« SetupsFretworkRepairs »

Fret dressing

You may think that your guitar needs a re-fret when actually the old frets just need 'dressing' (levelling). This cures fret buzz and dead notes caused by the grooves worn in old frets, or from loose frets (loose frets will need securing before they can be levelled) that have risen up. Sometimes a fret has a groove or dent caused by string contact after an impact. Providing the groove or dent is not too deep, the frets can be dressed and the guitar will play like new - often better than new!

Frets are secured if found to be loose (at extra cost, see rates page) and the frets are then levelled, crowned, and polished. PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM CURRENTLY CHANGING MY POLICY AND PRICING STRUCTURE REGARDING FRET LEVELLING AND SETUPS. A DETAILED ARTICLE WITH BE PUBLISHED HERE ASAP!


Unfortunately only a limited number of fret dresses can be done before the frets need replacing. Refretting is sometimes necessary in order to level out the underlying fret board surface if the neck has warped or twisted to some degree.

Some guitars are easier to refret than others. It's a tome consuming job and some require significantly more time than others, e.g. those with lacquered maple boards. All prices are 'from' as I cannot give a firm quote before seeing the condition of the guitar first. I will happily give a free, no obligation quote on inspection of the guitar.

Some guitars may need a new nut fitting if slots have worn or been lowered on account of the worn frets, which obviously incurs extra cost. All refret prices include high quality fret wire (Dunlop fret wire incurs an additional charge of £9) and a full setup.

Most guitar technicians refret Gibson style bound boards by removing the 'nibs' from the binding that cover the fret ends. This is the easiest option and therefore the cheapest. Some players actually prefer this as the new frets overlap the binding and therefore are longer, giving a bit more 'leeway' for the outer strings. It is, however, possible to retain the original look of the instrument by cutting each fret exactly to length and VERY carefully fitting them so as not to push out the binding. This is extremely time consuming and so greatly increases the cost. Also, it relies on the fret board itself being level and even along it's length which is often not the case. It is an option though and if you have a Gibson and would like to retain the original look, please contact me.