DIY Remove Frets without Damage

stainless steel frets on guitar neck

What’s the best way to remove frets without Damage

The best way to remove frets out without damage is to protect the fingerboard as much as possible. And the only way to do that is to lift your frets first to get something under them. I’ve been removing frets this way for many years with complete success. I have not damaged a fingerboard where it is visible once the frets are replaced. The only damage has occurred under the fret where it can’t be seen.
As you can see in the video I use Fingerboard protectors. These are stainless steel rectangles with a slot cut out of them to expose a fret when polishing and crowning them. They are very thin and quite tough. They measure about 0.3 mm or 0.011 inches and are magnetic which tends to be a poorer stainless steel. However they are a perfect way to remove your frets without damage.

DIY How To remove frets without damage.

Ok, as the video above shows, how to remove your frets without damage is quite easy. Just a few simple rules to follow and it will give you a perfect result. Start by lifting the edge of the fret. This can be done a number of ways. I like to use a tough, sharp blade. I work it in under the fret and gently lift as I go. Now I’m not rying to yank the fret up. Just trying to lift it enough so that the fingerboard protector can slip in on both sides only on the edge I have lifted.

remove frets from fingerboard

How to remove frets

Rosewood fretboards don’t usually have the frets are not glued in.

Remove Frets that are Glued.

Some older frets are glued in and you will need heat them with a soldering iron.  This will soften the glue and allow you yo remove them. Most Maple necks are lacquered and need a different approach here to remove frets without damage.