Wide fret slots - best glue for the job?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Orangelynx, Apr 12, 2019.

  1. Orangelynx

    Orangelynx TDPRI Member

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    Hi,

    so after a hiatus, I hope to finish my guitar over the next couple of weeks. Next step, before the lacquer comes on, is to insert the frets (which i have pre-radiused). However, I was clumsy when sawing the fret slots, and they are a bit to much wider than they should be, so I need to glue in my frets.

    Usually I there's two types of glue recommened around here: superglue or something like tide-bond or hideglue.

    I don't know why one would use tidebond or something like this, because afaik it doesn't stick to the frets at all, so I seriously question it's suitability.

    Super-glue on the other hand sounds fine in general, but due to its liquid nature, I wonder if it can fill out the gaps sufficiently.

    I was considering using a 2k glue, like an epoxy, but with this one I'm woried about the opposite problem. I think the glue may be too thick to be easily inserted into the fret slot.

    A second question that just came to my mind is: should I consider waxing the sides of the fret slots, for easier glue removal? I'm worried that the residue of the was may seriously stop the lacquer from sticking later...

    What do you think about this?
     
  2. harold h

    harold h Friend of Leo's

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    Back in the 90's Dan Erlewine's technique was actually to grind the tangs down and
    epoxy the fret in place, and by doing so the epoxy is the only thing holding the fret
    in place.

    Later he went to what he called a "hybrid" job where he left the tangs and still used
    epoxy.

    Now he does them in a more traditional way.

    So epoxy may work best in your situation, but i bet you could also use the gel-type
    super glue. It is very good on filling gaps.
     
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  3. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Tele-Afflicted

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    Depending on how wide the fret slots are there are a couple other options in addition to using superglue or epoxy. 1: Buy a fret tang crimper. Basically that widens the tang by kinking it.
    2: buy fret wire with a wider tang.
    If you use CA glue (superglue) it comes.in different viscosity so you could get some that won't flow out of the slot.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
  4. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've never used glue. A soft small hammer or a press. Then get on with the laborious job of leveling and fret tangs. I say that because you may want to re-fret later ( not many of us live that long) and /or replace those frets with another size.
     
  5. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Tele-Afflicted

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    This doesn't answer his question in relation to the fret slots being a bit to wide. If he just puts the fret in they are most likely not going to hold.
     
  6. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    Wide frets are available - people use them for "compression fretting" vintage guitars to help control relief. I think the Martin 1833 Shop or an authorized repair person can get them.

    I've always used two tiny drops of thin or medium superglue in the slot or if its an unbound board wick a tiny drop in from the end. I always assume that a repair person refretting one of my guitars will use a little heat on the fret when removing it so either epoxy or CA should be fine. Back in the old days I think some builders used HHG but that was mostly to size and lubricate the slot while hammering the fret in.
     
  7. Tonetele

    Tonetele Poster Extraordinaire

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    GunsOf Brixton- I don't have an answer off hand. I'd try to get the best fitting frets but never use glue. JMHO
     
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  8. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

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    Get your superglue in a bottle from the Hobby Shop. It comes in about 5 thicknesses from very thin to thick. It's the go-to glue for frets. Use thick or medium thick. Beware it still flows through, tape off all finished surfaces as it destroys finish.
    No waxing.
    Frets are readily removed using a hot iron for a few seconds.
    I glue mine bad slots or not.
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2019
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  9. GunsOfBrixton

    GunsOfBrixton Tele-Afflicted

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    Orangelynx, How wide are the slots? Do you have some feeler gauges to measure them? As Freeman noted, fret wire with a wider tang is available. I've used some Jescar before that had a 0.025 tang. Can't remember the part number but you could contact them.
     
  10. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Holic

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    We are living in a time where there are so many different types and thicknesses of glues and adhesives. It's almost like there's a glue for every purpose, and - would you like that in thin, medium, thick, or gel ??? :)

    I still like the idea of mechanical connections, connections that aren't entirely dependent on glue or adhesive ;).

