General Question

Rarebear's avatar

How do I know when I need a fret job?

Asked by Rarebear (25154points) September 24th, 2010

I have a Gibson RB-3 banjo that I use medium gauge strings. I’ve had it for 20 years and it gets a lot of use. My upper frets have dents in them where the strings are, but I don’t have any buzzing. When do I know I need to get the instrument refretted?

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2 Answers

Axemusica's avatar

A fret job is needed when the actual metal wire (bars that separate the fretboard) or bar is damaged in some way. Often, after excessive use, play, age, the bars erode. The rule of thumb is check your crown. Crown = the top of the fret that is rounded. If the crown is flat, bumpy, or damaged in any way…. you need a fret job.

For more understanding on fret jobs check this guy out. Found him on a google search when I finally got fed up with a problem I had, that I didn’t notice before I bought a guitar. I emailed him and he answered. Very helpful site.

If you have buzzing could be an indication, but not always pointing toward a fret job. Based on buzzing & the crowns are intact could mean that the crowns were not leveled all across the fretboard. This means it might need some fretwork, but buzzing could also lead to ride height, action and nut placement.

Rarebear's avatar

@Axemusica Thanks. Mine are bumpy, so I probably need a fret job. I know a really good luthier that I’ll take it to and get his opinion.

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