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  1. #1

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    I have a guitar with pretty flat fingerboard and small frets. I'm going to get it refretted but I also want to know my options about the radius. It looks like the fretboard has been planed and there might not be enough board material to re-radius it. What should I do? Do I just try to get used to the radius? Maybe the bigger frets will make a big enough difference in playability? Replace the board entirely?

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  3. #2

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    I think you can radius just the frets. But I don't know for sure.

  4. #3

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    New Fingerboard the only real way to do it if not able to radius it. Better playing wise in the end.

  5. #4
    Mark,

    Do you know if a good luthier should be able to transfer the original binding and inlays to a new board?

    Who is the best in the SF bay area? I'm considering Frank Ford.

  6. #5

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    is it the L-5?

  7. #6
    Yeah, it's the L5. I want to minimize impact on value but I care much more about playability.

  8. #7

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    don't do it, imo
    though if it's the original frets they're too small, I'd go up one size.

  9. #8

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    Frank Ford is in his late 70’s and doesn’t do too much anymore but does take on special restoration work. His no.2 Brian is pretty darn good.

    If revalue is a concern then I would send it to the Gibson Restoration and Repair shop for
    a factory repair. Not cheap but it will be factory correct binding, inlays, and finish.

  10. #9
    What if I remove the fretboard/binding/inlays in tact and keep it safe in case i ever want to sell it, and put something new on there to play?

  11. #10
    No diss to Gibson but judging by their L5 reissue I have zero confidence in them.

  12. #11

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    I'd highly recommend against it unless you plan on keeping it for the rest of your life.
    people that buy those want it original as possible, any modification whether it can be reversed or not just isn't a good idea.
    I refretted mine w/mandolin fretwire which is one size up from those thin factory frets and it feels and plays much better.

  13. #12
    Maybe I'll start by refretting and if the playability bothers me consider more drastic efforts?

  14. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by wintermoon
    I'd highly recommend against it unless you plan on keeping it for the rest of your life.
    people that buy those want it original as possible, any modification whether it can be reversed or not just isn't a good idea.
    I refretted mine w/mandolin fretwire which is one size up from those thin factory frets and it feels and plays much better.
    What's the radius on yours? I feel like mine has >16" radius, which I imagine implies that there was a previous modification. What's the correct Gibson radius on 1928? If mine already deviates I'd feel less guilty about it.

  15. #14

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    I don't know and have no way of measuring but it's pretty flat, I actually kind of like it.
    if yours has the orig frets it likely wasn't modified

  16. #15
    Yeah maybe I need to chill for a bit. I got another mid 30s guitar that had a refret by Norio Imai and plays so amazingly well that I feel like the L5 needs to catch up. I should just start with the refret and evaluate if that does it for me, in terms of playability.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by omphalopsychos
    Mark,

    Do you know if a good luthier should be able to transfer the original binding and inlays to a new board?

    Who is the best in the SF bay area? I'm considering Frank Ford.
    If it is an L5 take it to Frank Ford no question he is the best and probably can do anything. My thought is it may be able to be radiused but Frank he is IT!

  18. #17

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    Wintermoon has dispensed excellent advice in this thread. Ignore it at your peril.

  19. #18
    Wintermoon, do you mind sharing a photo of your frets? I'll show you mine for comparison. Does anyone know if Gibson was following a standard spec for fretboards at this time (1928)?

  20. #19

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    I'll try to send a picture tomorrow

  21. #20
    Flat radius-0c8969bc-e6a6-4c5e-9836-6a4d65a02359-jpgFlat radius-59f05c58-8f70-4fb3-a292-864523b9a799-jpg

  22. #21

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    Just looking I think your fine.

  23. #22

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    I have played nothing but a 12" radius all my life until I got a 1935 L-12 this year. I was surprised to find out that it has a SIX inch radius, but I got used to it. It does demonstrate that even by the mid-30s, Gibson had not settled on a 12" radius as a standard.

  24. #23

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    Oooooh…..I like the look of that flat board. Makes me wish I had made an offer on it after all.

  25. #24
    It’s the L5 that has the flat board. The Excel has the rounder board and a glorious fret job by Norio Imai.

  26. #25

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    I would put Jescar 51100 on it and enjoy. Those tall frets aren’t for everyone though.