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Refretting on a Richlite Board

Aloha_Mark

New member
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
495
For better or worse, Gibson began using Richlite as a fingerboard material as a substitute for natural woods. When it comes time to refret the guitar, what are the dangers of using a soldering iron to heat the old fret wire for removal? I guess I want to know the melting point of Richlite, and even Micarta, for that matter. There is a member of another forum who seems to have experimented with Richlite, and he did not encounter any problems.

http://www.classicalguitardelcamp.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=64347
 

bigtomrodney

Active member
Joined
Nov 7, 2009
Messages
1,448
Richlite isnt plastic, it's a composite material. Given a high enough temperature it may singe or slightly deform but it will certainly be at a higher temperature than any wood.

I am also interested in how it would take to the mechanical strain of a regret though.
 

Aloha_Mark

New member
Joined
Dec 15, 2011
Messages
495
I hope that Richlite does not have aging problems where it deteriorates just due to UV or ocean air exposure. Hawaii is the rubber eating capital of the USA. I have seen rubber literally melt inside a Vic Firth drum stick, and silicone turn to a liquid. Real wood lasts for decades. But it is also prone to drying and cracking problems, and the second one shows up when you try to refret your vintage ebony board. In 2013, this material is so precious that the first I see of it will be the $6000 Les Paul black beauty customs, assuming I can even find a dealer who has not sold out his allocation. But, in either case, I have faith in the Gibson lifetime warranty to original owners. You think they will store Richlite and Ebony in hermetically sealed containers?:rofl
 
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