Sorry if I've taken you here before - my memory has been corrupted by nostalgia - not what it used to be.

This is the fingerboard of a 1930's National Steel guitar. It's pear wood which has been dyed black to resemble ebony. After 80-odd years, the black dye has rendered the wood super brittle so that lifting 80 year old frets risks an awful lot of damage.

I flood the fret with water, then with a soldering iron I bought for £1.50 a forgotten number of years ago, cunningly filed to hug the profile of the fret - I boil off the water which softens the wood while I lift out the fret with nippers designed for the job
Tomorrow the re-fret!

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