I recently acquired a Fender USA Stratocaster. There were a few things that really stood out to me, both positive and negative. The neck was incredibly comfortable in the hand but there was significant fret wear all along the neck. The pickups sounded stunning but Fender chose not to install a TBX tone control. Also, the setup was all over the place and I would not have been happy to walk out on stage at Glastonbury to 100,000 people with it (my acid test for deciding if a guitar is ready to go or not).
So this was the ideal opportunity to blog about what’s required when re-fretting a guitar and changing the electrics. There may be a few bumps in the road along the way but we’ll deal with them as they crop up.
The slide shows below highlight each step that was taken and I’ll try and give you a good idea of what’s going on in each slides caption. You can always contact me if you have more questions etc.
Okay, let’s start with the neck:
The rosewood on the neck felt very dry and I was worried that it was going to turn to powder during the work I would be carrying out:
Next comes removing the frets:
We’ve picked up a few casualties along the way. This is pretty normal with a rosewood neck so let’s take a closer look:
It’s time to start installing the new frets:
Adding new frets is a multi-stage process. Let’s get those frets tidied up now:
I really do think this guitar would benefit from a TBX tone control. Let’s add one:
Sadly the old nut has to go. Here I cut and fit a new one:
Now the new nut is installed I can now proceed with setting up the guitar. This will involve checking neck relief, string height, pickup height amongst other things. Suffice to say that the guitar is now a joy to play. Here is the finished article: