Refret with Evo Wire
Martin Orchestra Model

For more details on fretwork,<br>please see the following two articles:
Fretwork Matters –
What Makes Great Frets? Part One
The Road to Great Frets, Part Two

Background: When frets are too worn for level, crown, and polish, I recommend a refret. For conventional guitars I use one of three different wire types – nickel (which is what is typically factory installed, Evo wire which more durable than nickel, or stainless steel, which typically lasts the lifetime of the instrument.

Evo wire, used in this refret, provides about 50% more wear resistance than nickel wire. Its gold hue is shiny when new, but oxidizes to a matte gold. There is no concern with how the guitar looks, as the fret wire blends in very well which chrome and nickel tuners.

Repairs: This Martin had received a prior level, crown, and polish. Often a guitar can receive two such services before refret. Unfortunately wear was so deep that we recommended a refret. A dial caliper is used to adjust the fretboard completely flat. The frets are electrically heated, and removed. The fretboard is then dressed. Divots are typically filled and leveled if there is fretboard wear. Fretboard edges are turned. Frets are then sized, and installed with hot hide glue. To fit the fres to the board, the frets are filed to a 30 degree angle along the board.

Once the frets are installed and fitted, a complete fret level, crown, and polish. The fretboard is taped off to protect all wood surfaces and binding. All fret ends are dressed so there are no sharp edges. The frets are crowned with diamond files, wet sanded up to 1200 grit, and buffed to a high luster with rouge.