Electric 1960’s Fender Jazzmaster Refret and more!

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Here’s a cool 1960’s Fender Jazzmaster in for some work. We’ve got it in for new frets, lets take a look.

Headstock view

Headstock view

A glance at the frets shows that they’re low, flat, and have a good amount of wear. Not as bad as some old Fenders we see.. but still not good.

Original frets

Original frets

Original frets

Original frets

 

Side view of original frets

Side view of original frets

 

The owner recently acquired the guitar, and is intending to play it. Here are some shots of the new frets, notice the difference in height and shape. The new frets are round and have a healthy crown, as opposed to the low and flat originals.

New frets, side view.

New frets, side view.

New frets, slightly different angle.

New frets, slightly different angle.

Doesn’t that look more fun to play? Now I can, what is the term… bend?

So the real meat of this repair came as a surprise. The frets went in and I was ready to tune it up and play some surf licks. But as I tuned up the G string, the tuner fell apart.

These old Fenders come with Kluson tuners. The way these are put together goes like this:

The baseplate gets the cog installed. Then the worm goes in the cover plate, and is put into place with two tabs going through the baseplate.

Kluson dissassembled

Kluson dissassembled

 

These two tabs are then bent down to hold the cover on, which looks like this:

Healthy Kluson, top view

Healthy Kluson, top view

It is an extremely common issue for Klusons to break at these flimsy tabs. It is uncommon to repair these tuners as they are still made with the same styling. Replacing them is a more appropriate and cost effective route.

That being said, this is a beautiful and all original (other than the frets) vintage Fender, so Frank and I thought we’d try and fix it.

We’re going to try and use silver braze and a torch. So how shall we hold it?

 

IMG_1161

Hemostats clamped in the Versa-Vise. Applying flux prior to repair.

 

Using a brush to apply flux will help the braze stick to the baseplate. Next up is a series of shots as the braze melts and bonds with the tuner, and quenching it after the bond is satisfactory.

 

IMG_1163 IMG_1166              IMG_1173                IMG_1175

 

After all that, we managed to not burn ourselves and fix the original gear. I setup the guitar with a Mastery bridge and it’s playing better than it did when it was a new guitar in 1963.

 



Written By James Hingston

James has slowly been working his way westward for years. He was born in England, but grew up mainly in Vermont. His foray into guitar repair started when he and his Dad swapped the pickups in an old Hagstrom, and ever since he’s had the bug.

He built some solid…

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