Forum - Banjo Ben Clark

DIY Refret learning

So as I eventually want to refret my banjo with Stainless steel frets, I’ve been learning, collecting and making tools.
I’m practising the techniques on old scrap pieces of wood. I made my own fret press which seems to do the job. I’ve also bought a diamond file as SS is wearing on normal tools.
So I will be practising a lot and then sourcing a few junk banjo necks to work on later too. Will be making sure I can consistently do refrets well before I refret my pride and joy.
Found for removing some of the tangs (which I will need to do on my banjo eventually as it has a binding) a dremel works well. I also have some fret end cutters that work well.

BTW… Ignore different fret depth and fret sizes, this was to test the fret press and go through the motions of dressing the frets.


Cool! I need a refret on one of my guitars, but it’s about to die anyway. Wish I could get some fret wire to use it to practice on

Man, that’s so cool! Once you get it down, you can make some money doing it for others. I definitely want SS on mine if I ever get it refretted. Of course, I have a brand new Banjo Ben Gold Tone OB3 heading my way soon, so my current banjo might go in the closet for a while. :slight_smile:


That looks good! Have you got your removal tools worked out yet?

Yep, I have removal tools, fret gripper pliers and fretboard protector. Tested them on my cheap banjo by heating the frets and using the pliers to lift out the frets. Worked well. Been watching several videos including stewmac. Just sourcing a few more reasonable priced tools plus making some others.

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Thanks Mark. :wink: I wouldn’t attempt to work on anyone else’s instrument except my own until I had way more experience. However, I may attempt a biscuit tin or oil can build for fun one day. :+1:

Here’s my home made neck support to.


My Flatiron Banjo really needs fret attention. I’ve got ‘buzz’ in the typical high-use areas. I guess the frets can also be ‘stoned’ down. Not sure if I should get stoned or should I re-fret. Bet the price isn’t that different, but could be wrong.

If your frets arent too low you could probably have them dressed rather than a refret. Or just a partial refret. Downside to a partial refret is the new frets have to be sanded down to the level of the other part worn frets, but it’s a bit cheaper than a whole neck refret I would imagine.

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Appreciate the suggestion. I’ll probably spring for a re-fret job. Gotta be cheaper than buying a new banjo :open_mouth:

Yes thats true. :+1: