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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
As the title says! Extremely stoked. Should be getting it about Wednesday next week: I just have to wait for the funds to clear at his end and then it'll be picked up with a courier.

Now, a few questions. Obviously this guitar's pretty old - 29-years-old, to be exact - so I don't expect the frets to be in the greatest condition. Is there anything I should perhaps look into just now? I've got plenty of fine steel wool here that I can polish the frets with, but no files or anything. I want this instrument to play like new, since I think I'm going to be keeping it for quite some time.

Okay, it seems like I have just one question, for now.

I'm still excited.

:D
 

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If you just want the guitar to play it's best, then support your local repair man ;). You will spend more in tools alone than the cost of a single fret dressing if not more, not to mention the high level of skill and knowledge needed to perform a proper re fret or dressing. I see plenty of botched fret jobs by people who meant well but had no idea what they were doing come across my bench.

If you do want to start tackling your own frets, I suggest starting on a cheap donor neck or guitar. Something you pick up at a pawn shop or broken on ebay would be nice.
Then plan on shelling out about $200-$300 for a BASIC set of tools to accomplish the needed work. A leveling file, crowning file, small triangle file, dressing file, fret hammer, fret cutters, neck support block or bags, sanding and polishing papers are pretty much the minimum.

Now you have the stuff, you'll need the knowledge and skills to pull it off. Did you expect to be able to play your favorite song perfectly the first time you picked up the guitar? If you did were you able to do it? Most likely not on both accounts. This is no different. The skills needed to perform accurate quality fretwork (among other advanced repair techniques) are acquired in the same way the skills to play the guitar are, diligent study of theory and practice. Aspiring to master them is an honorable and worthwhile endeavor, but don't expect to be performing works of inspired genius right out of the gate.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
My local repair man is... well, bad. He's not the most skilled person ever, let's just say. And the price is extortionate: we're talking about £70 for a very basic setup (strings replaced, screws tightened, fretboard cleaned, truss rod adjusted), and they don't have the tools to do any fretwork.

And wow, that appears to be quite the large investment... I think I'm going to just use the steel wool. I know I can do that - I've used it on two guitars to great success now, so this should be no different. Maybe when I'm older and have more disposable income (and a larger work area) I'll purchase the tools necessary for repair jobs and stuff.

But thanks for the great post! I'll definitely look it up in the future when I'm looking at stuff to buy.
 

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No problem, I was just pointing out that if you were tackling fretwork trying to save short term money, you won't. However, if you are willing to invest the resources it can pay off in the long term, as in decades for the average player.
 

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I bought a 1982 RR400 just last year and the frets are in excellent condition - I think you are getting a little carried away before you get the guitar ;O)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I bought a 1982 RR400 just last year and the frets are in excellent condition - I think you are getting a little carried away before you get the guitar ;O)
Oh, excellent, then.

How does yours play? I'm expecting it to play very well (given that they're MIJ in the 80s and frickin' Gilbert plays one) but I'd like to get a mortal's opinion.
 
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