Super gluing frets in maple fretboard and keeping maple clean

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by ppg677, Apr 16, 2019 at 10:40 PM.

  1. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    Call me crazy, but a maple fretboard isn't "sucking" in the super glue into the fret slots like I saw when I did a rosewood fretboard.

    In order to keep the glue off of the maple, I was thinking Johnson's paste wax. But i'm concerned that will then disrupt adhering of lacquer (after fretting). Unless I then subsequently clean the paste wax off of the maple with mineral spirits or something.

    So...what do y'll do to keep the maple clean? Get one of those precision/thin super glue applicators?
     
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Thin tip applicator and a quick wipe with cloth with naphtha.
     
  3. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    Guys... for some reason this "glue" thing has grown out of proportion... you only need to glue frets if you have had problems in the past with the neck under consideration .. a new neck with correctly slotted fingerboards and the correct relative tang width on the frets needs no glue.

    If you HAVE to glue frets in a new fingerboard, you did something wrong, or made the wrong choice... a first refret shouldn't require glue either...

    rk
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    a mistake often made is bending the fret wire to the same radius as that of the fingerboard.. i.e. 9.5 for the wire, to be installed on a 9.,5 radius fingerboard...

    it can work, but your chances are better if you bend the wire to one less radii than that of the fingerboard... i. e. bend the wire to 7.25 or thereabouts. Dead on bawls perfection is not required.. sorry OCD crowd... then use that wire on a 9.5 fingerboard..

    and if Hammering 'em..,. damn, they are not 1/2 inch diameter rivets... do not beat the crap out of 'em... gently... and with a brass. copper, or wooden mallet...

    rk
     
  5. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    I'm using stainless frets and in this case I've read that radiussing the fret wire to the exact radius of the fretboard is the way to go

    I'm pressing them in.
     
  6. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    Listen to Ron.
     
  7. Treadplatedual

    Treadplatedual Tele-Meister

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    When Ron Kirn says you don't need glue and you should bend to a smaller radius...lol you do that.

    I used super glue on my first ever neck, and spent hours cleaning up the messes I made with acetone, and it's still not perfectly clean up close. For my next build, I'm avoiding CA.
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    tip... steam the unfretted neck... it will cause the slots to contract slightly... BUT let it dry thoroughly before ya start pounding the lil boogers in... do this for a certainty if it's a refret...

    and remember.. if you glue.. someone, in the future will be cussin' you out big time... same thing for those of you that insist in using CA on the nut.... :rolleyes:

    r
     
  9. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Ron, obviously, does top-notch work.
    I agree with him in this case, but there ARE top-notch builders who use CA on their frets.
    I'm of the opinion that many people do things as a hedge against possible future problems; which is not how I prefer to operate.
    If you do work for someone who leaves the strings off the guitar in a very dry climate...some frets could spring and it could reflect poorly on you.
    Same with fall-away/fall-off; the guitar could leave your shop perfect, then develop a hump, and fall-away can be protection against that.
    As for gluing frets...there are some who feel that the glue, even if not used to actually hold the frets in, fills voids in the slot and improves the interface at that critical little spot where string, fret and wood come together.
     
  10. SacDAve

    SacDAve Poster Extraordinaire

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    I got into the gluing the frets on a few guitars, I never glued frets then on this forum it’s turned into a must do thing and I got caught up in it. The one thing I wondered about if you glue the frets then they have to be pulled will it cause issue? The ones I glued were maple boards. I lacquered the fret board first then glued the frets in with tight bond, the seepage wipes right off with a damp cloth. I never used CA glue for the fear of fret pulling problems. The guitar I’m working on now I decided not to use glue it’s an unfinished Hickory board wanted no chance of glue marks. Ron’s post makes a lot of sense If your fret slots are correct you should not need to use glue.
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    to remove glued frets ya have to heat them first to get the glue to "let" go.. but... removing unglued frets without chipping a fingerboard is enough of a challenge without compounding the problem with glue...

    lutherie is an art form.. thus there is no "correct" way... just the way that best represents the luthier's art...

    If when ya get through, and he guitar works as it should, then what ever ya did was "correct"..

    r
     
  12. ppg677

    ppg677 Tele-Meister

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    I've found enough threads elsewhere that recommend exact radius for stainless steel frets, and CA glue is for my own peace-of-mind and in case one of my slots is slightly wider than .023. While I doubt the stainless frets will ever be pulled, heating CA glue with a soldering iron softens it enough for release.
     
