Fret and Binding Issues

tehcnalp

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So I'm working on this walnut and maple Strat project. Everything is going fairly smoothly. But I ran into problems with the frets. And I'm hoping I could get some advice on how best to approach this issue.
Photo%2BJan%2B03%252C%2B5%2B05%2B19%2BPM_web.jpg


I decided to do a three-ply Walnut/Maple/Walnut binding.
Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B05%2B06%2BPM_web.jpg


I bent the frets to a slightly tighter radius than the 9.5 inch fret board.
I clipped tang.
Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B11%2B47%2BPM_web.jpg


Then filed the remaining ridge.
Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B11%2B23%2BPM_web.jpg


But here is where I ran into some trouble. When I tried to seat the frets, the edges did not sit flush to the binding.
Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B07%2B04%2BPM_web.jpg


Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B09%2B29%2BPM_web.jpg


Photo%2BFeb%2B24%252C%2B6%2B07%2B29%2BPM_web.jpg


So here are my questions:
Any recommendations for gluing binding (one problem might be glue getting into the fret slots)?
Does anyone have a special trick for clipping the fret tang and filing the ridge?
Any thoughts on the best way to hammer frets without a tang on the edges?

Thanks in advance,
 

Steve in NH

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Before gluing on the binding, I fill the slots with plastic strips, cut from a lid to a coffee can or whatever, plane them flush top and sides and glue away, pick them out after when you're ready to fret. A Stewmac fret nipper is perfect for frets, but in a pinch you can nip and file - it looks like you might have filed it beyond flush in the photo? Lastly, I overbend (slightly) the fret ends, so when you tap the middle down, they stay down, sort of by spring action. You shouldn't have to hammer the un-tanged ends really at all this way, if you follow me? You've got a ding there under the unsupported end from hammering it, hope you can swell or sand it off and give it another go, good luck!
 

guitarbuilder

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Maybe this will be helpful:

This is how I glue my fret ends down.
I take two 3/16" steel rods and set them on the frets running them down the length of the neck above the fret ends. Then I take a larger board and set that on top of the rods. Usually I use some masking tape to keep the rods in place. Then I use 3 couple cushioned
clamps and tighten the top board to the neck. This pushes the rods down to the neck wood. Then I do two tiny dabs of superglue on each end. It works for me.


If you don't have the steel rods you can make a caul with a more hollow center section on a router table. This will concentrate the pressure on the edges like this photo.

 

Picton

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Just a theory, but is it possible that the nipping and subsequent filing reduced the curvature you'd bent into the frets? Perhaps you might try reversing those operations: nip and file, then bend. If possible.

Failing that, over bending the ends should work for getting them flush, though leveling might be a headache later.
 

tehcnalp

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Posts
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Location
Ohio
Steve,
I think you've hit on one of my issues here. For future fretboards I will try the plastic in the slots trick.

I did use fret nippers. But they didn't take the tang clean off. So I had to follow with the file. I think Picton may be on to something with the bending against the radius while filling. Does anyone have a method of filing they like to follow? Obviously, I realize that it's best to file lightly and check frequently. But I did notice that it was difficult to file perfectly parallel to the fret. I did notice a slight angle while doing the first couple of frets.

Picton, I used a fret bender and fed the whole 18 inches through at once. So I wasn't bending each individual fret before seating them.

When bending frets tighter than the radius, do you guys find it bet to have a consistent curve, or would it work better to have a slightly sharper bend at the center of each fret before hammering? (I'm thinking something that resembles more of a boomerang shape.)

Marty, thanks for the recommendation of pressing wood against the frets while the glue sets.

What kind of glue do you guys recommend for frets?

Thanks
 

charlie chitlin

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I did a fret job with binding recently.
I used a dremel and file for the tangs and had to re-do a few where I filed too much off the tang.
It took some experimentation.
The frets seated much better if they ended slightly inboard of the edge of the fretboard binding, but each one would have to be measured and finished, then installed just right...which is damn near impossible....for me, anyway.
When done, I had a few spaces, like you...it was an old guitar and maybe the binding didn't totally match the fretboard radius.
I ended out bending the nipped ends slightly more so they'd be flush on the ends.
It was tricky, but it worked.
 

tehcnalp

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Ohio
I want to thank everyone for your feedback. Your help along with the advice from someone at Stewart MacDonald really did the trick. I combined glueing the frets with a fret press. The frets popped right into place without gaps. Here's a few photos.

Photo%2BFeb%2B28%252C%2B9%2B53%2B40%2BPM_web.jpg
Photo%2BFeb%2B28%252C%2B10%2B07%2B27%2BPM_web.jpg
Photo%2BFeb%2B28%252C%2B10%2B11%2B04%2BPM_web.jpg
Photo%2BFeb%2B28%252C%2B10%2B23%2B15%2BPM_web.jpg


Thanks again. I knew you guys would come through for me.


-david

"Whether they ever find life there or not, I think Jupiter should be considered an enemy planet." -Jack Handey
 

Blue Bill

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Can't help you with the frets, but that guitar is a beauty. Nice job on the stripes and binding.
 

s_tones

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yeah, you got it. That fret presser thing from SM is the bomb. I never liked hammering frets and it never really worked that great for me.
 

tehcnalp

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Apr 9, 2011
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Ohio
Thank you everyone for the compliments. It's been a while since posted here. TDPRI is not just a great builder's resource, it's a great community.
 




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