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laying the fret

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oldturtle 11 Apr 06 - 09:33 AM
GUEST,leeneia 11 Apr 06 - 09:50 AM
Mooh 11 Apr 06 - 01:39 PM
Bert 11 Apr 06 - 02:17 PM
Jon W. 11 Apr 06 - 04:49 PM
GUEST,Richard Bridge 11 Apr 06 - 05:59 PM
JohnInKansas 11 Apr 06 - 08:57 PM
PoppaGator 11 Apr 06 - 11:39 PM
JohnInKansas 12 Apr 06 - 12:47 AM
Jon W. 12 Apr 06 - 11:13 AM
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Subject: laying the fret
From: oldturtle
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 09:33 AM

I've recently renewed my building of mountain dulcimers after 32 years of neglect. I'm having trouble laying the fret wire into the walnut or cherry fret boards i've made. Any ideas on how to press them into the pre-cut slotted wood acurately? thanks for your help.


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: GUEST,leeneia
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 09:50 AM

What seems to be the problem, exactly? Could it be that the wood is warped?


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: Mooh
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 01:39 PM

I've made a caul that chucks into my drillpress, and use that to press them in place. The press, obviously, is turned off. Think I swiped the idea from Stew-Mac. I support the neck in a homemade cradle that is padded with cork but firm enough not to give too much when pressed. Your slots might just need widening a little which isn't too hard to do with a very small Japanese flushcut saw. If your slots are too wide, try some superglue.

Better yet...www.frets.com...

Peace, Mooh.


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: Bert
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 02:17 PM

The slot has to be just the right width. I have a small backsaw which I hammered to size.

Then start the fret and put a piece of wood over it and tap the wood with a hammer.


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: Jon W.
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 04:49 PM

If you go to www.mimf.com and register as a user (free), you can get access to a library of discussions and a forum that will be invaluable to you. Also available in the MIMF library for free download is a program I wrote a few years ago that will print out a template for slotting fretboards if you want to do your own with a specified scale length (I think it's even got an option for Mtn dulcimers that only print the frets used for the diatonic scale).


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: GUEST,Richard Bridge
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 05:59 PM

Parker (the electric guitar makers) use oversize slots (ie fit, not push fit) and tangless frets and hot melt glue. Press in and allow to cool.


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 08:57 PM

On a new build, the recommendation I got from some unremembered place was to NOT cut the fret wire before insertion. Lay the wire on the slot, using the "long end" as a handle, and use a wood block or soft (and very light) hammer to press in. Cut the wire after it's seated. Trim/file/grind/hone/shape/polish after you've got all the frets in. It's a bit like handling an unfriendly porcupine until you get all the ends trimmed, but it's easier than handling individual frets pre-cut to fit.

On a re-fret, if you need to do it without taking the trim off, of course you have to fit them before putting them in.

Fret wire is often sold in coils, and the hardest part (personal opinion) is getting the wire straight before you start installing and cutting. There are machines to do the straightening that anyone who does a lot of fret work would want; but us po' folk have to just do the best we can with imagination and perspiration.

John


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: PoppaGator
Date: 11 Apr 06 - 11:39 PM

What does MIMF stand for?


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 12:47 AM

MIMF = Music Instrument Makers Forum?

It's part of the URL Jon gave just above where he acronymized it.

John


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Subject: RE: laying the fret
From: Jon W.
Date: 12 Apr 06 - 11:13 AM

MIMF = Music Instrument Makers Forum yes that's it. It's the place to go on the web for advice on any aspect of construction of any instrument (they even have sections on Brass, woodwinds, etc.)


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