Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum



Warmoth.com Amplified Parts lacemusic.com seymourduncan.com


Go Back   Fender Stratocaster Guitar Forum > Other Discussion Forums > Tech-Talk
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!


Tech-Talk Strat nuts and bolts talk goes here

Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old May 13th, 2012, 10:17 PM   #1 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
GaryCorby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 516
Refret cost. I'm in shock.

I have a MIM made in 2000 with alder body and a maple neck. I've customised the guitar to the point that the only remaining original parts are the body and the neck. The neck has vintage frets, some of which are now worn to the point that I think a refret is in order. I could level, but because they're vintage height I think I'd end up too low. Also I'd have to lower every fret to the new height.

So I called a couple of luthiers. One charges $500 for a maple refret. The other charges $550. OMG! I could buy a new neck for less than that. I'm in Sydney, Australia, so that might affect the price, but even so, this seems over the top.

So my questions:

What are the chances I could refret this neck myself? I'm handy with wiring, and I have a woodwork bench, but I've never refretted anything in my life. My thought at the moment is, how hard could it be? And if I stuff it up, I'd only end up moving on to Plan B anyway:

Would I be better off just buying a new neck? If so, what would be a recommended source? I checked out Warmoth, and I imagine there are others?

All suggestions welcome.

GaryCorby is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 10:46 PM   #2 (permalink)
 
nickmsmith's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2011
Location: Southwestern Indiana
Age: 28
Posts: 6,950
Yes, definitely. A new neck is a better choice. In Australia, I would think you could get a nearly new MIM neck for 2 or 300.

In the USA you could find one for 100-200. 500 dollars is completely outrageous, they should factor in what kind of guitar they're working on. I'd understand that for a 1950s or 60s strat, not for a modern MIM.
nickmsmith is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 10:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
 
mw13068's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA
Posts: 5,930
In that situation, I would try the refret myself. We live in the internet age and it's not rocket science. You would need a few tools, but you'd have them available for the next project when you're done.

I might try it on a cheapo neck first, and then move on to the Strat.

You would end up with a refret, and the skill to do a job that others apparently charge $500 for. You could charge people $250 and make all your money back with a few jobs.

At the prices those people are asking, they're basically begging people to DIY and make them obsolete.

My local luthier does strat refrets for around $145.
mw13068 is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:16 PM   #4 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
Join Date: Jun 2011
Location: San Antonio, Texas
Age: 73
Posts: 689
I do highly recommend practicing on some junker guitar first. It is probably the hardest job in all of guitar repair, to do, and do it right. On top of that, the maple neck is much harder than the rosewood fingerboard version.

It would be easier for a novice, to replace the neck with an after market neck.

Good luck.
Gene Warner
repairman
oldwolf is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:23 PM   #5 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
srvwannab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Riviera Paradise
Posts: 4,133
I would agree with mw and old wolf, it's something you can do but it will be a lot of hard work to do right, but you can get those precut frets from Stewmac and give it a try, that should make it easier. But really with Warmoth necks being such high quality and for about $200 I don't know why anyone would bother with a refret unless they need to use the neck they already have.
srvwannab is online now   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #6 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
OldtimeR&R's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: The Midwest
Posts: 754
I do luthier work, but I would recommend you getting a new neck. Warmoth necks are high quality & if you buy an unfinished (no lacquer) one you can get it for less than 200. I don't know what the shipping would be down under, but you'll end up with a high quality part, musch better than you could likely do yourself, considering it would be your 1st try. You can also try USA Custom Guitars, Best Guitar Parts, & even Allparts if you can live with a Mitey-Mite neck. I only say that because they are not as good regarding quality, but are cheaper.
OldtimeR&R is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
Super Moderator
 
ghostwolf's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: texas and ohio
Age: 61
Posts: 4,635
if you decide to try this job yourself, i highly recommend this dvd.
Dan Erlewine's Fret Basics
STEWMAC.COM : Dan Erlewines Fretting Series
ghostwolf is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:39 PM   #8 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
jimmiraz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Buffalo NY
Age: 53
Posts: 2,316
If you really like the neck mw13068 brings great points to the table.
It's a heck of a lot cheaper and the tools and skill learned can pay for themself.
I myself would be inclined to do it myself being a bolt on neck.
I have done a telecaster maple neck and it turned out fine.
If you have faith in your skill and take your time it should go well.
Worst case senerio is a new neck anyway right.

If it were a cherished guitar with a one piece neck body design I would probably then suck it up and pay the price.
I'm planning on having my old Flying V done one day, it's gonna cost but i'm not gonna chance it.
I'll leave that up to the pro.
jimmiraz is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
 
mw13068's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2009
Location: Ithaca, NY, USA
Posts: 5,930
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimmiraz View Post
Worst case senerio is a new neck anyway right.
Exactly.

People charging $500 for a strat refret are basically telling the world that they want more competition in the market, because they're probably swamped.

It's not an "easy" job, but with all the resources available these days, how hard could it be?
mw13068 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:52 PM   #10 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Corona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 53
Posts: 1,734
My favorite luthier, charges $320 for a refret.
If you want stainless steel ADD $180. (There's $500 right there.)
Add another $50 if its a bound fretboard.

