maple board lightly. The problem occurred while sawing the slots deeper to accommodate the deeper tang of the replacement wire. That's when I got several chips.

    Now, the logical thing would have been to use the triangular file to bevel the tops of the slots first. That would seemingly help with chip out. However, on a previous neck I refretted using the same Jesscar wire I also had to deepen the slots and then I beveled the top of the slot. However, that caused a real problem with the Jesscar wire because, as I eventually figured out, the barbs on Jesscar wire are very close to the bottom of the crown unlike Allparts wire that I've used in the past where the barbs are much lower down on the tang. With the barbs so far up on the tang of the Jesscar wire the beveling I did, which I thought was very subtle, made it so that the barbs wouldn't really grab!! The bevel made the slot too wide at the top for the barbs. I had to make a jig to glue in all the frets which worked out fine. So that's why I didn't do the beveling on this current MIM neck. I actually tested the bevel on the last slot of this neck and it created the very same problem with the Jesscar wire.

    In the future I think what I will do in a similar situation, after pulling the frets I will run a very small amount of super thin CA down each side of the slot before sawing to secure any potential chips.
     
  11. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I'd take a look at the size triangular file you are using. It only takes one or two swipes as I showed up above and shouldn't be that deep. A jeweler's version isn't that big.
     
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  12. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here's the file I use...certainly small enough. I'm guessing I may have been a bit too aggressive and filed the bevel a bit too deep. But where the barbs are on the Jesscar wire you don't have to go too deep to mess with their ability to bite into the slot. I can say for sure that wouldn't have happened with the Allparts wire I'm familiar with because I'd beveled the slots in my usual manner on several previous refrets using AP wire. Live and learn.

    Actually, now that I look at my file compared to yours I'm wondering if mine is too small. It's maybe so narrow that it goes into the slot deeper than it needs to. Your file in the photo you posted is significantly bigger and probably doesn't go down into the slot like mine does...just stays at the surface as I can see from the tiny bevel it created. Hmmmmm....

    DSCF1600.JPG
     
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2021
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