Sunday, April 29, 2012

2012 TDPRI Tele Build Challenge - Frets

I have just a little over two weeks left on this challenge, and I still need to get started on the finishing and clear coating. This weekend I'm making a very important step in that direction - Fret work. After posting a question on the Telecaster forum, I've decided to seat and level the frets before applying a finish to the neck. Yes, I thought the other way around seemed more practical, but it turns out that it isn't. So this weekend I'm doing fret work.

First I bent the frets using my home-made fret bender (not as pretty as the $90 fret bender from Stew-Mac, but constructed for less than $10.) I over bent the frets to about a 12 inch radius instead of a 14 inch. Hammering will flatten the frets out, so the little extra bend is to make up for that hammering.

Then, I cut my frets to size (surprised that the guitar supply companies haven't created a handy-dandy fret organized with holes for each fret priced at $49.99 yet.) and prepped for hammering.

Followed by hammering the frets into place.

I lost a good bit of time yesterday due to a headache, but returned to fret work in the evening (no photos yet). I cut off the excess fret-wire from the sides of the neck. Filed the edges down and filed them to a 30° angle. I taped off the fretboard, leveled it with 320 grit on and sanding block, then started cleaning and polishing the frets.

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