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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:11 pm 
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Koa
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Hello all... been trying to hammer some fretwire in to my fretboard and am having a heck of a time. This is the first time installing mando fretwire. I sawed the slots using the stew-mac table saw blade and have the stew-mac mando fretwire. I beveled my slots. Everytime I swing the hammer, all I am doing is marking the fretboard when the wire tips over and smooshes into the wood.

How do you guys do it?

Here are the fretboards I need to finish up.
By the way, is there a better way to nip the tang off of the fretwire than the tang nippers sold by stew-mac? I keep bending the wire slightly at the nip point.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:39 pm 
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Koa
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Chris, have you tried tapping one end first, then the opposite end of the fretwire before going somewhere in the middle?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:45 pm 
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Are you sure your slots are deeper than the tang on the fret wire?
Check it.

If the tang cutter is bending the fret crown then I would grind the tang with a dremel tool with a round stone disc.

When tapping in frets with a mallet just tap on the ends lightly until they start biting and continue tapping lightly across the fret until the fret is seated.

I have a dental burr #699 that I use to open up tight slots used with a router base.

Good luck.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:19 pm 
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thanks guys, I'll try tapping from the ends first... if nothing else I can use the pencil-grinder with a bur.
chris

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:48 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Chris-
Since the board is not attached to a neck, you could press the frets in with your vise- you need to make a curved 'press block' to match the fingerboard radius, if applicable.
Hammer- a dead-blow (smallish, plastic faced) hammer is my preferred tool for tapping in frets.
A non-bouncy supporting surface is a must - a bag of lead shot works well behind a neck, but for unattached fingerboards a good solid bench does fine. Sometimes a rag or similar between the board and the bench helps tame 'rattling'.
For removing tangs (for bound boards like yours), I use a file and a simple jig, not nippers.

Cheers
John


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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:53 pm 
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Excellent procedure guys. I tried the tapping the corner of one end in.. then the other.. blamo... hammering better now.

John... I like your filing jig. That will definitely help out.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 8:56 pm 
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Use a claw hammer. Seriously.

I do, as does Al Carruth. You don't swing it, you just choke up on it and gently tap the frets in; it's much more controlled. The light 'fretting hammers' you have to swing just seem crude to me, I don't know why anyone uses 'em

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 2:21 am 
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Cocobolo
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I sometimes have to file the down the beads on the fret tang a little so the frets enter the slot with less heavy pounding.
Michael


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 1:09 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Bob Garrish wrote:
Use a claw hammer. Seriously.

I do, as does Al Carruth. You don't swing it, you just choke up on it and gently tap the frets in; it's much more controlled. The light 'fretting hammers' you have to swing just seem crude to me, I don't know why anyone uses 'em


Because steel is harder than 'normal' fret wire and a steel hammer dents the fretwire?

Been there, done that- once.


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 3:55 pm 
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JohnAbercrombie wrote:
Bob Garrish wrote:
Use a claw hammer. Seriously.

I do, as does Al Carruth. You don't swing it, you just choke up on it and gently tap the frets in; it's much more controlled. The light 'fretting hammers' you have to swing just seem crude to me, I don't know why anyone uses 'em


Because steel is harder than 'normal' fret wire and a steel hammer dents the fretwire?

Been there, done that- once.


Just because it's a real hammer doesn't mean you swing it like the fret's a nail. Al Carruth's been pulling it off for more than 25 years, and I've done it more than a couple, so it's not the tool's fault. The hardness of the hammer just decides which surface dents when it's swung too hard.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:26 pm 
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I have been using a small ball pien hammer . works quite well , very little force is really needed . after i file the tops of the frets to dress them but usally that is a minimum amount needed. So it is more about the force used than the material the hammer is made of.

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 4:44 pm 
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WudWerkr wrote:
after i file the tops of the frets to dress them ......


That's the part I try to avoid, with a very well-prepared fingerboard and well-set frets (I check as I insert frets.)
So I am more 'sensitive' about 'dings' in fret tops because of that.

For experienced builders like you-all, a steel hammer might work fine. For the rest of us, why not use a plastic-faced (preferably dead-blow) hammer? They are not uncommon things; anybody who has ever worked with metal much will have one (or more) around the shop.
That said, whatever works for each person......

Cheers
John
BTW, it is not correct that the 'dingability' of a hammer doesn't depend on the material it is made of- for the same force, a steel hammer will dent brass, a plastic hammer won't. 'Scissors cut paper, rock....'


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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 7:19 pm 
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Quote:
That's the part I try to avoid, with a very well-prepared fingerboard and well-set frets (I check as I insert frets.)
So I am more 'sensitive' about 'dings' in fret tops because of that.

For experienced builders like you-all, a steel hammer might work fine. For the rest of us, why not use a plastic-faced (preferably dead-blow) hammer? They are not uncommon things; anybody who has ever worked with metal much will have one (or more) around the shop.
That said, whatever works for each person


I dont disagree with you here , i have a plastic hammer and have tried it a few times . I seem to have less success in doing so . That may simply be lack of experience. I am not an " experienced builder" as you implied . Just making an observation on what has worked for me .

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 9:07 pm 
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JohnAbercrombie wrote:
BTW, it is not correct that the 'dingability' of a hammer doesn't depend on the material it is made of- for the same force, a steel hammer will dent brass, a plastic hammer won't. 'Scissors cut paper, rock....'


That's what I said. A harder hammer dents the fret, while a softer hammer gets dented by the fret. A hammer made of polycrystalline diamond won't dent the fret unless you're swinging too hard. The hammer does need the mass to push in a fret based on momentum rather than impact; putting a steel face on one of those toy wooden hammers they sell at lutherie supplies for the purpose wouldn't work. A hammer with mass works more like a press than a light hammer.

And that just gave me an idea: glue a piece of brass, plastic, or what-have-you to a claw hammer. All the benefits of a properly weighted hammer without the risks of steel. I swear it's so easy to get used to that you'll be able to put them in using the steel face with no trouble, or dings, after one fret job with the nerfed claw hammer.

If the name hadn't been used, I'd suggest we call it a fret 'tap' so people would be tapping their frets in instead of hammering them [:Y:]

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PostPosted: Fri Apr 30, 2010 10:24 pm 
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Quote:
If the name hadn't been used, I'd suggest we call it a fret 'tap' so people would be tapping their frets in instead of hammering them [:Y:]


I agree completely !

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The Shallower the depth of the stream , The Louder the Babble !
The Taking Of Offense Is the Life Course Of The Stupid One !
Wanna Leave a Better Planet for our Kids? How about Working on BETTER KIDS for our Planet !
Forgiveness is the ability to accept an apology that you will probably NEVER GET
The truth will set you free , But FIRST, it will probably Piss you Off !
Creativity is allowing yourself to make Mistakes, Art is knowing which ones to Keep !
The Saddest thing anyone can do , is push a Loyal Person to the point that they Dont Care Anymore
Never met a STRONG person who had an EASY past !
http://wiksnwudwerks.blogspot.com/
http://www.facebook.com/groups/GatewayA ... rAssembly/


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