It's fretting time !!!! OOOOOOH!!!!!
First up, I took my nice StewMac fret press over to Mark's.
I bought it a while ago, but this is it's first outing in anger so looking forward to pressing those little frets in
And here's everything lined up ready to start cutting the frets. There are loads of ways of going about it, but I still work the way I was taught by Norman Reed.
I use the same jeweller's saw that I use for cutting pearl, but with a thicker blade. Yes, you can cut the fret wire with side cutters, but that deforms the fretwire a little. You need to allow a little extra overlap for that, and later on you need to stone/file away the excess. So a little extra time spent cutting accurately saves a lot of time and effort later.
I use the callipers to measure the width of the fret slot, but with a sneaky trick. For the first fret, I measure the width at the second fret. That gives a little extra to allow for slight errors and gives a little flexibility when fitting them too.
Then I transfer the measurement to the fretwire held in a vice. Not too easy to see here, but there is a mark on the wire, honest!!
Here it is cut and placed on the neck to check size.
And then stored in that piece of wood I drilled and labelled a week ago See, there was a reason for it
Then it was 18 more done the same way. Measure, mark, cut, and check. Once you get going it's pretty quick and very straightforward. And once you have all the frets cut, it's time to fit them into the slots. First of all I eyeballed the slots and had concerns about the depth of some of the slots, remember that I cut them before I radiused the fretboards so was prepared to double check. A few minutes with the neck in the vice and the saw soon made sure all the slots were a suitable depth and I could get on with fitting them.
Again, there are several options for fitting frets and to be honest all are as good as each other. Some people just press/hammer them in (and the slots were tight enough for me to do this if I wanted), others like to cut the slots a little wider and glue them in with superglue or epoxy, but I am in the camp that presses them in but lines the slot with wood glue to act as a gap filler. So, here's the first slot loaded with glue and ready for fretting.
And a few minutes later, here's the fret neatly pressed into place and the excess glue cleaned up.
And the other frets went reasonably smoothly after that. A few needed some gentle taps with the hammer to seat the edges first, but then they pressed in easily. And I found it easier to tap the edges in first on all the frets on the fretboard tongue. But I managed to get the whole neck finished.
All looking good. Nice and neat, and only a small amount to be stoned/filed of the edges ready for final levelling and finishing
All in all, a very good day
When the going gets weird, the Weird turn Pro.