At what point do you do your fret installation?

Insert frets prior to gluing the fretboard to the neck or after?

  • Prior to gluing

    Votes: 3 60.0%
  • After gluing

    Votes: 2 40.0%

  • Total voters
    5

PhilR

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just seeing what people have to say, and whether there's any reasons pro/con I should know about.
 

Robert Parker

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I do mine after gluing the fretboard to the neck, because I find it easier to taper the board to the neck. But I've never done bound fretboards, and I'm pretty sure you'd have to do all the fretwork before gluing in that case.
 

pshupe

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I mostly do it before gluing to the neck but have done it both ways and I do not have a preference. If it is a bound board with nibs then I will do it before but lately I have been gluing to the neck and then fretting because I can use toothpicks in the first and higher fret slots for alignment.

Cheers Peter.
 

larryguitar

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1. Radius and slot untapered board
2. Align board to tapered, slightly oversize neck and glue
3. Trim board to neck
4. Carve neck
5. Flatten board/create pre-built relief
6. Fret, glue, trim, level, dress


Larry
 

Roxy13

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Would it be a bad idea to mount the fb to the neck and then route the edges for binding? I like the idea of using pins to ensure it's where it should be when glued down.

So I was thinking this order for what I want to do (if OP doesn't mind my jumping into his thread):

1. Slot and radius fb
2. Mount to neck using pins
3. Taper fb to neck
4. Route edges of fb for binding.
5. Fret and then binding with nibs
 

pshupe

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Would it be a bad idea to mount the fb to the neck and then route the edges for binding? I like the idea of using pins to ensure it's where it should be when glued down.

So I was thinking this order for what I want to do (if OP doesn't mind my jumping into his thread):

1. Slot and radius fb
2. Mount to neck using pins
3. Taper fb to neck
4. Route edges of fb for binding.
5. Fret and then binding with nibs
I like this idea about routing after gluing fret board. Treat it like body binding. Make the channel a little deeper than the fret board and you will always get a nice clean joint. I have struggled with the fret board neck glue up in the past but now it's not really an issue. But I always thought that it would be a good idea to try it that way.

Cheers Peter.
 

Roxy13

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I like this idea about routing after gluing fret board. Treat it like body binding. Make the channel a little deeper than the fret board and you will always get a nice clean joint. I have struggled with the fret board neck glue up in the past but now it's not really an issue. But I always thought that it would be a good idea to try it that way.

Cheers Peter.
Thanks for chiming in, Peter :)

I also thought it might be helpful for scraping the binding to match up with the neck radius. I'm not real keen on shoulders on my necks and would prefer some roundness all the way up the binding as well.
 

fatdaddypreacher

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i always complete my fretboards before installing them to the guitar. while the fretboard blank is still square and wide, i cut the slots. i then locate it properly on the neck and drill locating pins (round toothpicks) through two of the fret slots. I then complete the fretboard, and glue it to the neck blank while the bottom of the neck blank is still flat. i cut the neck taper with a bandsaw just proud of the edge of the fretboard, then walk it in with various tools, sandpaper.
 

ARandall

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Depends on the construction you are after. Binding or lack of it can change the order, as will nibs or the lack thereof.
Also your f/b radiusing method could alter the way the rest of the neck is completed compared with the fretting step.
 

valvetoneman

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Taper, radius, slot glue on the neck, tweak neck to get a bit of backbow after doing and initial carve, flat board then fret then glue neck in, this leaves a board that requires little fret removal on levelling, it also ensures a traditional rod really works and I want some tension on it
 

Josh Young

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Because wood always moves a little bit each time you shape it, I try to bring my parts down to size in steps with a day in between to let things move as they will. First I rough out a neck blank slightly oversize, and then rough cut the headstock angle, let it rest for at least a day. Then I profile the neck on the CNC, and flip it over to route the truss rod (single action in a curved channel) install the truss rod, and glue the fillet strip in. At this point the neck is profiled very close to finished dimension, but has about an extra 1/32" for me to do a single pass on the jointer the following day in prep for gluing the fretboard. The fret boards have been cut into blanks from a larger billet and let to rest, then are radiused, inlayed, slotted, fretted, and bound before gluing. I force about 0.03" of up bow into the neck when gluing, so that the single action truss rod always has just a bit of tension on it. As Peter mentioned, it can be a challenge to get a great joint, but with some practice, consistently good results are achievable.

