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Epiphone John Lennon PART 2


Now that our frets are glued in, we move onto the leveling process.  Once they are within a few thousands of an inch from the others, we move to our finest grit Straight Frets diamond files, which is 1200 grit.  This “Super Fine” file starts to polish the previous grits instead of removing vast amounts of material.



Here the frets have been clipped with the Stew-Mac fret nippers and are abou tthe get the bevel.   This bevel is sharper than our fret beveling tool (35 degrees) so we will do this one by hand with the diamond fret leveling files.



Here the bevel starts to take shape…

Next we level our new frets into the old ones while adding some percion to the upper frets with out Fret Guru leveling beam.  Thanks to Bernie at Fret Guru for all of his fretting tools that really help ad a sense of American precision to tool making. 


As in the Japanese refret on the before & After pages, a blue marker is used on the tops and a sanding  used until all the blue marks have been sanded off.  This process will repeat with finer sand paper.


This is the stage of fret work that is similar to hearing teeth being grinded down at the dentist’s office, while the receptionist is filing her nails with a chalkboard.  We are certainly used to it, but it can be a very painful thing to watch and hear for the first time, especially if it’s your personal guitar.

To do the final shaping on the ends, we again tip our hat to Bernie at for inventing the ‘ultimate fret end file’ (more info here) to gently round each fret end.  Sold on eBay and other major guitar factories around the nation, it just doesn’t get any better than this custom modified Swiss-made precision file.



After buffing the frets in five stages, oiling the fingerboard, adding a .020″ carbon fiber shim under the nut the help clear the new fret height, polishing the body, and restringing, we’ve got this:



The owner also requested a slightly lower action, and because the entire fretboard was leveled properly, the action is quite comfortabe and buzz free.


Here’s a close up of this beauty with is new fret ends.  This guitar had a really nice presence, projection, and evenness.  I would certainly recommend them from this time period.


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