Installing frets

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by lhawkins, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. lhawkins

    lhawkins Junior Member

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    Hello,

    When fitting frets to the fingerboard, Do we have to use glue, do they need to be glued in, is it a must ?
     
  2. Akahito

    Akahito Senior Member

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    As far as I've understood, no they don't, but it won't hurt to.
     
  3. guitarcase

    guitarcase Senior Member

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    Just done mine 1st time. I ran a small trace superglue along tang. Fret was tight fit but the two luthiers I spoke to recommended I do it anyway, as it doesn't have any negative effect. Here's a tip,get the neck perfectly straight, then spend time getting your fretboard perfectly radiused and true. Frets will then need little dressing.
     
  4. Damien

    Damien Senior Member

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    I think it's more common to glue when you're pressing frets in. A lot of the older guys hammer frets in and only use glue if they end up with a wobbly fret, and can't correct it by stretching the tang, or have a fret end that just won't stay down. (They use wavy shaped pliers to put some ridges in the tang of the fret wire to make it grip better)

    But there's no harm in using glue, if you use the thin superglue. To remove the frets you just heat them up with a soldering iron and they pop out really easily.
     
  5. H.E.L.Shane

    H.E.L.Shane Senior Member

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    if you want to pull those frets out in the future.. don't super glue them in.....

    Neal Moser uses a bit of white glue on the fret tang to help the fret slide in, i've tried it and it works... a soldering iron on the fret should melt the glue and let the fret come out if it needs to.

    DTM glues the frets in with a clamp/press..

    I don;t know that any way is BAD.. I just know that I only resort to glue if i absolutley have to!
     
  6. DRF

    DRF Senior Member

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    I like to widen the fret slots which are usually around 023 wide with a small coping saw. The frets are still fairly tight,but not so tight as to cause backbow. I also epoxy them in.

    I use a fret press and the few times I've used Superglue it caused me seating probs cause it binds so fast!. If the fret doesnt seat like presto! and there is a gap,its in there.
     
  7. '59_Standard

    '59_Standard Banned

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    There's a small PRS factory pictorial in Martin Koch's 'Guitar Building' book. He wrote, PRS, glue the Fret-ends on there necks. ( Thought I'd add that piece of useless information) :)
     
  8. David Collins

    David Collins Senior Member

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    I always glue frets in - always. Plenty of reasons to do it, and not really many good reasons not to. Frets are traditionally heated when pulling, and PVA, fish glue, hide glue, epoxy, and CA glue all release just fine with heat so they pose no real inconvenience to future refrets aside from having to clean the slots, which is all part of the normal procedure in refretting anyway.
     
  9. H.E.L.Shane

    H.E.L.Shane Senior Member

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    Ok... the correct (in my mind at least0 use of superglue is as a final sealant...

    you tap or press your fret in, then you take a hobby knife (curved scaple blade works best for this) and dip it in a bit of waterthin superglue and run it along the edge of the fret where it meets the board. the superglue will wick under the fret and down into the slot, sealing it into the board.

    have a rag dipped in acetone handy to quickly wipe along the fret edge to take care of any unwated glue on the board.

    "glueing" frets in usually involves a slightly wider fret slot and pressing the fret in and leaving it clamped until the glue sets. (or epoxy) David Thomas McNaught has a good illustration of this on his "shop tour"
     
  10. Freddy G

    Freddy G V.I.P. Member

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    +1
    this is exactly what I do too....I've been doing it this way for 20+ years and never a problem. I think it's curious that no one has mentioned that it has an affect on the sound...I find that a tightly seated fret glued in with thin CA has a way better tone than if a fret is hammered in or pushed in and is not really tightly seated. The smallest amount of "springiness" in the seating will have a "mushy" effect on the attack and sustain. Easy to check seating...I use a .001" feeler gauge and it should not be able to slip under the fret bead. Also, another way to check seating is to tap the fret along it's length with a solid metal object. If it's tightly seated you'll hear a sharp "tak, tak, tak" sound. if you suddenly hear a softer "tok" sound, that's where it's not tightly seated.
     

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