I like this process because after I have glued the fretboard to the neck, there are no further operations that remove a significant amount of wood, and this limits the amount of wood movement.
 

LtDave32

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I install the frets after gluing the board onto the neck.

I also radius the board after I glue on the neck.

But both before carving the neck.

This for two reasons: one is to provide a good backstop when I tap the frets in, and the other is to provide a firm base for sanding the radius into the board.

Though I use a table saw to slot the board before sanding the radius or cutting the taper, since sanding the radius takes out some depth of the fret slots, I clean up the slots and deepen them by hand with a .023 flush-cut saw.

If I'm going to bind the neck, I cut my fret board taper to .060 narrower on each side. I do this with a table saw and a simple jig of two toggle clamps and a rectangular board. I simply mark the FB on both ends, line the marks up with the edge of the rectangular board, clamp them down, run the board right up to the blade, set the fence and push the board on through. Works perfect every time. After I install the .060 binding, I've got a perfect 1 11/16 on one end and 2 1/4 on the other.
 

Freddy G

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Would it be a bad idea to mount the fb to the neck and then route the edges for binding? I like the idea of using pins to ensure it's where it should be when glued down.

So I was thinking this order for what I want to do (if OP doesn't mind my jumping into his thread):

1. Slot and radius fb
2. Mount to neck using pins
3. Taper fb to neck
4. Route edges of fb for binding.
5. Fret and then binding with nibs
That's precisely how I do it.


I like this idea about routing after gluing fret board. Treat it like body binding. Make the channel a little deeper than the fret board and you will always get a nice clean joint. I have struggled with the fret board neck glue up in the past but now it's not really an issue. But I always thought that it would be a good idea to try it that way.

Cheers Peter.
Yep. Except I make the channel exactly the same depth as the fretboard.
 

cmjohnson

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I always taper my fingerboards first. I use the same fixture to taper my necks. They match exactly whether the board is attached before neck shaping or after.

Fretting, I have done it every way. Fingerboard before gluing to the neck. Fingerboard after gluing to the neck before installing the neck. Fretting after the guitar is complete and ready for fretting and finishing.

To me it doesn't really make any difference, EXCEPT that if fretting is done before the neck joins the body, then I am in the best possible position to easily and complete crown, break and radius the fret ends, and polish them consistently from first fret to last. It's just easier when the body is not in the way.

I have a fretting press (a big 7 ton hand operated arbor press) and custom cauls for it, and that works fine, but usually I just hammer the frets in with a brass hammer.

I'm flexible, but not about my fretting standards. If I can't get super low action then I keep working it until I do.
 

JKHamby

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I like this idea about routing after gluing fret board. Treat it like body binding. Make the channel a little deeper than the fret board and you will always get a nice clean joint. I have struggled with the fret board neck glue up in the past but now it's not really an issue. But I always thought that it would be a good idea to try it that way.

Cheers Peter.
I think Freddy has a nice demo of mounting before fretting and routing the binding recess. And, he demonstrates how he deals with the fretboard overhang of the tenon to ensure a uniform route.
 

dcomiskey

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Slot and drill/install fret markers
Radius sand
taper (sometimes I taper first)
drill two 1/8" pilot holes for guide nails
Glue
Frets
Cross fingers as I do fretwork because I hate it and I'm not very good at it yet.

I also haven't nailed down a process to drill the side markers, but since I've always messed that up, I'm switching to drilling them with the press the way everyone else does.
:)
 

fatdaddypreacher

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as far as side markers go, i lay them out with pencil lines, and then take an 8 penny nail i sharpened to a precise point and index the marker so drill bit won't drift. then it's to the drill press most of the time, but have drilled with hand drill too. the indexing is the only way to go if you are going to drill by hand.
 


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