Fretworks Crash Course

Join us for this exclusive 2-day Fretworks Crash course and learn professional refretting and fret levelling methods – on your own electric guitar! From neck assessment, to fret removal, to fretboard planing, to refretting, levelling, crowning and lastly the final polishing. Now offered with select specialty tools provided (see below). Interested only in fret dressing (level/crown/polish)? Join us on Day 2 and learn the great art of a professional fret dressing.

Fret work is a challenging area although this class is structured for beginners and those with little experience. It is a thorough introduction to the basics of refretting, and like any skill, requires practice to hone the skills taught (results will vary). All experience levels are welcome, including none at all!

We will cover theory, proper removal of frets, planing and polishing the fingerboard, cleaning and treating the fret slots, installing new frets, leveling/crowning and polishing methods – on your own ELECTRIC GUITAR (unbound rosewood or satin-finished unbound maple fretboards only).

Approx. 15 Hours

Class Overview, Day 1:

  • Refretting theory and application, common problems and work arounds
  • Assessing neck integrity, checking for twists & warps using sight methods and tools
  • Strategize refret after assessment
  • Remove frets
  • Clean fretboard, plane out mild twists and imperfections
  • Clean fret slots
  • Prepare new frets, shape and size
  • Refret using traditional hammer-in or press method
  • Trim fret overhang

Class Overview, Day 2:

  • Fret Levelling
  • Insure frets uniform height, level out inconsistencies
  • File fret ends and bevel
  • Recrown frets (re-shape)
  • Polish out all tool marks
  • Restring and play

Supplies Needed:

  • Your guitar, new set of strings
  • Pen or pencil
  • 2 x cloth, towel, or rag to set your guitar on (we’ll be using tables)
  • Cloth/rag to clean your guitar 
  • Neck rest
  • Unused paint brush
  • Newspaper
  • XActo/hobbyist knife
  • Thin viscosity cyanoacrylate glue – available at hobbyist stores or Lee Valley
  • Cyanoacrylate glue solvent – available at hobbyist stores or Lee Valley
  • Bottle of lighter fluid (ex. Ronsonol, Zippo, etc.)
  • Black Sharpie marker
  • Low-tack painters masking tape
  • 2″x 2″ Micro-mesh sanding discs (set of 9, #1500-12000 grits) – available at Stewmac.com or Lee Valley
  • Double-edge or offset diamond fret crowning file
  • Fret-end dressing file
  • **40W or variable soldering iron w/ brand new tip
  • **Sponge for cleaning solder iron
  • **6′ your choice fretwire (Stewart MacDonald, Jescar or Dunlop is recommended)

Supplies marked with an **asterisk are needed for the fret removal and refretting portion of the class only.

Recommended Tools (*these will be supplied/shared)

  • Fret levelling file(s)
  • Fret levelling bar
  • Radius gauges
  • Fingerboard guards
  • Straightedges
  • Radius blocks
  • Fret cutter
  • Fret puller
  • Refret saw
  • Fret slot cleaning tool
  • Fretting hammer
  • Fret dressing stick with belts

*Note that materials/supplies/tools may be available for purchase in class. Please contact for more information.


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