Sunday, October 4, 2009

Steve's Strat needs some Fretwork

Steve brought me this beautiful example of an 80's MIJ strat. I love these. Back in the day (80's..I'm feelin' old now) some of the MIJ's were built better than the USA models... Yes! Sad But True. Fender made up for that in the 90's when they really started paying attention to the USA manufacturing. Sorry I'm rambling...

So Steve brought me the strat with a request.... "Help! my frets are all dimpled and low in the lower register." I said "how about we level and crown those suckers" and he said "YES". So here we go.

We start by taping off the fretboard to protect it from accidental nicks and dings. From there I used a marker and blackened the tops of the affected frets. Next I check the fretboard radius. This one is a 12" radius neck, so I pick the 12"r sanding block and start leveling the frets. The trick is to level all the frets to the lowest dent in the frets. To do this I level the frets until the black marker is no longer visible. Next comes the crowning. I have a special diamond coated fret file. It's curved to crown the the edges I just sanded flat. The next step is the polish, oil and done. String up the guitar, set it up and play. Soup to nuts, it took about 2 hours to complete.
Oh! and another 2 hours just playing it.... I love these Strats... Yeah Baby!
Don't worry Steve, I'm only charging for the actual work... not the play time.


Steve said...

Hey Dave,

I played the new and improved Strat last night and it's great! I always wondered why my friend's strats played better than mine. Not anymore, the action is low, there is no more buzz and after 15 years I can finally use the middle pickup. I love the tone when I select the position between the bridge and middle pickup. I wish I would have had this done a long time ago. I love this guitar all over again!

dave said...

Yeah Steve!