Telecaster Partial Refret

Greetings everyone! Matthew here reporting from the repair bench. Here at Leading Tone we’ve had a good run of Telecaster repairs and mods of late. One highlight from this batch of repairs was the partial re-fret on a 80’s era Telecaster. The fret wear on this instrument was nothing short of amazing. As you can see, the divots in the frets are just shy of cutting into the rosewood fingerboard. Needless to say the customer was reporting buzzing on the lower frets so we decided to replace frets 1-7.

A partial re-fret is a repair that is used when the fret wear is only on the lower frets. The basic steps of the partial re-fret follow that of a standard fret job. The frets are heated with a soldering iron and carefully pulled from the rosewood fingerboard. New frets are pressed or hammered into the slots and they are roughly beveled and shaped to match the existing fretwork. Once the frets are in the new frets are leveled and dressed to the original frets.

The completed fretwork. As you can see in the photo the new jumbo frets are much more inviting that the old worn 20 year old frets. Not to mention they play great and string bending is a breeze!

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