Knowing how to change fret wire is a hot question among guitarist and other string instrument playing musicians. This is the case because frets are one of the things that can completely ruin a guitar's tone if they go bad. Let’s learn how to exchange that old, worn fret wire for a new, tone-enriching fret wire.
What you will need:
- Flat tongs
- New fret wire
- Fretting hammer
- Soldering iron
- New set of strings
- Heavy duty wire cutters
- Fret press
Start by removing the strings from the guitar. This is done by loosening the tuning pegs and pulling the strings through the bridge.
Take the flat tongs and start pulling the frets. The easiest way to do this is to gently apply pressure down the line of the fret until it loosens and comes up. Make sure not to rip the fret off the guitar; it could cause damage to your guitar and require more work later. If there are frets that don’t come up easily and you can tell they are glued on, skip them.
On the frets that you couldn’t get up: use the soldering iron to force them off. Do this by applying the solder down the line of the fret wire and use the tongs to pull them off. The frets should be much easier to take off now.
Measure one of the old frets you just took off. This way you can be exact about the length your fret wire needs to be on the frets.
Using the measurement from earlier, cut all fret wire using the wire cutters so it has about an inch more on it than the old frets. This will make sure you don’t accidently waste a piece of fret wire, keeping it economical!
Clean out the fret slots. This will assure the job is done as efficiently as possible.
Using the fret press, press all of the new frets into the old slots. Make sure they are in there nice and tight!
Using the wire cutters, cut the excess fret wire off of the side of frets. This will keep the job clean and the guitar rocking!