Crawls Backward (When Alarmed)

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Martin Guitar Refret, Part One

So I started putting the original frets back into the Martin's fingerboard.  It went fine, except when I got to the fretboard extension (soundhole end).  The 15th fret was missing entirely and I needed to replace it.  So I put a new one in - it's about the same size as the originals.

The only problem was - because that's the fret that was removed and the steam hole was drilled there, the slot was a bit larger than the others, probably due to the moisture swelling the wood somewhat.  So the fret wouldn't stay seated.  And the other frets around it were also popping out, since the board's pretty flexible at that end.  After some frustrating hammering, I figured I'd just glue them in.  Not too unusual.

Only thing was, they were all a bit worse for wear after the hammering, popping out, dropping on the floor, etc.  So I decided to use new frets at that end of the board.  And after using new frets...well, I just figured I should refret the whole thing.  Why not.  There's no reason per se to reuse the originals.  They're not in bad shape overall, but I figured I'm halfway there, I may as well finish the job properly.

So I got to use my new fret bending tool to bend a whole length of fretwire for the new frets.

Whoo hoo.

I've used various makeshift neck supports for refrets.  My latest idea was to use a piece of pipe insulating foam tube in a vise.  It works ok, but there's still too much give when hammering.

At some point, I'm going to break down and buy a bag of small shotgun shot and use that.  I know a lot of builders use that as a neck support.  I'm not there yet, but I'm getting close. 


That picture is just before the actual hammering-in-of-the-frets.

It's not a real project unless I accumulate some small cut or bruise.

Those untrimmed fret ends are sharp.  Handle them with caution.

There's a lot of flex at the end of the fingerboard.  Some of the frets needed to be glued in.  I used CA, and I'm hoping that works.  I wanted to avoid epoxy since it's a lot messier and harder to clean up.

Here you can see the makeshift clamp/rubber band arrangement I cooked up to hold the 15th through 20th frets down.

The fingerboard crack also opened up a bit during all the handling.  Joy joy. 

The whole board after seating all of the frets.

After the glue on the body end frets dries, I can trim the fret ends and then level and crown.

The neck is looking dangerously close to being ready to be reattached to the body.

The Complete Martin Guitar Restoration Saga
Restoration begins
Repairing heel break
DIY chisel for bridge plate removal
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.1
DIY bridge plate removal iron, Pt.2
Steam removal of bridge plate
Bridge plate removed
Tongue brace removal
Crack repair and brace scallop
New bridge plate Pt. 1
New bridge plate Pt. 2
Patching hole in top
Final fitting of top patch
Installing carbon fiber rod
Fret removal
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 1
Fingerboard crack repair, Pt. 2
DIY fret bender tool
Refretting Pt. 1 (This page)
Refretting Pt. 2
Tuner shaft repair
Neck reset - dovetail fitting
Measuring neck set with DIY jig
Gluing the neck with hide glue
Tortoloid Pickguard
Fitting bridge pins
Brace reglue
Making bone saddle
Making a buffalo horn nut
Restoration completed


Post a Comment 2 comments:

  • QuemSera said...
    November 21, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Your blog is very cool.

    Greetings from Brazil.
  • Yr Fthfl Blggr said...
    November 25, 2012 at 9:58 AM
    Obrigado pelo seu comentario simpatico!

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