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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 4:51 am 
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Walnut
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I have this old electric guitar I got on sale for $99 back in '06 that I've decided to practice on by restoring it to better than new (hopefully). I'm starting with the fretboard and frets.

I removed the frets and that went well, but the fretboard is not level, and even the radius is slightly off (this guitar was barely ever played so I'm assuming it was made that way).

Also, there are dings and chips all over the place on this thing (again, it came that way).

My questions are:

1. Is it alright to use a radius beam to level the board or should I use a straight leveling beam? I'm on a budget here and I would rather not have to buy both, but I will if I have to.

2. Is it ok to use filler on rosewood to get rid of the dings and chips? I'm assuming there won't be much left of them after the leveling and radiusing, but some are pretty deep. Rosewood is very open-grained so I wasn't sure if it was a good idea or not since there won't be a finish on it. There is quite a bit of thickness to the board so I could probably sand right through the dings but then I would have to re-cut the fret slots I think(?). Which brings me to...

3. The ends of the fret slots are filled in so that the tangs on the ends of the frets need to be cut similar to what would be needed if there were binding. Should I leave this intact or cut through it and run the tangs all the way to the edge of the board? I was thinking it would be easier this way because the thickness of said fills is not consistent - it seems like it would be a royal pain to nip the tangs at different lengths for each slot.

4. I've been told that adding fallaway after the 14th fret or so is a good idea. Any time I've seen this mentioned it was with regard to the frets themselves but I just saw a video where a guy added fallaway to the fretboard itself. Should I do this to just the frets, just the board, both, or not at all?

5. Aside from the fumes, is there a downside to using CA glue accelerator? Is the bond just as strong?

Thanks :)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 8:53 am 
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First name: Ed
Last Name: Minch
City: Chestertown
State: MD
Zip/Postal Code: 21620
Country: United States
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Concerning #2, fret divots, check out Frets.com:

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Frets/FBoardDivot/fboardivot.html

In fact Frank Ford's website is a black hole where you can easily lose a week or two - be careful

Ed



These users thanked the author Ruby50 for the post: Prime2515102 (Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:52 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 9:35 am 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
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Ruby50 wrote:
Frank Ford's website is a black hole where you can easily lose a week or two - be careful

Ed


I concur. But that's time very well spent. I hope Frank never takes those pages down, that's the most useful body of work in existence.


Pierre Castonguay


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 11:58 am 
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Joined: Sat May 17, 2008 1:11 pm
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Agreed! We can all pitch in and help keep it running with a donation, eh?

http://frets.com/FretsPages/Ads/Donate/donate.html

No affiliation.

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formerly known around here as burbank
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http://www.patfosterguitars.com


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 3:52 pm 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Tue Feb 16, 2016 8:56 pm
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Ruby50 wrote:
Concerning #2, fret divots, check out Frets.com:

http://www.frets.com/FretsPages/Luthier/Technique/Frets/FBoardDivot/fboardivot.html

In fact Frank Ford's website is a black hole where you can easily lose a week or two - be careful

Ed


That looks like a great site. I'm surprised I haven't seen it before. Thanks! :)


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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:11 pm 
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Koa
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What the others have said. But specifics to your questions

1 - Get the f/b as flat as possible with the truss rod. Decide at that point how much needs to be taken off and where. A relatively inexpensive leveling beam can be a cheap metal carpenters level (maybe ten bucks at Lowes) with double stick tape on it. Good radius blocks can be kind of expensive but you'll get a lot of use out of them. The longer the better for leveling, short ones are OK for minor touch up. I'm only doing the first 7 on this acoustic, a short 16 inch radius block is enough but for a full neck I would want a longer one.

