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Thread: how to reseat a fret ?

  1. #1
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    Default how to reseat a fret ?

    When I "hammered" the frets on the flat fretboard, it was quite straightforward, all of them were seated properly for days until ... I glued it on the neck and after the finishing work. I start stringing and notice many of them pops up slightly in the center.
    So I used a small block of steel (which I also use as my fret leveling check tool), and a clamp (as a vise) to press each of them flat down again. This works great for all the frets #1 to #10 and they stay put. Fret#11, and #12 are where the curve of the neck heel is. Clamping is not possible as the clamp will slip due to the curve.
    For the higher frets that are right above the heel and the head block, I can press them down as described above, but not the ones beyond the head block. There is no support for pressing, I do, it will break the back board.
    I did use cauls to during this work to ensure no dents is created due to the "pressing" action.
    If I am not mistaken, "hammering" the frets down during the setup phase is not a good thing to do.

    I need a recommendation as to how to press these down (fret#11 and #12).
    The pop up just a little bit at the center enough to cause buzzing at center strings, outer strings are OK.
    I can file them down but this would be my last resort.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    I think a little water thin super glue would solve your problem. You will find the procedure in this Stew-Mac newsletter:
    http://www.stewmac.com/tsarchive/ts0043.html

    I would prep the board with wax, wick in the super glue as in the newsletter, then press the fret down with a piece of dowel for a minute or so.
    Don

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  3. #3
    Registered User Grommet's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    I hammered all of mine in, as I didn't have a press. I also wicked a little thin superglue along each one as they were set to keep them from lifting. It's held for 7 months now.

    Scott

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    What type of instrument are you making?

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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    I built an ukulele (near scratch build). I am playing it now with some buzzing at higher frets. Fret#11 and #12 are visible higher at the center.
    I installed the frets on the fretboard myself, by hammering the fret wires in, then cut the excess. This went really well. I should have added thin super glue at this phase but did not.
    Before I finish the instrument, all the frets are flat down. After two weeks on sanding/finishing work, some of them pop up in the center.
    I can't hammer them down at this time, it will damage the instrument. I had to press them down and the "Fret Jaws" sold by Stewmac won't work for the frets near the neck heel either. It's also too expensive, I am just a hobbyist and this is out of my consideration.
    The main question is: what can I do to press fret#11 and fret#12 down ?
    It took very strong "vise" action to press all other frets down.

  6. #6
    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    Are 11 and 12 over the neck heel? Short extender (no more frets past the body joint, ukes are made with and without longer extenders)?
    If those things are correct, you can rest the heel of the neck against something sturdy yet soft at the surface and hammer the frets with no damage. I use a shot bag (a bag of lead shot for folks who load shotgun shells, mine are #7 shot) to back up necks for fretting.
    BTW, older instrument are re-fretted regularly, and nearly each time frets are installed on fingerboard extenders over the bodies of the instruments. There's no reason to fear damage from normal fret driving as long as it is done correctly with some kind of inertial mass to absorb the shock.

  7. #7
    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    If a good deal are popping up I would first look at the width of the fret slot and radius of the wire. You could re-fret the problem areas.

    As John brings up, it is important to confirm the type of instrument. Assuming it is a mandolin, there shouldn't be any problem hammering frets near the neck joint (be somewhat gentle). I hammer on mandolins every day. A good number of small taps will do the trick. Very slowly drive the fret down. Superglue is your friend here and will hold them down well, but it would be best to address the underlying cause first. Fretwork will almost always be needed after installing a pre-fretted board.
    Robert Fear
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    Robert Fear Folkmusician.com's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    And see there... John was correct in first asking what type of instrument.
    Robert Fear
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    "Education is when you read the fine print; experience is what you get when you don't.
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    On post#5, I indicated it's an ukulele that I just finish building and start playing.
    From the suggestions above, I will try to hammer gently on fret#11 and fret#12 so they go flat down, adding a bit of thin superglue to them. These two frets are right above the heel is where there is no firm support for pressing.

  10. #10
    Registered User the padma's Avatar
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    Default Re: how to reseat a fret ?

    Reseating a fret can be a daunting task best left to professionals.

    But now you to can easily master this task
    with the help of me fret seating manual.

    <Solicitation for commerce removed by moderator>


    such a deal.

    act now, a loose fret or two is like marbles rolling round inside head.


    blessings
    duh Padma
    Last edited by Ted Eschliman; May-03-2012 at 2:18pm. Reason: Posting Guidelines
    If it gets the pig clean ~ use it.


    .

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