Sideways Fretting ???

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by guitarchaeologist, Apr 5, 2018.

  1. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Artist Formerly Known as π Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My 1988 AVRI is due for a fret job (and possibly a new nut). I contacted my tech and he was asking if it was "sideways fretting" as he knew some, as he called them, early Strats had this type of fret installation.
    So, my questions are:
    1) What exactly is "sideways fretting"? Is it simply frets installed from the side? (I assumed they were all installed this way!)
    2) YouTube research says sideways fretting was used up until the 80s (seems vague to me), so would my Dear Ava (1988 AVRI) have sideways fretting?
    Thanks for entertaining my questions of ignorance.
     
  2. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue Censored Strat-Talk Supporter

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  3. SachaPlusDeluxe

    SachaPlusDeluxe Strat-O-Master

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  4. Black Strat Guy

    Black Strat Guy Strat-Talker

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    Well, according to Dan Erlewine's book it was until 1982, i trust his info to be correct.
    But even it it was till '84, i think the OP can be pretty sure his '88 has the frets hammered/pressed on, and not driven sideways. By '88 the production was already in Corona, i believe they moved the factory there from Fullerton between '85 and '86

    Speaking on the 80's RI, i wander if the first Fullerton 57/62 RI's from '82 to '84 where driven sideways like the rest of the production ones till then, or just hammered/pressed on... :confused:
     
  5. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    I'm curious to know why the tech enquired this. We've had quite a few refret stories on the forum, even amongst vintage instruments and I can't recall this ever been raised.
     
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  6. Black Strat Guy

    Black Strat Guy Strat-Talker

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    Maybe the tech had a difficult refret job once on a vintage neck that frets where driven sideways... If you pull one of those off normally with nippers instead of tapping them out sideways i'll always have some level of chipping on the board on the fret slot edges.
     
  7. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Thinking it through looking at @Guy Named Sue 's diagram, that method makes a lot of sense.
     
  8. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Well it does, as its the method Fender used, until the time and motion men pointed out that it takes longer to push one at a time in sideways than whacking them all in and then giving them a quick squeeze (and probably took more skill/training). Time costs money and eats into profits...
     
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  9. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Artist Formerly Known as π Strat-Talk Supporter

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    He said he didn't want to damage the fretboard by using an incorrect method. As I am beginning to understand, mine are pressed in, but if they were sideways fretted they need to be driven out from the side, prying them out from the top would cause significant damage it seems.
    I am actually very pleased that he asked first if he is unsure.
     
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  10. artgtr

    artgtr Artgtr Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Just goes to show - you can always learn something new! I had no idea, to be honest never really thought about it. OK. As a player - I don’t think about the frets until I notice they start to show some wear. In all my years of playing guitar, I only had 1 guitar refretted. I bought it needing a refret, unknown to me until I received it from EBay seller.
    All good now!
    Thanks for the info!
     
  11. Yves

    Yves Most Honored Senior Member

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    Sounds like you found the right guy for the job.
    Does he use a "Plek"?
     
  12. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Artist Formerly Known as π Strat-Talk Supporter

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    No, he doesn't. All by hand. He's done work for me before on another newer neck and did a great job, so I am trusting him with my older lady.
     
  13. The Ballzz

    The Ballzz Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm going to make a guess here and I could be wrong, as I've never knowingly experienced a "sideways pressed" fret board. It would seem that really careful inspection (with a magnifying glass) of the ends of the fret slots may be able to reveal a slightly different shape of the slot, caused by the nubs of the fret tang "sliding" into position? I'd guess that it may require inspecting all or most of the slots for a definitive answer.

    It would be very cool if someone with a "known" sideways fretted finger board could take some close up, high resolution pics to confirm or deny my premise?

    Just Pressin'
    Gene
     
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  14. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I'm terrified that he would ask a customer a question like that!

    Any tech that has done more that a few fret jobs would KNOW the cutoff date for side driven Fender frets. It would be burned into his brain.

    I would absolutely find a new tech, no joke.
     
  15. CigBurn

    CigBurn You should see the other guy. Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I take it as a good sign, after all there is a lot of unknowns on someones older well loved guitar. Maple/rosewood, original frets or perhaps already re-fretted and so on. Sure he could likely figure it out on his own, but being careful is free.
     
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  16. vid1900

    vid1900 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The moment the tech looked at the neck, he would instantly know if it still had factory frets installed.

    It would be like going to the dealership and having the mechanic ask YOU if your 1992 F150 still had a carburetor on it = run!
     
  17. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Some "techs" I've met wouldn't even know it was a guitar neck.
     
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  18. felis

    felis Senior Stratmaster

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    I think, too easy? To me(chanic) it would be more like asking 'locked or TOD 4X4', without looking at the car from the inside. ;)
     
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  19. guitarchaeologist

    guitarchaeologist Artist Formerly Known as π Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thanks for the words of caution.
    The tech hasn't seen the neck yet. I live in Turkey and he is three hours away. I inquired about his willingness to take this job & found his response appropriate. Also, the date of the changeover from sideways fretting to pressed frets, as noted by my tech, is vague (sometime between 1982 & 1984) and since he is a general tech (not a Fender trained tech) and relatively young (late 20s, maybe early 30s), I didn't fault him for not having this committed to memory. I feel certain that he has only had a couple of older AVRIs pass through his shop- it is a third-world-like country after all.
    Also, I mentioned, he did a great job leveling and dressing the frets of my SRV neck, which gained my trust.
     
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2018
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  20. garyhoos1

    garyhoos1 Huffing n Puffing.

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    After looking at a few luthiers to do my refret I was more confident when the first reply I got was,"pressed in" or "pushed in sideways" I had no idea what he was on about.

    Mine was a sideway job and it turned out fine, good luck with yours.:thumb:
     
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