Image

Image

2 - I have tried making a filler for rosewood f/b's out of some powdered rosewood or ebony and both epoxy and CA. It worked marginally well - if a board has had lemon oil applied to it the filler will pop right out. I did fill the divots in the board pictured above. I think a balance of sanding and leaving the worst divots is usually the best. Remember that if you take very much off the board the fret slots might be too shallow - be sure to measure them before you refret. This board is bound and I'm checking the slot depth with a little piece of fretwire that I've make L shaped and filed the barbs off. Be aware that different fretwire has different lengths of tangs and that on most boards the bottom of the slot is flat, not radiused like the tops

Image

3 - It is a royal pain to nip (actually I file) the tang to fit over binding, but it makes a really nice looking fret job - that why they bind f/b 's in the first place. This is how I file the tang to fit over binding - I've cut the fret a little long, held it up to the f/b and marked how much tang needs to be removed. The block of wood has an oversized slot in it, I clamp it to the bench right where it needs to be filed, and file up to the block. Oh, of course the wire has been radiused before it was cut. Other people use special nippers, Dremels, and other methods

Image

Image

Image

4 - As far as fall away, its certainly better than a ski jump but my goal is to have as little relief as I can get away with up to the body joint, then basically flat to the end of the board. As you play higher on the neck your action naturally goes up and as long as you don't have a high fret or a bump you will not have buzzes. So flatten the board, fret it and then level the frets all the way to the end. String tension will pull a little relief from the nut to the heel, if needed adjust the t/r to whatever your ideal relief is.

5 - CA accelerator kicks it off immediately and frequently leaves a white kind of foamy looking deposit that can be hard to remove. I normally only use it when I absolutely have to. I also happen to be hyper sensitive to CA in general (I always wear a NIOSH respirator) and accelerator seams to affect me highly.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post (total 2): Prime2515102 (Sun Nov 25, 2018 12:16 am) • Smylight (Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:16 pm)
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2018 10:16 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Pierre
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Great post!


Pierre Castonguay


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 6:16 am 
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Cocobolo
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Freeman has given you the whole run down there. I will add a couple of tips regarding the fret ends and tang removal. It is certainly a whole lot more work to trim tang and cut frets to length exactly, and even more effort to make rounded (semi-hemispherical) ends. But it looks good. About ten times more effort than doing it the regular way (full width slot, press/hammer in an overlength piece of fretwire, snip, and file the ends all together). But it really looks good. In my experience no players actually notice the rounded fret ends, but fellow luthiers always do ( and think that it realy looks good, and ask how you did it).

Here are my tips: 1. Start at the highest fret, because it is the widest one. You will have some where after cutting and nipping and filing and rounding and polishing your fret looks perfect - but you have made it a bit too short. No problem - you can use that one in the next slot, if you are moving towards the narrow end. 2. After trying numerous methods for removing the tang at the ends my preferred method is to use a grinding wheel or belt sander.



These users thanked the author Mark Mc for the post: Prime2515102 (Mon Dec 03, 2018 7:08 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:16 am 
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A few things to add to Freeman's nice rundown. I just a a few different ideas you can consider.

I like to add a bit of fall away, maybe .008" or so from the 12th fret to the 22nd, not a lot. I find it lets me get the action down a few thou more which is important to clients who want the lowest action possible. This is how I was taught by Dave Collins at Ann Arbor Guitars.

CA accelerator in general can bubble up and turn the glue white. There is one brand that I know of that will not do that. GluBoost Accelerator with the GluBoost CA will not bubble and turn white. Their accelerator also does well with StewMac CA. I have nothing to do with the company but I've been using their products since they first came out and sent me a free introductory kit (too bad they don't do that anymore).

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"Music is what feelings sound like"



These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Smylight (Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:48 am)
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2018 10:49 am 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Pierre
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SteveSmith wrote:
A few things to add to Freeman's nice rundown. I just a a few different ideas you can consider.

I like to add a bit of fall away, maybe .008" or so from the 12th fret to the 22nd, not a lot. I find it lets me get the action down a few thou more which is important to clients who want the lowest action possible. This is how I was taught by Dave Collins at Ann Arbor Guitars.

CA accelerator in general can bubble up and turn the glue white. There is one brand that I know of that will not do that. GluBoost Accelerator with the GluBoost CA will not bubble and turn white. Their accelerator also does well with StewMac CA. I have nothing to do with the company but I've been using their products since they first came out and sent me a free introductory kit (too bad they don't do that anymore).


Plus 1 on GluBoost. I use StewMac glues with it and have been having no problems whatsoever.


Pierre Castonguay
Guitares Torvisse


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