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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 3:39 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:36 am
Posts: 26
Location: United States
It's been a long while since I visited the Forum, but it's good to see that you all are still going strong.

Being too cheap to pay $90 for a FretBender, I built my own from Ace hardware parts. But I can't get the fretwire to run through it properly. Running the wire with the tang upright is inherently unstable and it wants to roll over on it's side. Looking at the catalog photo of the FretBender, I don't see how it would work any better than mine. Have you experienced this problem? How did you succeed? Should I throw out the radiusing machine and resort to fret bending pliers? Thanks for your help!


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 4:34 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 1:41 am
Posts: 1157
Location: Siloam Springs, AR
Here's my cheapo fret bender. It uses two large washers with a spacer in the middle, so the tang of the fret rides in there and keeps it positioned correctly. I haven't used it extensively, but it's done well so far.

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Jonathan Kendall, Siloam Springs AR


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 6:31 am 
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Koa
Koa
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:34 am
Posts: 1906
Location: United States
I sometimes have a problem with my fret bender ( stewmac version) when I don't pre-curve the beginning part of the wire ( first inch) other than that it works like butter. Sometimes you spend more time and effort trying to build a better mouse trap and all you wind up with is an expensive lesson.

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Dave Bland

remember...

"If it doesn't play in tune...it's just pretty wood"


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:11 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:36 am
Posts: 26
Location: United States
Jon,

Thanks for the photo! Mine looks almost like yours, except that I have 2 rubber spacers between the large washers...hoping that the tang would ride between the two. Maybe it's because I'm using small banjo/mandolin fretwire ?????ejones38768.6334375


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:14 am 
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Koa
Koa

Joined: Mon May 09, 2005 1:41 am
Posts: 1157
Location: Siloam Springs, AR
Sounds like maybe you need to remove one of the spacers? Or how about a metal washer/spacer instead of rubber? I wonder if the rubber spacer allows the two metal washers to move around too much. It should be a fairly close fit around the tang.

I thought banjos and mando's had flat fret boards?

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Jonathan Kendall, Siloam Springs AR


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 9:21 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Mon Jul 04, 2005 7:13 am
Posts: 3270
Location: United States
I don't know about mandolins, but most banjos do have a flat fb. You can get them custom radiused, though. Bela Fleck uses a radiused fb, but I don't know the radius.

I have a fret bender kinda like Jon, but I didn't have to use it on my first guitar. The fret wire from LMI comes coiled at the perfect radius for a 16" fb.

Ron

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:45 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Jan 18, 2005 12:36 am
Posts: 26
Location: United States
Jon,

I think you're right about flat fretboards on mandos and banjos. Though a lot of new mandolins are being built with radiused fretboards. I'm building a bouzouki and have radiused the fretboard.


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PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:55 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Mon Dec 27, 2004 3:50 pm
Posts: 4662
Location: Napa, CA
On the fret bender I built from the model that Don Atwood sent to me, it had an adjustment slot for one of the lower paired wheels. This allows you to vary height in relationship to the tang wheel and control the amount of curvature of the wire. It also helps in the setup in getting the fretwire to feed properly. Once I got it adjusted to where it fed reliably I set it and haven't changed it in 2 years.

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Napa, CA
http://www.DonohueGuitars.com


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 21, 2006 1:58 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Wed Dec 29, 2004 5:34 am
Posts: 1906
Location: United States
Most of the mandos I work on are Flat f.b.'d. But I have had players ask for radiused, But given the thinness of the neck, the tension of the strings and the fact that most mando players aren't bending strings I can't see the benefit of a radiused board on a mando. If you own Craig Holden's radius jig you can radius your own (and everyone else's).

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Dave Bland

remember...

"If it doesn't play in tune...it's just pretty wood"


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