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I'm working on a 30 year old, ebony fretboard. I have removed 1 fret that was difficult and a bit chippie. I used heat but it still was like pulling lions teeth. I am considering increasing the heat with a 100W soldering gun instead of a 50W pencil, any other suggestions please : >)

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Just my two cents worth I run some water on each fret then take an old chesal and heat it with the propain torch and run it along the fret. And when I get the fret out I run the cheasl along the fret slot to smoth it all back down .Good luck Bill.''''''''''''''
Even with fairly new ebony, chipping can be a major problem. Rather than lose the chips and attempting to fill after, which has to be done carefully to avoid choking the fret slot, I often run clear tape down both sides of the fret. After removal of the fret, the tape can be folded back with the chips held firmly. Wipe a little CA either side of the slot and fold the tape back down returning the chips to their original position. When it's glued you may need to scrape tape off the finger board prior to rubbing down lightly. If you've done this carefully, it's practically invisible.
Use a triangular file to chamfer the edges of the fret slot slightly and make the next re-fret a little more tech-friendly!

Dave
Thanks for your reply. The guitar in question is a 1980 Gibson Les Paul custom. I have previously done ebony boards but this one is a little testy. I wanted to see what episodes other have had and gain some collective experiences and what was done to help remedy the situation..... thanks again : >)
I AM USING A 80 WATT WIDE TIP WELLER SOLDIERING GUN WITH THE TIP FILED TO ACCOMMODATE THE TOP OF A FRET TO HEAT UP THE FRET

THIS WORKS GOOD SOME TIMES I CANT AVOID CHIP OUT LIKE YOU SUGGEST I FILL AND SAND OUT WITH THE CHIP OR DUST ?OR JUST SAND IT OUT AND INSTALL A WIDER FRET TO HELP COVER BLOW OUT .
SIMILAR TO DAVE I RUN A TOOL THROUGH THE SLOT TO CHAMFER THE SLOT FOR FUTURE RE FRETTING
I use this simple set up to heat frets.....One leg on each side of a wetted fret...Pull the trigger, and in a couple seconds, the fret will heat up, start to steam, and the water quickly boils off...It's hot !
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That's a clever idea but I hope you're being really careful - high amps, metal and water are a lethal combination.
You are right, but in this case the voltage is low, I think that is 6V so is harmless.
It's not the voltage, it's the current. These guns take 115V AC and step-down the voltage to 6V and as a result, the current really gets high. The spark for static electricity is high voltage (over a 1KV) yet low current, that's why you don't get killed when you get a shock.

That said, the fishin' musician said he's still alive after fifteen years of this technique - so I'll be trying it myself!
32 volt DC used to be the industry standard for safe DC operation - the current range to electrocute humans is fussy and is a function or resistance and dc/ac voltage applied to a very wet and conductive human (such as a fisherman doing his repairs in salt water!).......anyotherwize - if 9 Volts was dangerous there would be legions of dead musicians hunched over their effects pedals as they changed the batteries. R.
Not really any amount of water involved....15 years, and I've naver even felt a tickle
I always wet around the frets as well before adding the heat.I bought a cheap set of nippers and ground down the face myself. I ground one side down thinner then polished. Starting with the thin side in, they sort of act as a ramp while easing the fret out. I think this helps, but wetting and steaming the slot does the trick usually. And then sometimes............
Just read this, what a brilliant idea! I have a Weller soldering gun that's 30 years old and still going strong, but until now I've only used it to remove frets with the normal copper tip filed half round to fit over the fret. I bet your mod is much more efficient, it's top of the list of things to do tomorrow when I open my workshop. Pity I didn't read it two days earlier, I just refretted an old Takamine, it's the second refret, someone else did the first one using some kind of glue. It was a sweat getting them out without chipping the board, and your mod would've helped. Looking forward to trying it on the next fretjob.

Grahame

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