Refret on a Maple Fretboard

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Thread: Refret on a Maple Fretboard

  1. #1

    Join Date: Sep 2008
    Location: Somerville, Ma
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    Refret on a Maple Fretboard

    Ok, after picking up that Charvel and realizing I'm just far more comfortable on really heavy frets than anything else, and furthermore that the frets on my now 20-year-old UV are pretty worn anyway, I dropped her off for a refret at my local luthier's shop (Jim Mouridian, for you Boston guys). I'll be picking her up after Christmas - I was quoted $325 which isn't exactly cheap but is a bit less than what I expected to pay.

    That said... My Strat has some pretty visible fretwear and probably never had more than medium wire on it to begin with. Since ir's a finished neck, I understand regrets are a huge pain in the ass and that I'll probably be paying quite a bit more, likely for a neck finish as well since the existing finish is prone to tearing out.

    So, is it worth spending that kind of money to refret a maple boarded strat? Or would I be better off slapping a Fender decal on a new Warmoth neck? Sentimental factors clearly apply here - I love this guitar. However, a multiradiu neck with abalone dots would be pretty pimp too.
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  2. #2

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Man, your phone-typing skills completely eat shit bro.

  3. #3

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Wow, that is quite expensive. More than I would have thought...

    Is there too much fret wear, beyond what a fret level could fix?

  4. #4

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Spring the extra cash for stainless steel and never go through this shit again.
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  5. #5

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    Warmoth. It'll be cheaper overall, you can tweak the specs (like you mentioned) and you'll still have your old, sentimental Fender neck in case you decide to go back to original.

    Another thing to keep in mind is that there's a small chance getting a refret and refinish on the old Strat neck will strip it of some of it's "mojo" and that's not something you can undo.
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  6. #6

    Join Date: Sep 2008
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    The thing is that yes youll pay more for the finishing, but you also dont have to pay for binding. Around here, the price for your UV being bound, and your strat being finished would be roughly the same, maybe even cheaper for the strat, because with enough setting up, the finish work can be faster/more efficient than you can ever make a bound fretboard.
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  7. #7

    Join Date: Oct 2008
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    Warmoth, since you can get stainless frets and a nice radius. And, if you find the new neck doesn't feel like "your strat," well, you can just pick up a body down the line and do that build you always wanted to do!
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  8. #8

    Join Date: May 2010
    Location: Oshawa Ontario
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    Not necessarily Drew, I've refretted a number of maple neck Fenders, and refins of the board is actually the exception now rather than the rule. It also depends on what year your strat is, as the reason most techs would find out the hard way about 'tear-out' when pulling the old frets is because for many years Fender installed frets sideways, sliding them inward starting from the treble side into the slot. Not hammered or press-fit from the top like most manufacturers.

    Here's a shot of a typical refret I've done, this one from a Tele:

    So, no, you don't have to refin the neck for just a normal refret - you just have to be a little more careful in how you go about it. Any good tech worth his salt will have no issues doing this job. And for what it's worth, I charge the same for maple as I do for a bound neck.

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