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  #46  
Old 03-04-2015, 10:55 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Originally Posted by arie View Post
why not use the gramil? how much is your time worth trying to figure out a router and the required locating fixtures and the cutters and bearings for something you might not ever do again?

with a 50 buck gramil, it's a 10 minute job. no router, no cutters, no bearings, no "jiggery" needed, no debating and fretting. and a nice how to video presented by mr. o'brien

easy work for the beginner right?

once you have your first done then scale up if you are going to make more. but for your first make it easy imo
if this is the video it's going to take awhile just to get setup so i am not sure by the time i set it up i wouldn't have a decent amount of practice with a router. i will have to get multiple whetstones (and whatever liquid you use on whetstone) and setup the blade ends.
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  #47  
Old 03-14-2015, 10:53 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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been snowed in for awhile. today i was finally able to get back at it a little. i am agonizing over the routing binding channels. i got the bosch 1/4" router but then i notice in the paper that came with the bit i have that it says the bit is 1/2". so i take the router back and get same but 1/2" which is, of course, a monster compared to the 1/4". i try the bit and of course it is way small so it has to be 1/4". i measure the diameter of the head that will fit the collet and yes it measures 1/4". F'n back to HD to get the 1/4" router back. i ordered the Bosch one online so even though i returned it to the store they don't have it in stock (just Makita and i think it was called Rigid the other brand). i look at reviews online and they all say Bosch is the best so i say F it and leave. i have never been to harbor freight and there is 1 by me so i stop in. turns out they just sell generic stuff but i picked up a file set for around $10 (pic 7). i need to file frets down so hopefully they will work. on to HD competitor LO.. i find the Bosch router there however i notice a nice looking Dewalt one also. so i google a little bit and seems people actually like the Dewalt just as much if not more than the Bosch so i decide to pick it up. Tomorrow i will hopefully finally put this to rest and be able to start testing routing on some scrap strips of wood. Bunch of craziness trying to figure the router and bit piece out for me. i know it's hilarious to anyone who works with them what i am going through lol.

so the only thing i was able to get done today was some fret wire on the fret board along with some sanding down. i think i F that one up a bit also because 1. i did not glue them down; only hammer them in and 2. i did not measure the fretboard to the neck before hammering in the frets and i think the fretboard is slightly larger than the neck. so i am going to have to sand down a hair the fretboard with the frets in to match the neck.

for the frets i used a dollar store hammer and a husky nipper from HD. i tried caddy corner at first like you see in pic 1 but noticed real fast this wouldn't work. i needed to be by the edge with the fret wire pre-bent to get the right angle. also i needed an extra clamp more towards the middle also. just clamping at the ends the middle would lift up to much and i would just hammer air basically. needed the whole fretboard tight against the table to hammer in properly.

i left around 1/16 on each end for the fret wire after pounding in. after which i needed to get more flush with the sides so i saw a video of someone using a belt sander (see video below) and gave that a shot. basically you want the belt moving down so it puts downward pressure on the fret wire as it sands it. you take a portion at a time and push it flat against the sander. once that section is down you move to another section, etc. no back and forth movement. just straight on against the sander. i was able to get it pretty close to the edges (pic 5). one thing i did notice however is you can see i guess stress marks (pic 6) from where the sander pushed down on the fret wire against the board. hopefully this is more cosmetic and structural...

also in pic 6 you can see even though i hammered the frets flat to the board there is still some space between the frets and the bottom of the cut slot. hopefully this is ok. i will probably have some lifting later on.

so what i learned is 1. make sure the fretboard is even with the neck before pounding in the frets. i think i will be ok sanding everything together to get it down however it would have been much easier to do this the right way. 2. glue in the frets.

Question: where do you get veneer for say headstock? I'm not a luthier so I don't buy bulk from lumber yard. Does any retail store carry something I could use?

pic 1


pic 2


pic 3


pic 4


pic 5


pic 6


pic 7 (file set i picked up)


fret sanding video i used

Last edited by Twilo123; 03-14-2015 at 11:26 PM.
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  #48  
Old 03-15-2015, 06:34 AM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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In 30+ years of making and repairing guitars, it has never occurred to me to use a belt sander to make flush the ends of installed frets. Instead, I use a pair of flush-cutting end nippers - 30 years ago, I ground a store-bought set of nippers so they cut flush, and that is the same tool I use now - and a $10 ba$$tard mill file. It takes all of about 3 minutes and applies the bevel to the ends of the frets at the same time.

While it is now fairly common to glue frets in - most people use thin CA glue, rather than Titebond - I typically only glue any ends that don't want to cooperate.

If you are going to hammer frets into an isolated fingerboard, the fingerboard doesn't really need to be clamped down. Another installation option is to press the frets in using a vice.

Lastly, while one method is to fret the fingerboard prior to attaching it to the neck and top, my preference is to glue the fingerboard first, then level it, then install frets. This ensures a dead flat surface into which to install frets. If there is any misalignment of neck and body, the fingerboard will bend as it is glued down. Levelling the fingerboard prior to fret installation, but after being attached to the instrument, ensures the surface is dead flat - or appropriately relieved for instruments with no adjustable truss rod.

There are many ways to successfully make an instrument. Some methods are quicker and easier than others. What works best for one person and their skill set and available tooling, may not work best for another.
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  #49  
Old 03-15-2015, 11:58 AM
Ned Milburn Ned Milburn is offline
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Fret hammering is a subtle art. Frets should be slightly more rounded than the fingerboard and frets should be hammered only as much as necessary, since every hammer stroke straightens the fret somewhat.

Like Charles says, there is really no need to clamp the board while hammering, but you found out that fitting the wood before fret installation is a good idea.

