Friday, November 18, 2011

A Gibson J-200 gets an overhaul - Part Two

  No wonder this guitar wasn't playing in tune and was buzzing like an angry hornet! Usually,you can perform at least one "level and recrown" ,a less expensive job. When it's this bad...it's refret time! We can also do something about the wear on the fingerboard.

In most cases,after you've removed the worn frets,you would do some "re-truing" of the fingerboard,returning it to the desired radius. With fingerboard wear,leaving it alone is a perfectly valid and sometimes desirable option, however,if you want the fingerboard to feel like new we've got to fill in those potholes!

Instead of just filling in the holes,I'll use a trick I learned from Frank Ford. (Like my blog? Thanks,but if you want to see a true master at work,check out http://www.frets.com/.) I'll use a violin makers knife to score some lines into the wood. This will allow me to lift some of the wood fibers up and better integrate our filler material.

Here's our filler material,some rosewood dust and superglue. Don't worry,it's OK that it looks like a disaster.

   The finished product,after leveling the fingerboard. Not invisible,but better and stronger than a big spot of filler. With some new frets and some Linseed oil on the fingerboard it will look quite good.


Cleaning out the fret slots by using a Dremel tool as a router.

Putting a bit of radius into the fret wire,using a fret bender.


After plenty of prep work,including cutting the tang so the fret can hang over the binding,we're ready to put some frets in.

  All our frets are in but the ends haven't been cut yet. Some Magic Marker on the frets will show where the fret leveler has and hasn't touched. That's my aluminum radius block with self adhesive sandpaper in the bottom of the picture.

Here's our previously worn fret area. Not too bad.

After a new bone nut and saddle,this J-200 is ready to go back on the battlefield! If you haven't already,be sure to check out the rest of the repair in Part One!

2 comments:

Mr. B said...

Nice Job. Thanks for sharing.

Phil Clark said...

And thank you,Mr. B,for reading!