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Fret Wear

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how much fret wear is enough to warrant a refret?

my rg570 (XJ frets) has what i think is pretty extreme fret wear 1.5mm wide flat spots (.059inches for those in the stoneage) and it plays pretty bad, it frets out on bends in places, even with really high action (4 or so mm at the 12th)

and i have to trade off whether i want it to play in tune on the really worn frets or the lesser worn frets while doing the inotation.

so is a level and crown likely to fix this? or should i go ahead with a full refret?


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Well, you definitely need to do something. Whether you level and crown the existing frets or do a refret depends on how much fret height you have to play with. How high is the top of the most worn fret above the fretboard? Measure that, then decide whether you would be able to play if ALL of the frets were lower than that level. If not, refret.

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If you have the right tools, then use a straight edge to check the frets, see how low the lowest fret is compared to the highest, if u have a leveling bar, just level it, i don't really like partial referts, so worst case you're just going to make all the frets "to" low, but chances are you should catch most of the buzzing, then u know for sure next time you'll have to refret.

If you don't know what i'm talking about or don't have the tools, maybe take it to a pro in you area for his/her opinion.

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in most cases a fret leveling and re-croning will solve most of your problems..you might also have some frets that have gotten loose and are a bit higher than the others and they can be tapped back into place.

as far as the fretting out when you bend the strings many of your strat and tele type necks will do that from around the tenth fret on up..your string is traveling from the low side of a radius to the high part. generally when i get a guitar in with that complaint i'll change the radius on the higher end to make it a bit lower and then re-crown..again, that's something that you might want to take to an experienced tech to do.

generally speaking if a guitar hasn't had a bunch of fret work done on it before and there's still adequate fret height a complete refret won't be needed.

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