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Installing Frets on the Gretsch Ukulele

I think we're close to the end. I need to install a couple of frets and string the ukulele up. Then I can see how well (or if...) it plays.

I had pulled the next-to-last fret off when I was working on the neck, and the last fret has been missing since I've had the ukulele.  So there are 2 new frets to go on.

First we cut them to length with fret cutters.  This is the smallest fret wire Stew-Mac stocks.  It isn't a perfect match, but after they're installed and levelled, it will be hard to tell the new ones from the old.

The first one is easy.  It goes in the slot nicely and I can hammer it in.

I held my hand under the neck for support when I was hammering, but I really want to get a bag of buckshot to use as a support in the future.  Works like a big pillow to support the neck.

The last fret is a little different.  Since I just guesstimated the fret slot width when I reglued the fretboard extension, I wasn't too precise.  I figured the slot was a little small, and it is.

So I open it up some with a razor saw, but even then, the fret ends want to pop up.  So I used some medium superglue in the slot.

I quickly put the fret in the slot, then hammered it home.  Stays in perfectly.

The superglue (CA) may cause a problem for a refret in the future, but, seriously, who's gonna refret this thing?

Nip the overhanging end of the fret close to the fingerboard.

Crazy picture.  The file and the frets look huge!

Here I'm filing a bevel on the ends of the new frets.  I just used the old ones' bevel as a guide as to the angle.
Then I used a small file to dress the ends of the frets.  Some of the old ones were a little sharp, so I did all of them.  Now they're nice and smooth.

Next we level, crown and polish.




 
 
 
 

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