I don't know. Its pretty labor intensive, and not a task the average "shade tree" luthier would likely be up to. Remember, they have to be dressed, leveled and polished too.
I don't think the pricing is completely out of line - might be a little high.
If it were me, I'd get a new neck from Warmoth. 500 bones will go a long way on a new neck.
__________________
"Nobody digs ya music, but cha' self"
-Billy Sparks
Corona is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 13th, 2012, 11:54 PM   #11 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
pauljo1963's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Melbourne Australia
Age: 51
Posts: 2,102
I feel for the OP, i was quoted ( if I remember rightly) $ 100 for the first fret, then $ 15 for each additional fret. I know that it is a skilled job, with specialist tools, but I passed on it.
the axe still plays fine

this was here in Melbourne Australia
__________________
Leo got it right .... on many occasions
pauljo1963 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 12:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Corona's Avatar
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Austin, TX
Age: 53
Posts: 1,734
Here's a picture demo of what he does, and what is involved in a refret job.
Again, IMHO this is a very specialized skill and not to be under taken by the faint of heart, or those lacking the necessary skill set.

1985 Strat Refret | Straight Frets Guitar Service
__________________
"Nobody digs ya music, but cha' self"
-Billy Sparks
Corona is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 01:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
OLDGREYGIT's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Surrey
Age: 57
Posts: 3,137
Oh dear, one of my set neck Gordon Smiths needs a refret at some point.........
I hadn't realised it was that expensive.
I think it's time for a bitza Tele.
__________________
Normal for Bridgwater.
OLDGREYGIT is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 01:30 AM   #14 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
srvwannab's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: Riviera Paradise
Posts: 4,133
Thank god for bolt on necks, at least the OP has more options. Leo you genius you!
srvwannab is online now   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 03:23 AM   #15 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
GaryCorby's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Sydney
Posts: 516
This is superb and thoughtful advice, and I can't thank you all enough for your ideas.

Having looked through Corona's link and done some reading, I'm sure I couldn't do anything like a quality job without a huge amount of lengthy trial and error. I'd definitely have to practise on a cheapo neck, as mw and others suggest. Good idea, that.

Checking over the Warmoth site is not doing me any good either, because now I have Neck Acquisition Syndrome. There're a whole pile of interesting options. I want to buy about five different necks. An ebony fingerboard could be very cool and still come under a refret cost. Which is bizarre.

I know for sure I'll be doing a US tour next year. I think I'll try both plans. I'll look into refretting in detail, and if I don't have it under control by next year, buy a neck while I'm in the US.
GaryCorby is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: pluton
Posts: 750
New Neck is the way to go . Warmoth you can get one that you like to your specs . I have attemped a refret and it's a night mare . I probably won't attempt another one anytime soon. too many things can go wrong, that you can't fix . GET A NEW NECK !
Stratattack72 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 10:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
Strat-Talker
 
Join Date: Jan 2012
Location: Swindon
Posts: 223
Find a new guitar tech! $500 AD works out a £310 - I'd expect that for a bound neck Gibson, but a Strat should be less than half that.

I had my old 57 reissue refretted by a very good luthier I use. He charges £5000 to build you a guitar. He charged me £125 to do a fantastic refret with stainless steel frets.

You may have to pay a bit more if he needs to relaquer the neck (my lacquer had worn away years before) but even with that it shouldn't be more than £200.

Shop around.
sir humphrey is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 10:57 AM   #18 (permalink)
Strat-O-Master
 
TexCaster's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Location: Texas
Age: 37
Posts: 652
You can get a new neck, but for me the neck IS the strat. A new neck might not feel "right."

Why not get the tools you need, and try to refret it? Practice on a junker first. If you jack up your good neck, well, you were thinking about buying a new neck, right?

And if you do a good job you can charge your buddies less than the shop charges. But don't forget that maple fretboards are more work (refinishing) than unfinished fretboards.
__________________
My rig:
Daphne strat-->Polytune Mini-->Big Muff Pi (Tone/Wicker)-->Katie 6V6 Amp (designed/built by me).
TexCaster is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #19 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
Jack FFR1846's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2011
Location: Hopkinton, MA
Posts: 3,718
If you decide to do it yourself, you're going to have to learn how to level and crown the frets anyways, so check out the Ron Kirn tech post on tdpri, get his book from him and do your neck yourself. If you like how it came out, just play it. If not, you haven't lost anything.... can still buy a new replacement and put the old one up for sale.
__________________
Offloading my guitars. I can count them on 2 hands.
Jack FFR1846 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old May 14th, 2012, 12:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
Senior Stratmaster
 
32soundz's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: In front of my amp.
Age: 42
Posts: 2,062
I paid 170 euro for a perfect refret on an AVRI57 maple neck, perfect job, not a tiny chip of the original lacquer missing anywhere.
32soundz is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Scary shock 2nd time using my super reverb aztec Amp Input - Normal or Bright 31 January 18th, 2012 09:45 AM
Tube Amp Wiring / Avoid Kill-Shock! joaokorb Amp Input - Normal or Bright 39 June 18th, 2011 12:18 PM
Holy Moly ! Gotta be SOMEBODY Here Who Watched No.Iowa Shock The World ! Hugh Sidewinders Bar & Grille 16 March 22nd, 2010 09:22 PM
pick up shock gmcdeadhead Pickup Forum 12 December 5th, 2009 10:33 AM
Electric shock timegoesback Sidewinders Bar & Grille 22 November 20th, 2009 09:26 AM

Untitled Document

Untitled Document

» Recent Strat-Talk Discussion
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



 


Design by: vBulletin Skins Zone
Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
SEO by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2


The words Fender®, Telecaster®, Stratocaster® and the associated headstock designs are registered trademarks of the Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
Strat-Talk.com is an independent, member supported forum and is not affiliated with Fender Musical Instruments Corporation.
© 2007 All rights reserved.

Strat-Talk.com is not responsible for the content posted by private individuals on this website. The views expressed herein are solely the opinions of the individuals that produced them and not necessarily the views of the owner of this website.