My strat neck refret/refinish project - Jemsite
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post #1 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2011, 08:15 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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My strat neck refret/refinish project

I have a 1984 MIJ Squire Strat that has been my go-to guitar for the last 10 years. Sadly, the frets are so worn down it has been more of a wall decoration for the past few years. I've been nervous about handing it over to someone for a refret. So, I got some fretwork under my belt with my RG and started buying tools here and there. It took a couple attempts and a lot of work but my RG turned out fantastic so I finally tore into the strat.

I tried to get a good picture of the fret wear.


This neck used the more traditional smaller fretwire. You can see the frets are very flat.


Here I have the frets removed with no chip outs or damage to the finish. I scored the lacquer around the frets and pried the frets out with a milled flush pair of end cutters.


Originally, I only planned to refret the neck. I then decided to flatten the radius to 14". So the refret project became a refinishing poject. Here is the neck fretted with 6105 warmoth frets. I made my own fret press rig to use stewmac's brass inserts. For this neck I used a 12" radius insert with a small drop of superglue on the each end of the fret slot.


Initially, I copied the original fretwork and started dressing the fret ends with a 35 degree angle. I thought that looked a little too lazy, so I spent a lot of time rounding them out. This allows more room between the string and the edge of the fret board, looks better, and feels smooth.
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post #2 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2011, 08:21 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

awesome job, frets are a bit scary for most.
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post #3 of 16 (permalink) Old 12-31-2011, 08:29 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Here is the fretboard sprayed with 4 coats of sealer and sanded to 600 grit. I only sealed the neck because I will be using a amber tinted lacquer. The sealer will keep the tint from sinking into the wood and allow me to backtrack any screw ups.


The finish on the back of the neck sanded to 600 as well.


Here is 2 coats of Colortone amber tinted nitro lacquer. This stuff sprays great and the color applies very predictably. The color does fade just a little as it cures.


This is after some very touch ups. Tinted lacquers aren't substitutes for a top coat because any wet sanding or buffing will distort the color. So I'll give this stuff 24 hours to cure and finish up with 6-8 coats of Deft clear gloss nitro lacquer.
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post #4 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 12:42 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Lacquer dried enough to attach the body. Before I start slingin' clear coats, what do you guys think?





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post #5 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 12:44 AM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

looks good to me

dont forget to clean the frets before clearing
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post #6 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 12:49 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

The frets are gold right now haha. I'll probably clear over them as they are. After the clear cures, I'll tape off the frets, scrape them clean and do a final level/radius/crown and polish.
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post #7 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 03:36 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

looks like a very good job,

Do you think it was worth it ?

Did you do it because you love that guitar,
and you feel you have a duty to take care of it ?

Did you do it to learn new skils,

Or maybe for fun or personal satisfaction ?

Or maybe it was bugging you for months and you had to scratch it ?
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post #8 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 04:10 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

looks great man!! It's probably too late because you already have your logo installed, but I'd love to see the headstock toasted to give it a bit darker look. It DOES look great as it is though. keep us posted on updates!!!
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post #9 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 04:20 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

MIJ Squires/Fender Guitars are the best Fender ever made period!
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post #10 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-01-2012, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Quote:
Originally Posted by LostInRockFormations View Post
looks like a very good job,

Do you think it was worth it ?

Did you do it because you love that guitar,
and you feel you have a duty to take care of it ?

Did you do it to learn new skils,

Or maybe for fun or personal satisfaction ?

Or maybe it was bugging you for months and you had to scratch it ?
I'm a bit of a perfectionist and I like a challenge. I got this guitar for my 13th birthday and It was my first real guitar. I've passed on G&L's and American Fenders because I preferred this strat. I will never part ways with it, so I figured it's worth fixing up. It's really a shame it says Squire on the headstock, It shares the exact same construction as the MIJ Fenders.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGTFanatic View Post
looks great man!! It's probably too late because you already have your logo installed, but I'd love to see the headstock toasted to give it a bit darker look. It DOES look great as it is though. keep us posted on updates!!!
Thats actually the original logo, which is cleared over from the factory. I'm glad you mentioned the headstock, I was debating rather to darken it up or not.
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post #11 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 02:21 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Those frets just needed a dressing. But cool.
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post #12 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-02-2012, 03:11 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Quote:
Originally Posted by musikron View Post
Those frets just needed a dressing. But cool.
The higher frets on the treble side,starting at the 9th fret, were worn down so much that my crowning file would rest on the fretboard before touching the fret. So after leveling, there wouldn't be a whole lot left to dress.
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post #13 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 05:00 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

After about 8-ish coats of clear, a whole lot of wet sanding and final fretwork, here is the finished neck. It looks and plays great. It's awesome to have this guitar playing like it should.









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post #14 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 05:05 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

awesome job !
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post #15 of 16 (permalink) Old 01-09-2012, 06:19 PM
 
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Re: My strat neck refret/refinish project

Wicked job !

I wish i could do that to my fender, hate the small frets on it!

What kind of fret press do you have? pic?
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