How To Remove Guitar Frets

Although it's fun to know how to remove guitar frets, this is something that is best left to the professionals. Seriously, you risk doing critical, unalterable damage to your musical instrument by removing them yourself. You are most likely going to do more harm than good. Still reading? Okay, here it goes.

To remove guitar frets you will need:

  • Soldering iron
  • Steel wool
  • Sandpaper
  • End nippers
  1. Scuff up the end of your soldering iron. You want the tip of the soldering iron to be able to grip and push another piece of metal. Drag the end over a rough grit piece of sandpaper and then rummage around in a piece of steel wool. This step is not critical, but it will make your life a lot easier.
  2. Plug in the soldering iron. If you have one where you can set the temperature, set it at the lower end of the spectrum. You are about to heat up the glue that is between the fret and the fingerboard. If you have any "get focused" music, now is the time to play it. If you are a godly man, make peace with whatever spirit watches over your axe.
  3. Touch the tip of the soldering iron to the widest fret. You want to use the widest (closest to the soundboard) fret because the heat will desperse better, giving you more margin for error. When you see the glue bubbling, continue to the next step.
  4. Grip the fret between the end nips and rock it back and forth. Don't pull it out. This will break the area where the fret is holding into the fingerboard. If you stop being able to wiggle it, immediately stop and go back to the heating step. The glue has cooled and set again. If you chip your fingerboard, save the chip and repair it before you move onto the next fret. Otherwise you will forget about it.

Resources:

Fret Repair

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