    I've been getting my fret wire from Kenny at Philly Luthier Supply. He carries the regular Jescar stuff, but he also started carrying Sintoms brand fret wire awhile back and stocks it in an amazingly wide range.

    I've used the Sintoms nickle-silver and stainless steel wire and it's good quality, plus it's quite a bit cheaper than Jescar. Kenny has the Sintoms "repair type" wire in a bunch of different sizes. I haven't used any of the "repair" type, but I'd imagine it's the same quality as the rest of the Sintoms stuff.

    If ya got a w-i-d-e fret slot, check this stuff out:

    https://www.philadelphialuthiertool...frets-18-ns-wide-tang-091-2-3mm-x-055-1-39mm/

    That's just one size.

    I'll bet Kenny has over a hundred different types of Sintoms in all sorts of metals, nickle-silver, extra hard nickle-silver, stainless, titanium, bronze, anti-hypo allergenic, etc. :)




    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  11. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Holic

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    I would get frets with a wider tang. It's not a load of money, compared to the work of doing a great fret job. Failing that, I would fill the slots with tinted epoxy and sawdust (or veneer) and recut the slots. I'm good with fretting but not a brilliant pro -- if I were the latter, I would consider epoxying in stainless frets. But if you epoxy in a fret slightly wrong, it's a freaking disaster, so that's not an approach for amateurs.
     
  12. Orangelynx

    Orangelynx TDPRI Member

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    Hi everyone and thanks for the many helpful replies!

    I've looked around for frets with a wider tang, but it seems they aren't that easy to get here in germany. Also considering the trade-off investment vs fret-job quality, I think I can get away with some glue and perhaps an epoxy fill with recut on the really bad slots.

    I decided to order 2-3 different super glues and an epoxy to experiment a bit, but I guess the medium-thick superglue is my best bet. the slots also aren't uniformly wide, but rather on point in the middle of the fretboard and get wider toward the edge (especially on one side).

    I would appreciate some more feedback on the "to wax or not to wax" before spraying question. Tape may do the job sure, but won't it get stuck below the crown and stuff?
     
  13. Freeman Keller

    Freeman Keller Tele-Holic

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    Superglue and epoxy scrape easily from a rosewood or ebony board. Never done a maple one so I can't say but it seems to scrape back fine when binding maple guitars so I would think it would work. I don't wax or tape while fretting.
     
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  14. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I have this Soviet guitar, "Aelita" that I did a re-fret on.

    It has these crazy zig-zag fret slots, very wide.

    I used epoxy and normal fret wire.

    029.jpg

    019.jpg

    013.jpg

    Original "frets"...

    025.jpg
     
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  15. LuckyJinx

    LuckyJinx TDPRI Member

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    Interesting wire. I guess they cut a straight slot originally and hammering/pressing the wire in made the slots wavy.

    Was the angled wave alternating like that, or did you just happen to turn every second one around?
     
  16. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I probably turned every 2nd one.
     
  17. Orangelynx

    Orangelynx TDPRI Member

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    Hi everyone,

    just wanted to give a short update on my little "problem". I bought a 5 grams bottle of loctite 401 superglue and a cartridge of loctite 9466 epoxy. I experimented with both and both give good results. Naturally, the epoxy is a bit harder to get into the fret slots and the super glue is so liquid, and light it will likely not last for every slot on the fretboard. I yet have to decide on which one to use, but I guess both will do the job just fine.
     
  18. telepraise

    telepraise Tele-Meister

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    Which ever glue you decide to use, have a clamping strategy to hold the fret(s) down while the glue sets. Seems I saw a picture of using three dowel rods running the length of the fretboard, one on each side and one down the middle. If your glue sets up when and the fret isn't down snug across its length, you probably won't be able to just pound it down in because of the glue in the slot.

    Alternatively, you might get some nonstick 0.020" plastic to put in the slots (Stew-mac sells it) and fill the extra gaps with a cheap 5 minute epoxy that doesn't get rock hard. Then you can sand the board flush and smooth and go ahead and put the frets in your new perfect slots with out gluing them in. Easily refretable down the road.
     
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