1956 Fender Stratocaster neck
Rebuild tuner holes to proper size
Refret with Dunlop 6105 wire
Maintain original patina
Frets are glued in, with
cyano it appears.
Excess glue on all wires
Cross grained Maple plugs
ordered for peghead repair.
6105 Dunlop wire-
furnished by cust.
Plugs arrive, picked up
Ready to ream after gluing
Tape off for protection against chip out
Leave enough room
for fret pliers
Taped, solder gun heating,
ready to pull
Slice any old glue and
finish away from wire with clean sharp blade
flip it around halfway
Tip cut for crown of fret, you do not want slip offs even
First wires pulled, shows
Ends are crimped because
the last luthier was trying to gain retention
Reason ""Slot rot"
Too much sweat, String cleaner, and prior
refrets have degraded these slots to a point that they will all
These are not old frets,
they are very recent and
my guess is never worked properly.
They were cut down to try
and catch up with the
Here you can see that the breakage is right under the wire, not
You can also see on the frets, the wire ends compressed into the
neck wood, not the top of the fingerboard
All the way they are crimped on the ends for retention.
That and glue held the ends down
You can see in this sequence, the heated wire is coming out
clean, and the problem is under the wire rot.
Easy to see wire is embedding into the board past the plane of
This is no new problem for me, I do 100s of vintage banjo
fingerboard a year with a similar problem in Pearwood boards.
I cannot stress enough, that nothing could be done about this
I can however, correct these woes and make nice new slots.
All out, ready to regain a foothold and go back up the hill
Proper removal with tape off is always very important even if it
is not a rare Strat neck
Cleaning the slots for rebuilding
This is teflon, comes in sheets from Stew Mac and is gauged for
the proper size to correct slots by using #10 and #20 Glues
First the water thin #10, which will wick up and into all the
degraded areas and harden them
After this, I used Amber #20 to regain the height
You run it a little high and onto the teflon dams so you can
"Cut to flat"
Dried, the teflon slides right out
A fine file to get the bulk and my sanding sticks to get the
After you smooth them you clean them with the saw again
Now they look like fret slots again.
Ready for 2106 Dunlop wire
Always clean your wire with solvent, there is machine oil from
the mfg. process that will inhibit glue retention
Cutback tool so they do not end up with ends sticking out like
the previous fret job.
Getting the length and nipping
Compressing with hand fret press
Sealing the new wire with #10 thin
You can see now that the wire are back "On top",
I will fill the ends with amber for a tight seal.
Then smooth the edges
Since I will not be doing the final leveling process I will
merely dress the ends and smooth it all up.
It needs to be on a guitar and under tension then placed on a
jog to get the best fret leveling possible.
I do not own that jig....yet.
All the other procedures you see on new necks is OK, for new
necks with everything new, not for 50-60 yr old rutted and
You can only do what you can do when trying to keep something as
original as possible and an expert on Strat's can go the next
step if it needs spot leveling
Radius boards are always trickier than flat ones and with
discerning players being more "picky"that is best left for
someone with proper tools.
after 1200 fine paper, 0000 steel wool
Then a polish on the machine buffs
I will not install the string guides, best left for someone "in
TUNING MACHINE INSTALLATION
Test run on a scrap peghead
I want to see which bushing reamer works best
I had the correct size so now I will go forth
The top grained maple plugs should do well
I stained them since on th backside there will be a little
showing since its 1/4 where the post goes thru.
Front side is wider for the bushing
Maple dust to fill all old holes so I glue and redrill
Very critical to stay centered on both sides
There is no factory template here to go by and with individual
tuners needing to align perfectly, no room for error.
First one where I want it, lets go.
That is all the plug that is left. after bushing ream
A very light touch on the reamer here is important or you will
blow out a plug.
I'll tape that straightedge down to hold things for drilling
All good to go
After final dressing and buffing
A good challenge,
Thanks for watching,