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Gluing Loose Frets

2/17/12

1.0 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends.JPG 1.1 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends.JPG
1. A Boutique Guitar This guitar has nice tone and projection. It also has a really cool look, check out that cutaway! 2. Loose Fret-Ends There are a few of them on this neck. Just to be safe, I will glue and clamp every fret.
1.2 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends clamping cauls.JPG 1.3 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends super glue frets.JPG
3. Clamping Cauls One has a set screw that holds a brass insert meant for pressing frets, the inserts are interchangeable. The middle one is part of a fixed set of 5 cauls designated for a specific radius. The third caul is one of a set for clamping fret-ends only. 4. Super Glue is my glue of choice for this job. I’ll lay a generous amount of it down next to the headstock-side of the fret.
1.4 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends clean up super glue.JPG 1.5 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends glue and clamp fret ends.JPG
5. Excess Glue is removed with a small piece of paper towel lightly dampened with acetone. I only glue, clean up the glue and clamp one fret at a time. 6. Clamping the Frets Because this neck is of an inconsistent radius I’m using the fret-end set of clamping cauls to clamp down the loose ends while the glue dries. Starting with the first fret, I clamp every third fret. When I’ve reached the end of the neck I repeat the process starting on the second fret.
1.6 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends chisel glue squeeze out.JPG 1.7 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends level frets.JPG
7. Glue Squeeze Out is easy to clean up with a sharp chisel after I have glued and clamped all of the frets. Just to be safe, I’ll repeat steps 4 and 5 on the body-side of each fret. 8. Leveling the Frets is necessary since all of the frets weren’t necessarily seated correctly when the guitar was built. Also, there is a fair amount of fret ware.
1.8 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends recrown frets.JPG 1.9 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends buff frets.JPG
9. Recrowning the Frets is followed by sanding the frets with 600, 1,000 and 2,000 grit sandpaper. 10. Polishing the Frets with the buffing wheels.
2.0 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends.JPG 2.1 custom parlor guitar loose fret ends polished frets.JPG
11. Level Frets have gotten rid of the sporadic fret buzz that is caused by loose frets. 12. Done