Probably too fussy?

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Slapfest62
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Probably too fussy?

Post by Slapfest62 » 29 Aug 2018, 15:30

I wont bore you all with the preamble to this.
But these are photos of my '76 Stingray that was sent away to be repaired
and didnt return for a year, and when it did return ,
it had been glued , but not refretted by a sober person, lets just say that.

So i took it to a fella that is the local repair go-to man ,
everyone seems to give him the nod.
We agreed he would refret the entire neck
(only 10 had been removed in the repair)
and he would repair the finish on the back of the neck,
that had been scraped away in the first repair.

When I picked it up, I saw the back of the neck wasnt great,
but at first glance the refret seemed solid.
Perhaps I am being a bit fussy ,
but I would be interested in opinions on the fret ends.
These are glued in, and imo, he has used the wrong radius with whatever method he clamped or pressed them in
because they are all not too bad in the middle , but not seated at the ends.
And this is consistant down the whole neck
There's only one pic that really shows that.
The other pics are just of the ends, and how ratty some are.
and the whole neck repair was hard to get in the light , to see how its all craters ..
Yes, you have to look closely at the fret ends,
its the details that define the standard of workmanship
in these kind of jobs, imo
Anyway, maybe I'm expecting too much , and being too fussy?
I really dont think so,
but I welcome any thoughts etc
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basshack
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by basshack » 29 Aug 2018, 18:07

Yeah that's ugly and doesn't seem like he's taken too much care setting the frets properly and to my eyes he hasn't crowned them nearly enough or rounded the edges over.
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NotTheFish
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by NotTheFish » 29 Aug 2018, 18:26

It looks very poor to me.. I would not be happy....

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drbass
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by drbass » 29 Aug 2018, 19:21

Definitely NOT too fussy ...

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Michael
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slave
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by slave » 29 Aug 2018, 19:40

Yeah looks like a rushed job. A YEAR to do it? Sounds like an amateur.

Slapfest62
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by Slapfest62 » 29 Aug 2018, 20:43

slave wrote:
29 Aug 2018, 19:40
Yeah looks like a rushed job. A YEAR to do it? Sounds like an amateur.
yeah, sorry . . its a long story and I was trying to be brief.. .
it didnt take this guy a year to do whats in the pics.
I originally sent it away to be repaired by a guy that I had used previously.
He was a repairer in Sydney for many years and was used by several major retailers.
He has been making classical guitars in the country for some years . . nice , fancy ones.
Gets BIG money for them in Europe etc etc.
Well I dont know what happened there.
but right at the One year mark, he claimed to have refretted the last 10 frets, 5 times
and every time the timber kept 'shifting' afterwards
and he declared it a non viable neck, and sent it back unfinished, no charge.
I was devastated. . . Stingrays are a dime a dozen , but '76 vintage , . . try and find one.
Anyway , when I received the neck back,
I noticed straight away the last 10 frets werent long enough ,
they were kinda close, but from above, you could see fret slot either end.
Then I had a good look , and they were nearly all springing up on the ends
and sounded woeful when you tapped them, not solid.
That seemed odd, so I removed one, and the slot was clean as a whistle
and I knew that whatever had happened , it hadnt been refretted 5 times . . every slot was the same
it had been refretted just once , by someone either a complete novice
or completely smashed, stoned, whatever . .
perhaps he gave it to someone else to fix, and they mucked him round, . . I dunno
So THAT was when I took it to repairman B , a local-ish bloke , who did the job in the pics.
and that job took him a few months.
Now perhaps this is all my fault somehow?
I do seem to be the common denominator here . . lol
So, in all its over 18 months that its taken to get this far
and the ironic thing is,
that originally, I decided to pay someone else,
because I didnt want to stuff it up
I wanted the job done right..
Little did I know I was Paying someone else to stuff it up.

basshack
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by basshack » 29 Aug 2018, 21:06

