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Luthiery/frets: stupid questions and crazy tips

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  • #46
    Originally posted by Steve A. View Post
    John: A friend of a friend (a top-notch luthier) tested different glues for frets and found that Franklin Liquid Hide Glue (now sold by Titebond) and superglue worked the best in terms of resonance and stability. While superglue is fine for individual frets the very short setting time does not allow you to clamp the entire neck as you can with the liquid hide glue.

    I started out using it thinned and applied with a brush, wiping off the excess with a damp rag but was told to use a woodworkers syringe to apply the unthinned glue directly into the fret slot.
    After reading this, I tried a glue syringe that I had. It's a bellows looking thing with a small needle that is too restrictive for the glue unthinned. I thinned the titebond to the same consistency as I normally do, and it worked fine. I tested this method by pulling frets from my sample a couple of days later. They were indeed quit secure.

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    • #47
      Bilingual proof-reading

      Originally posted by Steve A. View Post
      So if loosening one or both of those strings improves the playability of the guitar then you need to tighten the truss rod just a little bit (perhaps 1/16th or 1/24th of a full turn.) And similarly if loosening the string(s) makes the guitar harder to play then the truss rod needs to be loosened just a little bit.
      Est-ce-que the word in bold should be "tightening"?
      DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

      Comment


      • #48
        Originally posted by rjb View Post
        Originally posted by Steve A. View Post
        So if loosening one or both of those strings improves the playability of the guitar then you need to tighten the truss rod just a little bit (perhaps 1/16th or 1/24th of a full turn.) And similarly if loosening the string(s) makes the guitar harder to play then the truss rod needs to be loosened just a little bit.
        Est-ce-que the word in bold should be "tightening"?
        I had to think about your question for a minute but the answer is no. I refrained from suggesting that the strings be tightened because of possible liability issues in the event that it would result in a string snapping and poking an eye out.

        I suppose I could have insisted that a waiver of liability be signed...



        I discovered this when I unstrung the low E to remove the saddle so I could bring it down to hardware store to get shorter set screws. "Damn, the guitar plays better without that string!"

        Steve

        EDIT One of the simplest ways to get the truss rod adjustment "in the ballpark" is to hold down each string at the first and last fret, and then pluck it in the middle. If it sings out clearly you probably need to tighten the truss rod. If it hardly sounds at all then you probably need to loosen the truss rod. There is a happy medium between those two which is a good place to start. I will then experiment with different truss rod settings and bridge heights until it plays really nicely between the 5th and 12th frets.

        I will then check the higher frets to see if they "fret out" when bending the plain strings which could indicate that you need some leveling up there. I use 10-52 strings and like to be able to bend the E string 3 frets and the B string 4 frets up there with no fretting out. In many cases I need to add a little ramping above the 15th fret and while doing that I might take off a little more metal in the middle of the frets which makes the radius a little flatter. (All of that is after checking for and correcting high frets once the truss rod and bridge is set as you like it with the strings you will be using.)
        Last edited by Steve A.; 10-01-2015, 05:45 AM.
        The Blue Guitar
        www.blueguitar.org
        Some recordings:
        https://soundcloud.com/sssteeve/sets...e-blue-guitar/
        .

        Comment


        • #49
          Originally posted by John_H View Post
          After reading this, I tried a glue syringe that I had. It's a bellows looking thing with a small needle that is too restrictive for the glue unthinned. I thinned the titebond to the same consistency as I normally do, and it worked fine. I tested this method by pulling frets from my sample a couple of days later. They were indeed quit secure.
          IMO the luer lock syringe kit that Rockler sells works a lot better than the bellows-style applicator and does not require that the glue be thinned. Besides having replaceable tips from 14 to 20 gauge it applies a lot more pressure (but not as much as their $28 high pressure glue applicator shown below...)



          You didn't specify which variety of Titebond glue you used. With their basic wood glues the original Type I glue is more resilient than II or III but not as resilient as their liquid hide glue which also adheres very well to the metal fret tangs and with a much longer set time I consider to be appropriate for refret jobs.



          Titebond - Product

          After putting in all of the frets I will clamp them down with two radiused blocks for about 3 hours and then check for high frets using a Sharpie and a very light touch of a sanding beam with 600 grit sandpaper. After tapping in the high frets and retesting I will reclamp the radiused* blocks for at least 24 hours to allow the liquid hide glue to continue setting. I'd guess that it takes about a week for it to set completely although you can dress the strings and play the guitar after a day or two. You want to be sure that the liquid hide glue has set enough when you cut the fret ends because that could pull up on the fret...

          I picked up a whole sheetload of blunt tips last year from 16 to 28 gauge. Anything smaller than 22 gauge is not good for wood glue but they work great for unclogging larger needles. If anyone wants me to mail them a free starter kit send me a PM.

          Steve

          P.S. By reducing moisture absorbed by rosewood fretboards I have had much better results. If you think high frets are bad, low frets are even worse as that can create several high spots that need to be dealt with. The problem occurs if you level the frets before all of the excess moisture in the fretboard has evaporated. (I don't think that all maple necks have that problem as much.)
          The Blue Guitar
          www.blueguitar.org
          Some recordings:
          https://soundcloud.com/sssteeve/sets...e-blue-guitar/
          .

          Comment


          • #50
            Originally posted by Steve A. View Post
            I had to think about your question for a minute but the answer is no. I refrained from suggesting that the strings be tightened because of possible liability issues in the event that it would result in a string snapping and poking an eye out.
            I should learn not to read & post here way after bedtime!
            Sorry, I misread your original post- missed "harder to play" vs "improves the playability".
            Now it all makes sense.

            Doh,
            -rb
            DON'T FEED THE TROLLS!

            Comment


            • #51
              I like GraphTech nuts, not just because of the material used, but because they offer detailed specifications of their nuts, allowing you to pick out one that should work for you, with or without a little persuasion.

              The nuts retail for $14 and most eBay sellers list them for $10-12 w/ free shipping which is okay if you are ordering just one nut. If you are ordering more I recommend PowerhouseMusicalSupply that sells the nuts for $6.95 plus $2.95 for the first item and $1.95 for additional items. I wanted to order 5 nuts so I clicked the box requesting a price in the shopping cart page and he cut the shipping charge down from $11 to $6. (It never hurts to ask.)

              Artist Songbooks, Fender Parts items in POWERHOUSE MUSICAL SUPPLY store on eBay!

              Steve Ahola
              The Blue Guitar
              www.blueguitar.org
              Some recordings:
              https://soundcloud.com/sssteeve/sets...e-blue-guitar/
              .

              Comment


              • #52
                Wait! Don't throw that out...

                Screen cleaner wipes in the tall plastic containers eventually dry out once you break the seal and I have had to throw many of them out. I was going to do just that with the latest one I found dried up but the green (cheap?) side of me suggested that I cut open the plastic container and use them as disposable wash rags- or very tough paper towels. Whatever ingredients that did not evaporate will still be there so keep that in mind...



                Steve Ahola
                The Blue Guitar
                www.blueguitar.org
                Some recordings:
                https://soundcloud.com/sssteeve/sets...e-blue-guitar/
                .

                Comment

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