Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Circa 1940 Martin Tenor Ukulele Renovation and Clean-Up Completed

Now on to the frets.  They are very heavily worn, and I'm going to do the best I can with a level-and-crown on the frets.

My guess is that I'll still have some divots, but I can at least make them smaller.  If it plays ok afterward, I'll leave it.  I could refret it, but I'd prefer to leave the original frets on it if at all possible.

Here we have the frets after a few passes with 180 grit paper on my corian leveler.  I had marked the fret tops with blue marker and then leveled 'em.  The remaining marks are divots.   I was about halfway through when the picture above was taken.

I'm going to leave it here.  There are some divots on the first four frets - where the wear was the worst - but they are a lot shallower.

I could have kept going, but a few of them are so deep they're within a millimeter or so of the fretboard.  I don't want to sand them that low.

Now we crown the fret tops with a crowning file.  The fret tops were flat after the levelling, so a crown needs to be put back on.

The divots also got cleaned up a little more during the crowning.  I'm thinking it will play just fine.  Since the strings are nylon, they shouldn't hang up in the divots like steel strings would.

A little filing with a fret end file rounds the ends and takes out any sharp edges.  I'm using a Stew-Mac fret protector.  These things are gold.  Easier than using tape to protect the fingerboard.

I used the Dunlop fingerboard conditioner, then a few drops of this lemon oil.

Not just any lemon oil...Ultimate Lemon Oil!

Cleaned, levelled, crowned, conditioned and oiled.

I was concerned about the depth of the finger divots on the lower frets.  They actually look worse in this picture than they are.  They're somewhat deep, but they don't affect playability at all.  I actually think they give it a great vibe.  It's been played, which is what it was made for.

Where did that dirt on the upper bout go?

Reinstalling the tuners.

You can see how good the finish looks in these pictures.  It cleaned up very well.

I strung it up with some Worth clears - high G this time.  All three of the Martins have different strings on them - a good chance to try them out and compare.

One thing I like about the Worths is you get enough length in the package to cut two sets.


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