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Fret Replacement and Fretboard Spruce-Up

So it’s been almost three and a half months since I started the Fender project. What happened? Well, I started a new job in mid-October, then there was Thanksgiving, then Christmas. I’ve been busy… but yeah. It has been too long. So I got back to it this week, and have taken a couple steps forward. This post will focus on the refret, and the next will look at the installation of the pickup and preamp.

Starting Point

This is what I started with. The condition of the fingerboard and frets is probably fine, but I just felt like the factory set up is not quite as good as it could be, and the board itself could use a little freshening up. I like the fact that it’s a bound fretboard as it just gives it a cleaner look to my eye.

Fresh Frets

I started by pulling the old frets and cleaning all the old finger grease off the sonokeling. Though it’s a little hard to tell, it really is a pretty piece of wood, and I wanted to try to bring out some of the grain, so with the frets pulled, I sanded it through several grits down to 1000, and treated it with several applications of oil, just to get the wood feeling good again. Then I installed a set of new medium/medium nickel frets (and forgot to take pics of it).

Frets in, it was time for a good fret-dressing. With the board taped off, I leveled them, crowned them, and dressed the ends for comfort. I also took advantage of the opportunity to chamfer/round the edge corner of the fretboard binding just for that extra bit of comfort while playing.

With the tape off, I polished everything (wood and frets) down to 2000 grit, and applied a little more oil, and you can see how nice that fretboard actually looks now.

Next up… the acoustic gets some electrics!

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