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Old 08-22-2017, 12:12 AM   #1
littlebadboy
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Default Fretboard replacing?

Hello everyone!

This is kind of a spinoff from my other thread on how to make my frets slide again. Well, I noticed that the fretboard has some nicks and indents on my least used fret (1st). It's not a bother at the moment. But when I have extra money, I'd like to treat it with repairs and upgrades. It's a cheap guitar, an unknown Laguna LE300avb, but plays so well that it's my workhorse. I even prefer playing it than my PRS SE. I'm not saying that the PRS is crap, it's just that I like my Laguna a lot.

Cutting story short... is there such a thing as replacing the fretboard? If yes, is it an expensive and worthy procedure?

Thanks!
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:20 AM   #2
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I'm guessing that it would cost more than the guitar is worth. I did have one replaced, but that was on a vintage Gibson not an inexpensive make and model. For your kind of problem, I would just repair the nicks and divots. I make good black bog for ebony by mixing cement oxide dye with epoxy. You could do the same thing for rosewood using the brown oxide. Something like flour and epoxy would likely work for bogging maple.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:40 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by littlebadboy View Post
Cutting story short... is there such a thing as replacing the fretboard? If yes, is it an expensive and worthy procedure?

Thanks!
A fretboard can be replaced, LBB, but its a job that comes with a lot of "extra's". Initially, removing the existing fretboard will usually require a heat gun and a separation knife to get the existing fretboard apart from the neck stock. Then you'd need to ensure that the surface of the neck stock (the surface the fingerboard is glued to) is clean of all previous wood chips, adhesives, etc, and that its flat to properly accept the new fretboard. You'd have to make sure to not remove too much neck stock wood when ensuring cleanliness and flatness, or you'd risk weakening the neck, not to mention the possibility of the truss rod not seating deeply enough in its channel if too much neck stock wood is removed to obtain perfect flatness.

Same goes for the gluing surface (bottom side) of the new fretboard... its gotta be perfectly flat. You'd need to make or buy a jig to maintain even pressure when gluing the new fretboard down.

It will also necessitate reshaping the edges of the new fretboard to fit the existing neck stock, new fret installation (which will require a fret press to seat the frets in their slots), a full fret prep (fret ends rounded and profiled, and a fret level, crown and polish), a new nut installation, not to mention it will be very likely that you'd need to refin the neck when the new fretboard is resized to fit the existing neck stock.

Again, it can certainly be done, but I wouldnt consider it a job for a 1st timer. It requires some pretty precision work, and a lot of it.
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Old 08-22-2017, 12:49 AM   #4
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Another vote for a divot repair. Assuming the divots bother you while you're playing, not just looking at them, fill them to the point where they don't bother your playing. Google some woodworking sites to learn different methods. You can mix the proper color sawdust with epoxy and make a good hard filler.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:20 AM   #5
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Oh I didn't want to do it myself because I wanted it to be done properly being my favorite guitar. Sounds like an expensive repair.

Would replacing the whole neck be complicated looking for the right size and length? Or would it change the dynamics of the guitar? Or is it costly too?
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:27 AM   #6
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You could likely get one cheaper than a new fretboard would cost with fitting, but there is the problem of getting one that you would be sure is the right fit. I also think that much of an electric guitar's character is in the neck, so, for me, getting a new neck would be not much different from getting a new guitar.
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:53 AM   #7
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You are right, Mr. Tony. I'll probably just enjoy it until I can.
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Old 08-22-2017, 04:45 AM   #8
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My 2 cents worth. DO NOT REPLACE THE NECK. Don't ask why. Just don't do it. Get some Rosewood or Walnut or Mahogany sawdust and mix it with epoxy so it'll be dark like the existing fretboard. If you've ever oiled the fretboard, you probably should rub a little Acetone on the fret space that you are working on so it will dry up the old oil and allow the epoxy to properly stick. Scratch the work location along the grain so the epoxy has something to stick to. If you just apply it to unprepared wood it will probably pop right off in a month or so. Its not going to take much to fill those divots even though they look like manholes right now. Lay a straightedge on them and you'll see that they aren't deep. Lots of luck. Personally, I wouldn't do anything to it if it was mine.
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Old 08-22-2017, 05:03 AM   #9
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Personally, I wouldn't do anything to it if it was mine.
Looks like its a complicated job to DIY. I'd rather not do anything. Thank you, Mr. PKVeazy!
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Old 08-22-2017, 02:00 PM   #10
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Would replacing the whole neck be complicated looking for the right size and length? Or would it change the dynamics of the guitar? Or is it costly too?
I guess I should have Googled that guitar before posting... I dont know if there are variations of that guitar, but is it a bolt-on neck??

If it is, I'd simply determine the factory scale length (very likely a simple 25.5" scale) and buy a new neck. Thats the best solution cause you get a new neck, not simply a neck with filled spots and frets that have previous wear on them.

My suggestion would be a Kiesel neck. It comes with the best fret prep of any new neck right out of the box, and a new, properly cut nut. You'd have choices of fret size, fingerboard wood, neck stock wood, and you could have Kiesel finish it in Tung Oil, or simply apply a finish yourself.

IF it was my guitar, no question thats the way I'd go with it, especially if its a favorite guitar. It'll play amazingly well, have brand new frets, and the neck swap will be an easy job.
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