Sunday, 15 April 2012

Ebay Refret with EVO Gold and filler

I got a Profile Silhouette Strat copy off ebay. I paid £115 for a made in Japan Stat, about 30 years old in good condition advertised with not much fret wear. However on receipt it was evident that it had spent a good deal of time playing rhythm on the first five frets as several areas were utterly shot. I decided to keep the guitar but attempt my first refret. After some research I stumbled across EVO gold fretwire. It's _marginally_ more expensive than standard nickel silver, but much more wear resistant and has a nice gold hue to the metal. 

On removing the frets I noticed exactly how deep the slots are compared to the fret tang and how much more the neck moved in my hands. The frets are obviously part of the structure and rigidity of the neck. That and  and I am now working old fret slots. It can't be good.  My solution was to use a resin wood filler to pack the slot prior the instant before fitting the fret. I placed electrical tape either side of the fret slot, filled the slot quickly and then pulled the tape. This leaves a clean surface and a well filled slot. The wood filler cures very quickly so it was one slot at a time. The excess appears out of the side of the slot so it doubles up as the slot filling job at the same time. The truss rod plays a lesser part now as the fretboard in more structural than before.  Six months later there are no issues. I am sure someone will have an problem with filling the slot but in this instance it seems to have worked a treat.

 As for the Jescar EVO gold fretwire, it works easily, polishes beautifully and string bending is all too easy. Someone please explain why EVO Gold isn't used on everything now and why I have to spend a fortune with Gibson before they will fit it. It costs about £2 more than nickel.... As for the Profile copy, with some decent pickups now installed you would never put it down for a Fender seven times the cost. Below, banging in the frets and taping up for the next swipe of plastic wood filler. I hope it shows the gold in the fret, and when polished it's like glass.

Added photo below as this is in natural sunlight which correctly shows the subtle gold. The dot markers were also changed on the guitar. The standard dots fitted were white plastic so I bought a pack of MOP (mother of pearl) the same size. Removal of the old dot markers was simple. You just stick a soldering iron into the middle and gently rotate it round. The plastic melts first and the glue soon follows allowing for a very clean removal of the old dot marker.