Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Walnut Stratocaster - Number 8 - Fretting

Because of the wood binding on the fretboard, I had to take a different approach to fret work. Typically I would just bend the frets to match the radius of the fretboard, cut them slightly wider, then hammer them in.

For this build, I have to trim the fret tang, and then file the underside of the fret flat.
I ran into trouble when I tried to seat the frets.
When hammering the frets, the edges popped up slightly from the fretboard. I was unable to seat the frets without gaps.
I posted a question on the TDPRI Tele Home Depot forum. Between the responses to this query and a brief conversation with someone at Stewart MacDonald I was able to find a solution. It involved using a little glue and a fret press attached to my drill press.
After these results, I will start using the fret press instead of the hammer. I'm really pleased with the outcome. I had purchased the press a few years ago, but I was unhappy with the results. The problem was that the drill press table would give a little when I pressed in the frets. This time at the recommendation of someone from Stewart MacDonald, I secured the drill press table. Now with a firm base, the frets popped securely into place and stayed.