Thursday, 6 November 2008

Gibson ES125D re-fret

This is a continuation of my post describing a re-fret. This nice old Gibson is from 1966 and had such fret and finger board wear that I just had to show you it.

The serial number isn't too clear in the photo but its 433265 and according to Gibson's website thats 1966.

This one's been re-fretted before a long time ago. Its had some 'rising tongue' which is the end of the board raising up ski jump style. Someone has tries to cure this by filing away the frets at the end of the neck.

As you can see there's almost nothing left. Certainly not playable here.

The board had such a lot of playing wear it was worth taking this photo. The whole board had wear like this all over it! Wow what a player! As you can just see in this pic when I took the frets out the board started to crumble so it took a lot of care and many little repairs to get it ready to take new frets. Leveling a board like this is a big job.

To ensure I didn't sand through the marker dots I took them out and put them back after. The rest of the job was straight forward (see Maton Re-Fret). Unfortunately I didn't get a pic of the finished instrument - the owner was very keen to get his hands on it.

I am no longer repairing guitars - since covid 19 I now work full time making pickups


  1. I just refretted a '63 Casino(for real one).I love those old worn Gibson fingerboards.It has a rising tongue on the "bass side only".My brother in law was a cowboy player and only played the 1st 5 frets.Upon his death I loosened the strings(26 yrs. ago)and recently was given the guitar(gits are meant to be played not stored)I learned not to go by fret level without the neck at tension!It doesn't really show up 'til I string it up(maybe neck twists?).I've taken down bass side to .038 and still buzzes.Going downstairs right now to try larger bass strings(E and A).I learned my lesson and will probably have to take off some fingerboard on bass end and refret last 10/12 frets.Thanx to you,I will remove inlays.Glyn,thanks so much for your articles. The Best, Ty Millsaps


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