  13. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I have wicked CA into frets on lower- quality guitars and had luck improving a dead spot where a note wouldn't ring properly.
    And, yeah...it's a ***** to remove them cleanly.
     
  14. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    Ron, I think you're looking through the lens of a guy who has a method and a specific fret wire, and a lot of amateurs are sort of crashing through doing different things. New saw, new way of cutting frets, some fret wire that they can't remember where it came from, etc.

    what little I've seen of it, I'd agree on the radius (everything in hand work is creating a bias in your favor if one way is OK and the other is bad - to flat of a radius is definitely bad, especially if any of the slots are loose on the end). If a fret is going to need super glue, you can tell almost right away (and then others on the fingerboard will) - which ones don't seat? If I start seating frets on a neck and they don't stay firm, I dot them with glue and then after that I diagnose what didn't match in terms of tools/frets, etc.

    They don't need it if everything works right. For most of us, though, if somethings not working right (especially for people like me who do everything by hand - including cutting the slots with a dovetail saw and maybe not organizing my fret stock well enough), I guess the argument to not glue is in case someone needs to do a refret down the road. I think the days of people wearing frets out on guitars that they make are probably long in the past, though. At least they are for me. Probably the case for most buyers/non-builders, too.
     
  15. boop

    boop Tele-Meister

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    I had improperly radiused fretwire on my first neck and perhaps fret slots that were slightly wide for my tangs, I had quite a few fret ends popping up. The fix that worked well for me was using a drop of superglue on the end of the fret, which wicked into the slot, wiping away excess, then using a spring clamp on the fret with some material to protect the fretboard and help apply pressure to the end of the fret. I wanted to not use toxic glue, but alas, I'll get 'em next time.
     
  16. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I use superglue on fret ends primarily to keep them in place as some pseudo insurance during the end filing and beveling process and to also fill in the gap under the tang. I don't put any glue of any type in the slot before hand. The barbs hold the fret in, as they are wider than the slot. This is why you want the correct kerf for the fretwire and not some half fast work around.

    When I was hammering in frets in my early days, I would occasionally get a fret end to pop up and those got some superglue. This is one area where you do what works for you and there's no rule that says you have to or not. Look at what people do and make an intelligent choice for your situation.
     
  17. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    well yeah, gluing when the little rascal has a mind of it's own is indeed a way to cure the issue... but.. were it me.. I'd still Over-bend.. then put the dab of glue in the middle.. press it in and wait till the glue cures while the fret is under pressure.. the over bent wire will great a slight "over pressure" forcing the ends into the slot.. and since the glue is confined to a dab in the middle of the slot... the chance of removing a goodly hulk of wood when removing it in the future is reduced...


    and remember, there's tools for increasing the grip of the barbs on the tang.. they didn't make that because CA is available...

    like I sed.. itzzuh art form... ya do what works for you...

    r
     
    eallen and charlie chitlin like this.
  18. Raimonds

    Raimonds Tele-Meister

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    last refret I did with barb-less fretwire, a bit of CA was required to hold 'em in place :D If someone will ever want to replace those SS frets, the fretboard will not be harmed in the process :D
     

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  19. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    We need to know HOW you are glueing. Do you put it on the fret tang first, or do you put it in the side /end of the slot after pressing the fret in? It's done either way.
    I definitely wouldn't wax if you are going to be refinishing...
    Glueing in the slot end wicks through really fast. You need to tape off the end well.
    I've been using thick CA on the fret tang just before pressing it.
     
  20. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Friend of Leo's

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    That's what I use - last thing you want is for it to saturate part of the fingerboard and telegraph now or later.

    If I was selling guitars, I probably wouldn't glue them (out of pride) but the reality with mine is that they'll stay in my basement and if they ever need a refretting, I'd probably just make another neck (nearest I can figure, it costs me about $30 to make a neck and fingerboard from rough lumber, and I kind of like making them).

    I had assumed that no custom maker would use glue because of the potential of ripping up a fingerboard, and then saw a video of the old washburn USA shop (not sure if it's still going) where they were very carefully gluing every single fret. I guess it prevents comebacks - given my comment above about not believing anyone will actually burn through frets on a guitar now that everyone has 20 of them or switches them around, I guess if I had my choice, I'd take from a maker whatever they thought would cause me the least amount of trouble.

    Laziness will prevent me from gluing frets when they're a good fit and go in tight, though.
     
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