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De-fretting gone wrong. Worth my time?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by canttouchthis, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. canttouchthis


    Dec 4, 2013
    Hey bass folk.
    Ok so here's my ordeal. I've been interested in Gibson Rippers for too long. I'm more than happy to take the time and money to revive this sweetheart (http://www.ebay.com/itm/1978-Gibson...T-/221327400846?pt=Guitar&hash=item3388241f8e), but I've hit a wall. This fella botched an attempted de-fretting job, and I'm not sure if removal of the material to be re-fretted is safe/realistic/reliable. Although it could very possibly scrape right out, I have no experience fretting and I don't want to kill the thing. You can see how treacherous it could be in the 'neck-close-up' pic. If anyone could point me in the right direction, that'd be fantastic. Thanks!
  2. Hi.

    Welcome to TalkBass canttouchthis.

    I don't see anything out of the ordinary on that DIY de-fret, he just probably used white glue to fill the slots and used round-wound strings to gouge the FB.

    A bit of FB dressing and new frets shouldn't be too hard.

  3. lundborg


    Apr 8, 2008
    Removal of the filling can be done with a good fret slot saw. You need to cut straight and not deep enough.
    However fretting is not uncomplicated, so as a first project it can be a bit hazardous, (depending on your practical skills of course).

    You will also need to fix the chipping at the slots that you can see in the pictures, if you want the end result to look good.

    IMO the price is too high, given that you need to acquire all missing parts for it, let alone the time spent.
  4. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I second that emotion.
  5. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    675 is an outrage.
  6. MegaSwing

    MegaSwing Your Obedient Bassist® Gold Supporting Member

    Nov 26, 2002
    Baltimore, MD USA

    That guy's going to be holding on to that one for a long time.
  7. 202dy

    202dy Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2006
    Do the math:

    $2-300 carcass
    $4-500 worth of parts
    $300 fret job
    + labor to assemble and fix unknown problems
    Why didn't I just buy one for eleven hundred off of eBay and save myself a lot of grief?

    All of the above assumes that the OP has the skills and experience to do the work. This is not a project for amateurs. Re-fretting a de-fret isn't much fun.

    A quick check of sold listings reveals like goods sold in the last month for five hundred dollars. It also shows several complete instruments sold for less than the assembled price above.
  8. kohntarkosz

    kohntarkosz Banned

    Oct 29, 2013
    Edinburgh - Scotland
    The guy is trying to make a fortune parting the thing out. I saw $199 for the pickguard and $199 for one pickup. The guy is a wrecker!
  9. Bassamatic

    Bassamatic keepin' the beat since the 60's Supporting Member

    De-Fretting is NEVER a good idea. I've learned the hard way.
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    You can clean the fret lines out with a fret saw or a hobby saw about .020 wide, but the price is ridiculous. It's a $199 shell as far as I'm concerned.
  11. canttouchthis


    Dec 4, 2013
    Wow you guys are great. I was under the impression I could pick up the parts for roughly what an intact Ripper would cost (including this body), but seeing as I have no experience in the re-fret department I can't justify the money. And what a wad this cat must be to tear up such a gorgeous instrument to make a buck :spit: I can't support that.

    Thanks again, folks. Take care.
  12. AltGrendel

    AltGrendel Squire Jag SS fan. Supporting Member

    May 21, 2009
    Mid-Atlantic USA.
    You can always replace the fretboard like this guy did for his G3.

    Actually, it doesn't look bad enough for a fretboard replacement but I'm going to leave this link anyway.
  13. StreetScenes

    StreetScenes Supporting Member

    Mar 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    I agree it's priced way to high. You should be able to find one on here for $200 more than he is asking.