I've looked through past discussions, and I'm trying to figure out the best way to go about this. It's a late 60's Fender Coronado II, but it's a player's guitar... it's missing quite a bit of lacquer, and the customer wants it playable. Adding to that, he would like me to try to fill in some rather severe fretboard dents under the cowboy chords, which will lead to some fretboard leveling, which would destroy the nibs anyway. And rebinding it is out of his budget. I've thought about adding nibs with melted binding in acetone, but then it is purely cosmetic (which the customer isn't that concerned with anyway) and yet it wouldn't pass for the original nibs, so why bother? I just don't like doing something irreversible. Or am I just overthinking this? To be fair, the nibs themselves are almost completely gone anyway... I'll throw in a couple of pics...

Tags: Binding, nibs

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Acetone will react with the lacquer - if that is the finish. Matching the binding color could be another possible problem. You might be creating a ton of tedious work for yourself. IMHO it would look better with a 'standard' fret job. Be careful not to sand through those inlays!  Cheers. Tom

Off with the nibs, don't look back.

To put things in perspective, I charge 3 times to save (or rebuild rather) nibs on a refret compared to refretting standard bead-over-binding. The first 100% of the increase is to cover the additional time required for the job. The next 100% up charge is simply a penalty for being fool enough to want to preserve such nonsense.

Seriously though, there is no sense at all in going out of your way on a guitar such as this one to replicate replacement nibs. They served no good purpose to begin with beyond streamlined manufacturing. Level the board and refret standard.

I agree with TJ and David.

It is a very worn fretboard as well as frets....almost unbelievabe....from the pics..(very good detail, BTW) Apparently, the player, not ONE for 'slight 'O' hand' OR 'bending' on the strings....... I guess that he 'finally' relented to get rid of the 'buzz' created by his 'clench'....Ha!

Hi Martin.

I too vote for death to the nibs.

These are not collectible instruments so originality isn't a concern. Taking down the nibs will also make the refret much less stressful.

I must say that I've never seen frets that worn. Those should have been replace decades ago. I wouldn't worry about the wear spots on the FB. They blend in better when you prep the FB for the refret and will not have a detrimental effect on intonation. Besides, even if leveled, they'll reappear in no time given the vice grip known as his left hand.

As a personal note: I had a choice in 1966 to buy either a Coranado II or a Gretsch 6120..both brand new. Well, I made the absolute worst choice and took home the Coronado simply because it was a Fender, and to me, Fender could do no wrong.  Alas, 47 years and much acquired knowledge about guitars later, the Coronado still ranks #1 on my "worse buying decisions ever" list.  Its only good quality was the expertly shot 3 tone burst.

With his tongue firmly planted in his cheek, he said: I bet the customer will claim the guitar 'just won't hold tune like it used to', after your refret. It's happened to me with frets that are nowhere as worn as on the subject guitar. The guy has probably never played a well set up guitar.

Also..I echo the 'great pic's' accolade. We love our photos :)

Best of luck with this project,

Paul :)

How about this one -

As much or more from fingernails than string. Now that's a dedicated player...

Well, lets say 'persistant' at the least.

'THAT" tops anything I have seen....

I have to agree, just do a standard re-fret.

You'll need to do some leveling, which will reduce the fingerboard wear a bit but leave the rest. Besides, the divots add Mojo. After level sanding, I use Bronze wool (just like steel wool but won't stick to pick ups) and rub the whole board down with it after sanding. That will clean up the dark stuff in the divots and blend them right in. The Bronze wool will leave a nice surface, no sanding necessary after that. Carry on as usual from there.

Thanks for confirming what I was already thinking! In the customer's defense, he purchased it in this condition, knowing that it needed to be repaired... these are also the worst frets I have ever seen! But he did specifically ask to see what we can do about the divots... the one between the first and second fret is approaching 1/16". I won't be able to sand that out... I will likely attempt the Frank Ford method outlined here:

I have done this and it does a pretty decent job. One such instrument was my wife's banjo, which gets a lot of playing time. I have gotten to see how well it stands the test of time and playing wear. Over the long haul, her fingers polished the CA and the divots became somewhat visible again, although minimally and the CA seems to resist wear well. It's up to you and the person who has hired you but I prefer the look of an instrument that shows honest wear from being loved.

I have to ask where you get this bronze wool. This is the first Ive heard of it, but it sounds like wonderful stuff. Pricey?

Andrew, it's available at most hardware stores. I use fine...about $5 - $6 per bag of 3. You don't need much to do a finger board, they last a while.

Ah yes a quick googling made me feel clueless. Ill grab some at home depot on the next trek out of my small town. How does the fine/finishing grade compare to steel wool grades? I usually use 0000 or 000000 (when I can get it). There dont seem to be as many grades of brass wool.


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