Using the Fret Puller on an Old Classical

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Dan Erlewine demonstrates the StewMac Fret Puller on an old classical guitar fingerboard.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Stewart-MacDonald - StewMac Fret Puller]

Dan Erlewine: I'm going to refret this old classical guitar from the 1960s. It's got a pretty crummy fret job. The rest of it's great. The first thing you do is pull the frets, and the best tool for that is the StewMac Fret Puller [on-screen text reads: The essential refretting tool]. The jaws are small, sharp, narrow, and flush-ground, so they get under the fret easily to pull it upward. Hardwoods like ebony and rosewood, things that fretboards are made out of can be very chippy. So I go very carefully on the first fret to see how it's seated and how tough it is to get out. If it chips, I'll fix those chips. This one's coming out like butter. It's nothing. Let's see what the next one does. This one's fighting me some more, but I'm not seeing a chip yet. Nope, these are going to be a piece of cake, but they wouldn't be without the fret puller.

Okay, there are some chips now. That's a pretty big one. I'll just leave that and come back later and fill it with superglue and ebony dust, but I will use a little heat and maybe a little moisture on these last ones [on-screen text reads: StewMac Fingerboard Guards - Protect your fingerboard]. What the heat does is it loosens that glue a little bit. It warms the glue and juices everything up, and I know the fret will come out easier without any chips. You see, I start on the far edge. That's where I come and I nip towards myself. These fret pullers are absolutely the perfect tool for this job.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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