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Old 12-10-2012, 02:40 PM   #1
-Rane-
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New Guitar - Frets Lifted

Hey I just bought a Chinese built ESP guitars off ebay and, well, it's no break from the made-in-china stereotype, that's for sure. Fundamentally, the guitar seems decent, however, the finish (frets, paint, ect) are terrible.

Anyway, I don't mind projects, so here's the first problem I need to fix:



The frets aren't "lifting" from what I can tell so much so much as they are just poorly installed. They don't move at all. I tried pounding them in a little with the back of a screwdriver, but they didn't seem to want to budge.

Is it likely that they're glued and simply need to be heated and then pounded on, or is there a better way to go about fixing this?

For the record, I'm well aware that anything I do here is going to leave me needing to level the frets. Also, I'm not opposed to replacing the frets entirely, but would like to avoid that if possible.

Thanks!

Last edited by -Rane- : 12-10-2012 at 02:48 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 02:55 PM   #2
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You'll need to glue them back down. You mask everything off, apply some super glue(don't use the gel kind), and apply pressure to the fret with a piece of wood until it dries. Put something under it to prevent the neck from bowing, like a book.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:03 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
You'll need to glue them back down. You mask everything off, apply some super glue(don't use the gel kind), and apply pressure to the fret with a piece of wood until it dries. Put something under it to prevent the neck from bowing, like a book.

As I said, the frets don't actually seem to be lifting, so much as they are set like that. They don't budge when pounded on. I was asking if heating the fret up with a soldering iron, and then trying to pound it back in would be a good idea, or if there was some other way I should approach this.

They were probably leveled like that; I've no problem with having to level them again (they weren't very level to begin with).

Last edited by -Rane- : 12-10-2012 at 03:04 PM.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:16 PM   #4
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Gee..sounds like no fun.!! Either way you go its giong to take either time or money. I myself would heat up the frets and remove them..some are glued in, others are only pressed in. Tape your fingerboard prior to removal..be very careful not to chip it..that could cost you for the repair. Make sure you clean out the undercuts in the fingerboard..dirt/glue/guck with a exacto knife.Check with the manufacturer if the frets are gluded or pressed in..different companys do things in different ways.If you plan on reusing you existing frets, make sure the bottom "T" is as clean as possible..press or tap them in..but chipping of the fretboard may occur..thats why I say Tape Your Fingerboard prior!! To have a shop around here refret cost $400. Let me know what You deside!
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by -Rane-
As I said, the frets don't actually seem to be lifting, so much as they are set like that. They don't budge when pounded on.

Try clamping it in a vice. I wouldn't bother trying to pound them down with a hammer, there is no tang there to grab onto anything.
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Old 12-10-2012, 03:48 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Try clamping it in a vice. I wouldn't bother trying to pound them down with a hammer, there is no tang there to grab onto anything.

Vice it is, then. Shouldn't be too hard to make something so I can clamp the neck without damaging it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stormymonday
Gee..sounds like no fun.!! Either way you go its giong to take either time or money. I myself would heat up the frets and remove them..some are glued in, others are only pressed in. Tape your fingerboard prior to removal..be very careful not to chip it..that could cost you for the repair. Make sure you clean out the undercuts in the fingerboard..dirt/glue/guck with a exacto knife.Check with the manufacturer if the frets are gluded or pressed in..different companys do things in different ways.If you plan on reusing you existing frets, make sure the bottom "T" is as clean as possible..press or tap them in..but chipping of the fretboard may occur..thats why I say Tape Your Fingerboard prior!! To have a shop around here refret cost $400. Let me know what You deside!

If I go the re-fret rout, I'll definitely be doing it myself. I've got a few other guitars that need fret work anyway. Might as well get good at.
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Old 12-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
You'll need to glue them back down. You mask everything off, apply some super glue(don't use the gel kind), and apply pressure to the fret with a piece of wood until it dries. Put something under it to prevent the neck from bowing, like a book.


Why do you always tell everybody not to use the gel kind? You SHOULD use the gel kind, its the best for guitar work.
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Old 12-10-2012, 08:41 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by Explorerbuilder
Why do you always tell everybody not to use the gel kind? You SHOULD use the gel kind, its the best for guitar work.


Isn't it more difficult to get the gel kind to flow under the fret and into the slot? All the other discussions I've read about re-seating lifted frets suggest that using the liquid stuff is better.
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Old 12-10-2012, 11:49 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Explorerbuilder
Why do you always tell everybody not to use the gel kind? You SHOULD use the gel kind, its the best for guitar work.

Basically what rane said. I've used many different viscosities. I find that the gel kind isn't particularly useful, it's just more difficult to work it into tight areas. Honestly, explorer builder, you're probably the first person I've ever heard say that the gel kind is the best for guitar building. Most luthiers I know tend to recommend either the thinnest stuff, or something relatively thin.
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Old 12-11-2012, 06:38 AM   #10
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That's ridiclious! May I ask what the model is?
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Old 12-11-2012, 05:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by uncle_sprinter
That's ridiclious! May I ask what the model is?


EC-407. It's got horrible paint also. There's literally an edge where they masked off the binding. Luckily, I only paid $450 for the guitar. I've begun sanding the finish. I'd planned to just make the edges smooth and polish it but the finish is thin. I may have to just repaint the whole thing.

I'd be more upset about it, but I actually don't mind. I've been wanting to learn some of this stuff and I don't dare mess with any of my other guitars.
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Old 12-12-2012, 01:37 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by W4RP1G
Basically what rane said. I've used many different viscosities. I find that the gel kind isn't particularly useful, it's just more difficult to work it into tight areas. Honestly, explorer builder, you're probably the first person I've ever heard say that the gel kind is the best for guitar building. Most luthiers I know tend to recommend either the thinnest stuff, or something relatively thin.



I guess everybody has different opinions about it then. I hate the thin stuff, it runs and is harder to control. In my 7 years of building, i have found the gel to be the best, ESPECIALLY for applying directly to wood. But if its working for you, then i guess thats all that matters.
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