Fret Work Step-By-Step

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By Erick Coleman with Dan Erlewine
New tools, techniques, and color photos! The updated 2nd edition of the world's most popular fretting instruction manual.

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Fret Work Step-By-Step

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By Erick Coleman with Dan Erlewine
New tools, techniques, and color photos! The updated 2nd edition of the world's most popular fretting instruction manual.

Updated 2nd edition: more tools, new techniques!
Published by Stewart-MacDonald. The most popular fretting instruction manual in the world, a best seller since fretmaster Dan Erlewine wrote it in 1994! Our new updated 2nd edition reflects lots of innovative tools and techniques that have come along since then. We reworked it from the ground up, with colorful photos and revised text that demonstrate clearly how to tackle all kinds of fret work. Simple jobs and tricky problems are shown and explained from start to finish. Learn the right way: gain the confidence to do your own fret work on new or old guitars, maple necks, bound necks—any instrument that comes in your door.

Chapters include:
Tools and supplies
Working with compound radius fretboards
Simple fret leveling and dressing
A basic fret job
A partial refret job
Fretting nonadjustable necks
Refretting a bound neck
Fretting Fender maple necks
Fretting Fender laminated fingerboards
Martin bar fretting
Fretting an unattached fingerboard
New technology: the Plek machine
Final setup

100 pages, softcover.

About the authors:
Erick Coleman: repairman, tech support guru and author. Erick answers every kind of lutherie question from Stewart-MacDonald's customers. His background includes years of traveling as a rock guitarist, which is when he started doing his own repairs. He learned from Dan Erlewine's videos, then in Dan's shop. Making a career of guitar repair, Erick is now a technical support expert for StewMac.

Dan Erlewine is a well-known guitar repair veteran and author of bestselling videos and books on repair. His DVD series on instrument repair includes a dozen volumes as of this writing.

Erick and Dan are regular contributors to our Trade Secrets E-mail Newsletter and to Stewart-MacDonald's product research and development.

The basic tools to get you started
Fret Work Step-By-Step is included in our Essential Fretting Tool Kit, a set of the seven fundamental tools you'll need for accurate fret work.


Ratings & Reviews

Fret Work Step-By-Step

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  • Based on 21 Reviews
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Excellent!

By T Copley from Australia
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, February 06, 2012


Covers almost all aspects of fretting in great detail and much more. Easy to understand, clear pictures help explain the tricky parts. The main thing I bought the book for was unfortunately not covered... How to compound-radius a fretboard.

Not really step-by-step

By Giovanni from Milan Italy
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, December 04, 2011


The book could be better, don't help very much.
You must also buy the video to really understand how to do a fret job

Good book

By Carl W from Seattle, WA
(Customer's Reviews) Tuesday, November 29, 2011


This is a good book that covers a lot of different re-fretting scenarios. Unfortunately it was not what I was looking for. I was hoping for more focus on fretting a new guitar and doing the initial set up. Set up is not covered, but them again the book never claims that it is. In short, not what I was looking for but a really good book if you want to know a lot about re-fretting and possible problems you will encounter in the process.

Great book

By Tracy G from Indianapolis,IN
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, October 22, 2011


This book is a definate help to a beginner, even with each guitar and neck being different it gives you a solid base understanding to do your own fretwork.

Great reference book, without doing the job FOR you.

By Pete's Guitar Repairs from New Zealand
(Customer's Reviews) Saturday, October 01, 2011


This book assumes you have a brain and are prepared to use it. It gives you a no nonsense approach to fretting and refretting. If you use this in conjunction with the Stew - Mac fretting table, found on this website, you'll do a fine job on a blank neck.
If you want to refret, it tells you how.
Anyone who doesn't 'get it' after reading this, shouldn't be doing the job.

A Big Help

By Woodshed Guitar Works from Mechanicsburg, Pa
(Customer's Reviews) Monday, July 04, 2011


I'm the kind of person who likes to measure 15 times before making a cut. That being said, having this book as a point of reference is a big help. I had performed a few refrets in the past, with success, but was never properly taught how to do one. This book served as a guide and answered a few nagging questions that I had about bound fretboards, Gibson binding nibs, Tele necks, etc. Highly recommended.

Somewhat Useful

By Carefulwithax from Las Cruces, NM, USA
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, January 20, 2011


Purchased this book to help myself out on my first fretting job - the book is ok and does have quite a lot of useful information, but still left me with many questions. I also noticed that it does not cover a complete fretting job from scratch - as in building your own guitar. It doesn't have much information at all when starting with a blank fretboard where you would cut frets from scratch. Maybe they should have called it " Some Helpful hints for RE-FRETTING. On the plus side, it did help enough to give me some confidence to go forward with my fret job.

Step by Step on how to sell StewMac tools

By DougM from Ohio
(Customer's Reviews) Thursday, December 30, 2010


I got this with the "Essential Fretting Kit". As usual, the StewMac tools are the bomb! The book however, is nothing more than a shameless $34 ad for all the other tools that aren't included in the fretting kit. Thank goodness it's free in this kit.


There isn't detailed step by step instruction from beginning to end on how to fret a guitar. It's just superficial information you can download for free here and elsewhere. I'm very disappointed in this book. I was excited to fret a neck that I bought and I still don't know where to begin, unless I begin by buying 10 other tools they sell (for a minimum of 30-40 bucks). Also don't forget the $10 shipping gouge regardless of size/weight.


So I will have to get on the forums and glean the information elsewhere so I can use my shiny new tools on my neck without goofing it up (or spending 300-400 on new tools to do it "right")

Merry Christmas

By Phil K. from Rockledge, FL
(Customer's Reviews) Sunday, November 14, 2010


This my second copy of a fine source of information. I loaned out my first copy over a year ago and the person (a very good friend) won't return it. I'll tell him to keep it and "Merry Christmas!"

As Always

By Flankmanoman from Washington, Pa.
(Customer's Reviews) Wednesday, September 01, 2010


As always I've learned more techniques from the new FWSS. Dan and the guys at Stew-Mac are the greatest. Great service and info!!

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