Hey Jan, There are several sites that show how refretting is done. Start with Lars' site, sitarsetc.com, then try Silverbush or Buckingham Music. It isn't all that complicated. The main thing...keep it tight. I have also found that a bit of tape to hold the beginning loop in position is a big help. Also, if you are close to changing your tarabs, a coordinated tarab/fret change will make your life a bit easier. It is much easier to change the fret when the tarab tuning pegs are not in place. I have used the fret tying cord that came with my sitar without much luck. It would break again in a very short time. I took the suggestion of one of our fellow forum members and tried the "Stringth" brand of upholstery cord and am quite pleased. If you go this route, you can purchase about a lifetime's supply for $10USD. You will want the #5 thickness and the gold is a nice color. As it isn't expensive, start with a 48" length so that, again, you can keep it tight and have plenty to hang on to when you are executing the final knot tying. You might have to do this several times before you really get the hang of it, and again, keep it tight as if it is loose, the fret will move around just enough to cut the thread again. After a bit of practice, this task isn't as difficult as some would have you believe. I would think that with tuning pegs removed, one could probably replace all of the frets in less than two hours (although I don't think this would be required unless you are bringing an abused instrument back to life). Best of luck with it.
Hey Jan, Where are you from (Jan sounds Dutch, so....) If you're located in The Netherlands I can recommend Green Onion. The problem with frets is they really have to be made to fit your sitar: they have to be bend and hammered and whatnot to fit., definitly a customjob
(although I don't think this would be required unless you are bringing an abused instrument back to life). Best of luck with it.
Its not abused, its just old and not very well kept.
This is what i have to do, according to my scense of logic i will have to change the frets (i want to put on a brand new set) together with the Jawari. The frets i have now is really thin and they have a different curve that on other sitars i have seen. So new frets would have a different approach to the jawari than my old frets. I would like to change frets, jawari, the end pice where you are tying the strings and some pegs.
I call this sitar my no name, there is a name on top, its just not possible to read it : ) ill try and work it out...
Im from Bergen in Norway. Yes, its a costum job i know, so my idea of doing this the correct way would be to try to adjust a set of frets made from the measurements of the neck. I was thinking of making a duplicate of the neck on a roll of paper in 1:1 scale and send it to someone who can custom make a set of frets acording to its measurements. If it sounds like im really lost on this one thats ok. I would just try to get a new set of frets for an old friend and im willing to risk my reputation doing so : )
My teacher had stainless-steel frets made for her Rikhi Rham sitar (I think by Green Onion): the problem was to make small adjustments: they were a lot tougher than average frets. So she couldn't do it on her own. With normal (brass?) frets it would have been possible to do it on her own. Positive side: they last forever!!
Jan, probably the Green Onion frets would be a good choice and I'm sure he could make them to your specs. You'll have to adjust them though and it takes a little while but you might get lucky.....I use a fret hammer for guitars to do this......good luck and have fun!
Ooops, forgot to mention that you use the hammer to change the curve of the frets so that all are flush and the strings aren't hitting anywhere they shouldn't be. But you don't want a fret to go too low because you will have to bend it back which is much more difficult.... Here's a link to a fret tying diagram: It's at the bottom of the page.... http://sitarsetc.com/sitartuning.htm