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Martin Guitar Refret Finished

I'm glad I made the decision to refret the D-12-28 instead of reusing the old frets.  The leveling and crowning will go much better, and the guitar will be able to provide another 25 years of service before it needs new frets, I would imagine.

Now to finish the job.

First we snip off the fret ends.  I have these Channel Lock end cutters which are terrific.  Very high quality and they make this job as easy as slicing through smoked Gouda.

After the ends are all trimmed, I use my homebrew fret end bevel file.  I think I've written about it before.  It's just a file cut to length and stuck into an angled channel in a hunk of scrap wood.

If you look closely, you'll see it's loaded with Pro Cut cutting lubricant.  Makes the filing much easier and extends the life of the tool.

Put the tool flat on the frets and move it the length of the neck.  The tool will cover a few frets at a time.

Notice the masking tape on the fretboard edge to protect it.

The frets are beveled.  Not sure of the exact angle, but it's relatively steep - maybe 20-25 degrees from vertical?  The angle isn't too critical, but can't be too far inward or the outer strings will fall off the board when they're played.

Fenders have a greater bevel - maybe up to 30 degrees.  This is more like a Martin (how appropriate...) or Gibson-style angle.

That little chunk of ebony was missing when I got the guitar.  I thought about filling it, but I decided some nicks are just going to stay.  

Now a quick level with the famous corian (or is it marble?) fret leveler.

I use 320 grit 3M Gold Fre-Cut paper on the leveller.  I can get 2 or 3 level jobs out of one piece of paper. 

Then crown with a small fret file - these are smaller 'vintage' style frets.  This file has two sides - medium and fine.  Hit it with medium, then go back with the fine and take off most of the file marks.

Then round the edges.  I used to just take off the edge of the 'triangle' that the other tools make, but I'm really working on my technique so that the ends have a much rounder shape.

This file is the traditional 3-sided triangular file.  I also have a small 2-sided file that works well for really fine cuts on the fret ends.

These came out pretty well - I'll get some closeup pictures soon.

The Complete Martin Guitar Restoration Saga
Restoration begins
Repairing heel break
DIY chisel for bridge plate removal
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.1
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.2
Steam removal of bridge plate
Bridge plate removed
Tongue brace removal
Crack repair and brace scallop
New bridge plate Pt. 1
New bridge plate Pt. 2
Patching hole in top
Final fitting of top patch
Installing carbon fiber rod
Fret removal
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 1
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 2
DIY fret bender tool
Refretting Pt. 1
Refretting Pt. 2 (This page)
Tuner shaft repair
Neck reset - dovetail fitting
Measuring neck set with DIY jig
Gluing the neck with hide glue
Tortoloid Pickguard
Fitting bridge pins
Brace reglue
Making bone saddle
Making a buffalo horn nut
Restoration completed


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