It takes me around 8 hours to fret a neck from go to whoa. I did better than that on my first try. Months in a shop means it sat for weeks without attention. It’s probably still fixable though.
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Slapfest62
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by Slapfest62 » 29 Aug 2018, 21:46

basshack wrote:
29 Aug 2018, 21:06
It takes me around 8 hours to fret a neck from go to whoa. I did better than that on my first try. Months in a shop means it sat for weeks without attention. It’s probably still fixable though.
yeah, I have referetted a few guitars that were cheap junk that people had tossed,
and I did it for practice. They all turned out pretty well, considering.
And I know my first attempt was better than that, as well.
And you're right , it has sat around with people that dont give a toss
but I didnt ever want to be seen to be hurrying the repairmen along,
wouldnt want them to get an attitude and do a sloppy job, now . . lol
You like to think they are taking their time and its going to be awesome because of that.
rather than this kind of result.
I'm hoping it can be resurrected . . maybe next year . . need a lot more money, now

bigswifty
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by bigswifty » 29 Aug 2018, 22:03

Aw man I feel for you, that looks awful and what a terrible overall experience for you. And what on earth happened to the back of the neck (among all the other problems)? Sheesh. Sorry, this must be extremely upsetting for you!
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ozrider
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by ozrider » 29 Aug 2018, 22:07

I am looking over at my SR5 after seeing those pics... what a disappointing result after all that time. Hopefully you can get it fixed up and back on that ray

basshack
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by basshack » 29 Aug 2018, 22:24

If you want to send it down to me I’ll see what I can do for you. I’m almost finished with my last build.
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cleary
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by cleary » 29 Aug 2018, 22:25

Damn :(

I started a refret job on an early 80s Ibanez neck earlier this year - David and Rob at MSGM got me going with it, but what I learnt:
* old necks and old wood can be a fairly delicate prospect - it's easy to damage the slots on removal
* the original fretwire tang (the side bits that bite into the wood) usually leaves the fret slot a bit wider (and harder for new fret tangs to bite into)

The tricks that the MSGM guys used:
* pre-bend your fretwire at a slightly greater radius than the neck
* if the frets aren't biting into the neck and holding, you can use a pair of pliers to pinch and twist the fret tang to create slightly bigger tangs
* lots of superglue, run a line down the empty fret slot before the fret goes in, and wick it down into the sides of the fret slots with the frets in place

After all that, I would not want to refret this neck again... you're potentially on your 3rd time round with this one. I would be getting multiple opinions from multiple luthiers on what the best course of action is before you do anything more, you don't want to damage it beyond repair :(
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BazzBass
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by BazzBass » 30 Aug 2018, 00:12

that sucks, hope you get it closer to how you wanted it :)
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Slapfest62
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by Slapfest62 » 30 Aug 2018, 01:28

bigswifty wrote:
29 Aug 2018, 22:03
Aw man I feel for you, that looks awful and what a terrible overall experience for you. And what on earth happened to the back of the neck (among all the other problems)? Sheesh. Sorry, this must be extremely upsetting for you!
Thanks man , actually, you nailed it, there . . I am really just upset about the whole thing .
I havent spoken to the repairer. . . we exchanged text msgs, but I dont even want to talk about it, really.
Yes, I have a couple of other basses,
and its been a good exercise to get right into them while this bass was on the bench,
but the homecoming of the pride and joy has been less than I could have ever imagined.
You hear talk at times of some repairer or another being "not that great" or whatever
and I always thought they were guys that werent propely FIXING the instrument's issues,
or werent thorough enough etc
It never occurred to me that this might happen

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bassbass
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Re: Probably too fussy?

Post by bassbass » 30 Aug 2018, 08:47

These frets have been installed straight from the coil, then nipped off in situ. A quick method of fretting that is actually used I believe, in some factories. But that of course, is prior to final sand and spray finishing. (It's very common to find vintage guitars, especially with rosewood boards, with very sharp fret ends because this method of fretting was used originally and the board has shrunk laterally.)

I always size the fret away from the neck and undercut the tangs before installing them and filling the slots. I'll even touch the bottom of the fret crown with a file where the short piece of tang was removed to give the fret a clean look through the filler.

Having said this, if a valuable vintage guitar has full cut tangs from the factory, there's an argument to refret in the same way. I certainly wouldn't nip off the wire like this while it's hanging out of the neck, though. I would still size the fret away from the neck, but leave the tang or just slightly reduce it so it covers well with CA but still looks factory.
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