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1972 Fender Telecaster refret

 72 telecaster refret

This 1972 Telecaster was purchased brand new when it’s owner was only 12 years old- it’s been his main axe ever since.   This is the type of connection we get with owners of their beloved instruments.  It makes this job very gratifing.  In addition to having a Master’s degree in classical guitar performance, I also teach kids and adults alike to play well.  My goal has always been to touch people’s lives through music, and in this facet of what I do, I help touch people’s lives through instrument restoration.


72 telecaster neck Similar to Rickenbacker guitars and basses, Fender necks are sprayed with poly after the fretting process.  Sometimes the spray guy must have inhaled a little too much of that stuff, as it’s untra thick from time to time, especially on Strats & Teles from the mid 90’s.


When it’s excessively thick the finish tends separate from the wood over time, making it very easy to peel and chip.
The overspray on this neck is so thick that the upper frets that removing the frets without damaging the finish posses a new challenge…


telecaster worn frets

The last fret was buried so deep into the finish that I had to phone a friend.  I ended up having to heat the fret while using a fine tipped awl at the edge of the fingerboard under the wire. I was able to lift the fret just high enough to grab it with the pliers and remove it in a normal fashion.

maple board preparation That’s not some sort of brown see-through tape on the board, this is the initial stages of sanding when prepping the baord for new frets.  The white build up is the wood and poly debris from the sanding.


72 telecaster refret We always sand our maple fret boards with more levels of sanding than with a dark wood board.  Additionally, we buff the finished product out.  This is why a $25 fee is added to glossy maple boards.  Time, materials, and tools make this job cost a little more, but the end result is well worth it.


72 telecaster refret 2 Here’s the neck getting some love with the hammer.

72 tele While the frets are clamped up, we focus on restoring the body and hardware. Like the frets, they have gone without maintenance for a long time.


telecaster pickup shine After working for years as a car detailer during my teenage years, buffing paint and chrome is like second nature to me.

72 telecaster bridge grime

This Tele’s tone was quite bright.  Our goal was to make it look as bright as it sounds.

72 telecaster bridge shined


So, thats exactly what we did.


72 telecaster body 1



Now there’s 39 years of sweat blood and tears on the bottom of that bridge.

72 telecaster body 2  All clean.  There’s one thing for sure: there’s nothing about dirt and grime that equates to tone.


72 telecaster frets bevel This guitar has been played in root position a bunch, to the extent of the fretboard’s shape being compromised.  The frets will need to take on this shape to be comfortable when played.  These ends could actually cut quite deeply into the side of the hand.


72 telecaster new frets



After buffing the frets in four stages, the entire board is now buffed with Menzerna compounds.  Although it’s $55 a quart, the results are stunning every time.

telecaster refret

Here’s a nice close up of our fret end work.  Being that Matt had been trained at Roberto Venn luthiery school and I’ve been doing fret work for many years now, your guitar will get this type of detail when getting a refret here at Straight Frets.



carbon fiber shim nut



The nut had been recently replaced with a quality made bone nut, so instead of making a new one, we installed a .020″ carbon fiber shim underneath.  We now also stock bone shims, which would have been more asthetically pleasing than the black carbon, but at the time of this job, bone shims weren’t available.


72 telecaster refretted

Once again, we made another guitar owner very happy and that makes us happy too.


tim hall band

Based in Fayette County, The Tim Hall Band has been filling dance halls and honkey tonks for a coon’s age.  If you get the chance to see them, dust off them boots and go get you some!


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