FRETS.NET

Just curious if anyone has tryed this 'fix' with any degree of success...

I,m sure that most of us have encountered a 'dinged fret' usually on the high E or B strings where the guitar neck has taken a hit on the fingerboard and the string has 'dug-into' the fret leaving a trench with ridges on the edges.

This would tend to 'hang up' on the string when playing or bending on that fret.

I realize that a 'proper fix' would be to dress/level all of the frets or replace and level the problem fret.......BUT...I have seen a video of the repair where the 'groove' is filled in with silver solder and then carefully leveled with files. In doing this, it would be important to carefully file down to level,the 'ridges' of the groove before adding the solder.

....Anyone?

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Silver is too soft, I wouldn't even give it a try.

Maybe metallurgic vocabulary is misleading you :

- "germain silver" is an alloy of copper, tin and nickel (which hardens the alloy) used for the frets

- silver for welding is... well, silver or a tin+silver alloy, but both are too soft for fretwire.

I am with Pierre .That would be called A Gypsy fix only good until you got the Guitar sold...... Bill............

Besides what Pierre and Bill said, If you had the silver, which would require a LOT of heat to install, it sounds like more work than replacing the fret and leveling.

By the time you heat the fret up enough to make a good joint, your fingerboard will be smoldering, possible flaming. It would actually be easier just to install a new fret.

Or, cheaper, just polish the fret until the divot is less divot-like, and more gradual-dip-like. Not a great solution, but a quick fix.

I agree that solder is going to be way too soft.

This is also the kind of thing that one could easily test for themselves simply by pressing a string repeatedly into the solder stock right off the roll and see what happens.

Although not completely on-topic we recently had a guitar in for fret work that the previous repair person had removed frets in the extension region and swapped them out for worn frets in the cowboy chord region....  As you can imagine the moved frets in the extension region were now too short and even worse... the frets relocated from the extension to the first several positions were too long and the fret ends were brutal.....

Also I for one use a soldering gun with a groove filed in the tip to heat frets prior to removal.  If the guitar under consideration for a "solder fix" had it's frets glued in place we would be releasing the glue by heating the fret to solder it....  Not something that I think that we want to do.

So... as the others have mentioned there is no substitute for a fret dress (if all out replacement is not needed) or a refret if the divots are too deep.

Thanks everyone for your responses! It sounded like a "hairball" idea anyway...

Rod

I had that happen last year, guitar fell to the ground (with the neck up) and hit the edge of the table with the fretboard. The result was a surgical cut from the B string on the third fret.


I filled it with 97/3 plumbing solder, still holds till this day, it might look a tiny bit different in color but generally not noticeable at all. Never had any problems with how soft solder is compared to the NS. I have pulled frets on some guitars with ease but frets got the reverse bend.

Modern RoHS solder works well too. That is what was probably used in that video, because RoHS solder is also called silver solder, I don't know if there's any silver in it or not and I would guess it's not, but it takes about 60° C more to flow than old Sn/Pb solder.

BTW never use a soldering gun with a coil especially on electrics because you might risk demagnetizing the pickups. Always use a soldering pen.

Did you perform this with the fret in place, or remove it first?

Startin' to phret way 2 much over 1 fret......git'erdun..actually removing to solder is exc/idea but I'd just get a brand new fret...take one off the upper end even.... whew...I bet the last fret never gets used anyway...maybe they're jus' spares for situations like this.

The fret was in place on a maple board, finished with poly, to make matters worse :) No damage at all. The best thing to do is to preheat the fret slightly with the barrel of your soldering pen for 5 seconds, so it gets warm but doesn't disturb any glue if present, then put a small dab of flux on the fret, tin your tip moderately and just touch the spot. The solder will stick to it immediately. Make sure you make a short swipe with the tip while the tin is still hot because you want to lift off the tip somewhere in the safe zone, otherwise the might be air gaps.

You don't have to work at blazing speeds but it's wise to get it done as quick as possible. After you're done tap the fret lightly end to end with something solid and heavy like a piece of 8mm steel rod and listen for any potential dead spots, but I'm almost positive there won't be any if the fret was properly seated before. Then sand off the excess, crown it and polish it.

I'm not advocating this is the best solution. It's the quickest and works to the extent I never though it would. The third fret is strategical, both the G and D chords are played there, usually, and I can honestly say that it outperformed my expectations.

Maybe it is not the best solution for customers, especially those that are very picky and have expensive gear. You should know your clientelle, some might be tolerant, others aren't.

Forgot to mention, I check that fret today, because I was never paying attention to it after the fix, until I saw this thread. I can say for sure, you can have an eagle eye and you can't spot it anymore, I guess solder developed a nice patina, but I also polish my frets by hand and paste between string changes because I like a well maintaned instrument. I can clearly remember how that thing looked when it was freshly filled, it was just slightly egg shaped, because the string cut right where a minute divot from normal playing once was. I got my optivisor on and I can't see.

I take picture of almost everything I do, but my camera back then was so crappy I gave up on documenting it, otherwise I'd be glad to show.

Nice to know Tadej, thanks!

Thanks Tadej, for the details!

Its good to know that there is "life after death" on a 'topic question'....

I will give it a go and report back with the results when I do. It is one of my guitars (unbound/rosewood board)....so no real hurry. If I don,t have good results....Eeh! I can always replace the fret.

I do a lot of electonic(amp) work and repair and have decent soldering equiptment and skills.....SO...at least I have that much on my side for success...

Rod

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