This guitar had deep trenches worn along the course of the strings from heavy usage.
The frets were now too low for the guitar to remain playable; it was time to re-fret the fingerboard!
Each of the frets much be carefully removed. Heating the frets with the tip of a soldering iron softens any glues used in previous fretwork, and boils the oil in the rosewood fingerboard to ease removal without chipping the wood.
While the fingerboard is without frets I will ensure that the fingerboard itself is straight, and correct any irregularities in the surface (due to wear/warpage/bending etc). Once the old frets are removed, their dimensions can be measured and a suitable-gauge replacement fret-wire chosen and then installed.
The overhanging edges of the new frets must be filed back flush with the edges of the neck, so that no jagged edges remain. Also at this stage, the fret-tops should also be levelled to correct any irregularities in the playing surface, recrowned and dressed (see Fret-Dress page for details of this procedure)
Here you can still see the new frets installed, levelled, dressed and ready to play!