Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

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Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 4:55 am

So, I bought an old Vox 25 recently. Mainly because I have a Vox 24 Custom, and I just fancied having the pair!


It had been modded in the past with a humbucker installed at the bridge position in lieu of the original Dimarzios and the other Dimarzios switched out too – now all Kent Armstrong equipped. The previous owner(s) must have really liked this guitar as the frets were extremely worn down. They had also been levelled a few times as they were very flat and badly worn. Also, the fret board had a lot of wear too. I didn’t really think that the frets were up to another levelling, so I decided a re-fret was the order of the day.


And just for posterity, thought I would record the job…


The general state of the frets and fretboard.

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Removing the old frets with some specially ground nips to allow them to get in / under the old frets to allow them to be pulled out. Even though I was going to sand down the fret board, I protected it anyway. The soldering iron is used to melt any glue that might be there, and to help prevent chipping of the edges of the slots. I also used the split fretboard protector to help get under the frets to lift them out rather than rotating them out and damaging lacquer at fret ends
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I tried to be careful, but still chipped out the odd bit of lacquer at the ends of a couple of frets
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No frets left!
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Pic 12
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:05 am

Sanding down the board to remove the divots. In the end, I didn’t get rid of all of them as I would have had to re cut the fret slots, and I didn’t really want all that grief with all the fret ends needing lacquer repairs
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Ready to start installing new frets. I bought them ready bent and cut. For a few quid, it is the least bother.
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New frets going in
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:11 am

Straightening up the neck using the truss rod in readiness for leveling.
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Protecting the fretboard with tape before I level and crown the new frets.
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Marker pen on top of each fret so I can see when I have removed material from them
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My fret leveler – a length of extruded aluminium with sandpaper glued to it.
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Leveling in progress. Black marker being sanded away
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:14 am

All done

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Marker pen on the tops again in readiness for re-crowning of the frets as they are all now flatted off on the tops, rather than a nice curve.
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This is my usual fret crowning file. It has a curved filing surface on the two edges
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Here I am partly through the crowning process, trying to get all the marker pen removed other than a narrow strip up the centre of the fret, taking it back to a nice curved profile
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 5:19 am

And then beginning of the polishing process using grit from about 800 to 2000. Three separate passes with varying grits
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Finally, I get a bit of jewelers rouge on them to finish off using a dremel.
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All the protective tape stripped off and a quick oil and buff
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It would be rude not to put new nylon washers in the tuners, as a few had cracked and fallen out
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And back together again!
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And on the wall with a couple of her close relations!
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by corsair on Fri Dec 23, 2016 6:11 am

Nice photo essay, Adey and well done!! I know I was a bit hesitant on the first fret job I did but in the end, if you approach it slowly and methodically, it's not terribly difficult!!

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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Barry on Fri Dec 23, 2016 9:48 am

Thanks very much for the pix Adey. They make a nice reference for anone else considering doing the same.

Beautiful job!

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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by Adey on Fri Dec 23, 2016 12:08 pm

I've done a few re-frets, and as you say, not really difficult. The whole thing took me about 6 hours.

It is a nice sounding instrument too.

I've had a few strat type guitars but never held onto any of them for long. This one seems like it'll say a lot longer.

It's also wired a bit differently to most strats as the tone works on the bridge pup, but not on the neck. But as you can switch in the middle and neck using the 5-position switch there is plenty of sonic variation available.

I haven't any experience of Kent Armstrong (anyone else familiar with them?), but they do seem to make this a mighty super-strat!
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by The Chad on Fri Dec 23, 2016 1:14 pm

Thanks for that, it's like guitar porn to see repair and resto close ups.  Great job, too!
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Re: Re-fret of my Vox Standard 25

Post by corsair on Fri Dec 23, 2016 2:31 pm

I put a set of Kent Armstrong P-90s in a guitar ealier this year and they're good; other than that, I got nothing... Laughing

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