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PRS Refret with EVO Gold Fretwire

12/3/13

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headstock Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire redwood top Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire
1. A PRS.  This one is an older limited edition that’s in pretty great shape. 2. The Neck has a slight twist which is contributing to the guitar’s subtle fret buzz.
loose frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS adjust truss rod frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
3. The Frets.  Many of the frets aren’t fully seated.  Some of these frets are loose and move under finger pressure.  Rather than try to fix the original frets, I’ll remove them, sand the twist out of the fretboard and install new frets. 4. Adjusting The Truss Rod with the help of a notched straightedge ensures that the fretboard is as straight as possible.
remove frets rosewood fretboard frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS sand fretboard frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
5. Removing the Frets with a soldering gun and flush ground end-nippers while the guitar is strapped into the Erlewine Neck Jig.  A mumetal shield protects the pickups from the soldering gun. 6. Sanding the Fretboard.  I use a long, radiused sanding-beam to mark the high spots in the fretboard for spot planing, scraping and sanding.  Simulated string tension in the neck jig allows for quickly and consistently performing accurate fretboard and fret leveling.
check fretboard radius with radius gauge frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS sand fretboard to remove course sanding marks frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
7. Checking My Work.  I give the fretboard it’s final contour with a few passes with the long radiused sanding beam and 400 grit PSA sandpaper. 8. Final Sanding with 600 grit sandpaper wrapped around a large eraser gives the fretboard a uniformly smooth surface.
bevel fret slots frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS resaw fret slots frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
9. Beveling the Fret Slots prevents the fretboard from chipping during fret installation and future removal. 10. Sawing the Fret Slots with a thin-kerfed pull-saw breaks up the glue that’s in the bottom of the fret slots without widening the slots.  After the slots are prepped, I will go back and carefully glue any finish that turns white (partially breaks free from the side of the fretboard) at the ends of the fret slots.
 cleaning out fret slots frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS prepare fretiwre frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
11. Removing the Glue with an exacto-knife.  The blade is missing about 3/64” of it’s tip.  I drag the knife through the slot backwards (leading with the back of the blade) then use the knife as a lever to pry the glue to the surface.  I will make a quick pass with a fret saw with a .023” kerf to ensure each slot is the correct width. 12. Preparing the Frets.  The owner has opted for EVO gold-colored fretwire.  I pre-bend the fretwire to match the radius of the fretboard.  I cut each fret to rough length, then remove the sub-surface part of the fret (called tang) from the very end of each fret.
tap frets with stew mac deadblow mallet frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS press frets with stew mac original jaws tool frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
13. A Deadblow Mallet gets the first 14 frets started. 14. Pressing the Frets with the Jaws tool quickly seats the first 14 frets.  I will use the mallet to delicately install the remaining frets with the neck resting on a large sandbag.
glue frets with super glue frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS clean up glue with acetone
15. Gluing the Frets one at a time.  Thin super glue seals the endgrain of the fretboard within the fret slot and prevents the properly seated frets from coming loose over time.  Before gluing frets, it’s important to oil the fretboard to prevent the glue from discoloring the rosewood. 16. Cleaning Up Excess Glue.  I quickly use a small piece of paper towel lightly dampened with acetone to remove the excess glue.
clamp frets while glue cures frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS clean up super glue squeeze out from fret frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
17. Clamping Each Fret while the glue hardens.  The Jaws tool clamps the first 14 frets.  The last 10 frets are clamped with the drill press while the guitar is held in the Erlewine Neck Jig with a threaded auxiliary support rod and a padded neck support caul. 18. A Sharp Chisel cleans up any squeeze out or glue that the paper towel missed.
trimming fret ends flush to side of fretboard frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS bevel fret ends with file frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
19. Trimming the Fret Ends nearly flush with the side of the fretboard with the large flush ground end nippers.  Removing the fret tang and holding the cutters in this fashion won’t damage the crown and leave behind the tell tale “vampire teeth” distortion in the finished fret end. 20. Beveling the Fret Ends.  I file frets nearly flush at a steep angle to the side of the fretboard with a course file.  Next I make a few passes with a single cut mill file to give the fret ends a uniform bevel where the fret end meets the crown.  I follow this with 400 grit PSA sandpaper attached to a short, flat sanding beam.  I finish the fret ends with 2000 grit sandpaper wrapped around the short sanding beam.
level frets frets in erlewine neck jig Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS dress fret ends and spot recrown frets with offset diamond crowning file frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
21. Leveling the Frets with 400 grit PSA on a long, flat sanding beam only takes a minute since I meticulously prepared the fretboard. 22. Dressing the Fret Ends with a 300 grit diamond crowning file.  When necessary I will  also spot crown the frets with this file.
sanding frets with fine sandpaper frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS buffing frets frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS
23. Sanding the Frets with 600 grit sandpaper wrapped around a small piece of card stock.  I concentrate on the fret ends to get rid of the crowning file marks then hand sand the fret crowns.  Each sanding stroke goes the full length of the fretboard. 24. Polished Frets.  After sanding the frets with 1000 and 2000 grit sandpaper, I use the buffing arbor to polish the frets; first with the wheel with red menzerna compound followed by the other wheel with white menzerna compound.
polished frets frets Paul Reed Smith refret with jumbo jescar evo gold-colored fretwire PRS smooth fret ends
25. EVO Frets are harder than traditional nickel silver frets so they resist wear.  As they age the gold color of these frets will become more pronounced. 26. Smooth Fret Ends are easy on the hands.  These jumbo frets have a crown width and height of .104” x .047”.
fancy PRS custom 24 limited edition burled body
28. A Fancy PRS.