I am wondering if you may be mixing bit size and shank size. This would explain the confusion you experienced.
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  #50  
Old 03-15-2015, 06:41 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
In 30+ years of making and repairing guitars, it has never occurred to me to use a belt sander to make flush the ends of installed frets. Instead, I use a pair of flush-cutting end nippers - 30 years ago, I ground a store-bought set of nippers so they cut flush, and that is the same tool I use now - and a $10 ba$$tard mill file. It takes all of about 3 minutes and applies the bevel to the ends of the frets at the same time.

While it is now fairly common to glue frets in - most people use thin CA glue, rather than Titebond - I typically only glue any ends that don't want to cooperate.

If you are going to hammer frets into an isolated fingerboard, the fingerboard doesn't really need to be clamped down. Another installation option is to press the frets in using a vice.

Lastly, while one method is to fret the fingerboard prior to attaching it to the neck and top, my preference is to glue the fingerboard first, then level it, then install frets. This ensures a dead flat surface into which to install frets. If there is any misalignment of neck and body, the fingerboard will bend as it is glued down. Levelling the fingerboard prior to fret installation, but after being attached to the instrument, ensures the surface is dead flat - or appropriately relieved for instruments with no adjustable truss rod.

There are many ways to successfully make an instrument. Some methods are quicker and easier than others. What works best for one person and their skill set and available tooling, may not work best for another.
the instructions in the booklet said to leave some on the ends when nipping the wire so i did. then i realized i am just going to file them down and they were long (probably 1/16 to 1/8 on each side) so it was quicker to belt sand them in my limited experience.

i tried filing today and report my experience below. i need to watch some videos on filing as i did not like the results. next instrument i will try your routine and see how it works out for me. thanks!
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  #51  
Old 03-15-2015, 06:44 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ned Milburn View Post
Fret hammering is a subtle art. Frets should be slightly more rounded than the fingerboard and frets should be hammered only as much as necessary, since every hammer stroke straightens the fret somewhat.

Like Charles says, there is really no need to clamp the board while hammering, but you found out that fitting the wood before fret installation is a good idea.

I am wondering if you may be mixing bit size and shank size. This would explain the confusion you experienced.
if i only clamped the ends then whenever i hammered a spot the whole fretboard would just bang against the table and snap up in the air a little. i wasn't excited about that so i made sure it was tight to the table wherever i was punching in the frets. if i do it the way prescribed above it would be tight against the neck (since it is glued to it) so to me it is the same principal done a different way no?

Ned or Charles is it normal to have a little space in the depth of the hammered fret wire to the board as i described above? will that space provide wiggle room over time and allow for lifting or something? should i have used some CA or something to fill in the gaps?
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  #52  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:01 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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ok so today i took the plunge and did my 1st routing ever lol. that machine is a godsend! of course i can see how it can screw things up pretty fast too. that being said the benefits are awesome and i look forward to using it again. i tested on some scrap wood 1st (pic 1). the only time i experienced any kind of kickback was when i cut the end grain on the test scrap. then i could feel it kick and spit chips everywhere. i guess that is similar to 'tear out' that i see in videos about routing.

so onto the bouzouki. i clamped the neck down (pic 2) as suggested previously (thanks!) and proceeded to route. i don't know if i did this right but i took the widest part of the bout and routed clockwise 1st towards the neck. then i went from where i started at the widest part of bout and went counter clockwise towards the bottom of the bouzouki. on the solid top side everything went smooth. on the lam side i think i ran into a small bit of tear out (pic 3). i wound up just gluing that part back on as it didn't totally tear off but just splintered. other than that i have to say it went unexpectedly smooth. the cut all around was extremely clean. i have a wave on the bottom where 1 cut stop and another started but i just sanded that down a bit to match. hopefully i can put some wood dust/chip/etc. if need be once i get the binding in so it looks perfect all the way around. i made a quick video after routing below.

my personal observation: when it comes to hand tools the solid wood is much tougher to work with than lam. however when it comes to power tools the solid side is much better to work with than the lam. the lam splits, cracks, etc. under pressure. the solid doesn't as much. and for hand tools the lam is just easier to cut/sand/etc. than solid which makes total sense.

all said and done i think the binding is going to look (and fit) nicely (pic 4).


pic 1


pic 2


pic 3


pic 4


quick video after routing the binding channel

Last edited by Twilo123; 03-15-2015 at 07:35 PM.
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  #53  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:09 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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question: in pic 1 i took the supplied binding and wrapped a single piece around where it would go on the bouzouki. if you look on right side you see where it would end. same goes for left side. i balanced the sides out and that is as far the length of the sides it will go on each side. i have another strip i can cut up to i guess make a joint and fill in the rest. my question is what is the best point to do this? should i just cut the 2 strips and make them fill half side each and meet at the bottom bout? should i start 1 strip at the neck and wrap it as far as it will go and then joint there the next piece? what covers up people from seeing a joint? the varnish, shellac, urethane, etc?

also in this pick as you can see the fretboard covers the soundhole. i want to upside down U cut it to match the sound hole. i believe the wood is ebony. it seems like a hard wood compared to the rest of the body. what can i use to competently cut it so i don't have to cover the soundhole? i have hack saw, back saw, coping saw, the router, compound saw, and circular saw right now. should i use a dremel or something?

pic 1

Last edited by Twilo123; 03-15-2015 at 07:15 PM.
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  #54  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:14 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by Twilo123 View Post
if i only clamped the ends then whenever i hammered a spot the whole fretboard would just bang against the table and snap up in the air a little.
My point was that the fingerboard does not need to clamped to a table at all when hammering frets.

Quote:
Ned or Charles is it normal to have a little space in the depth of the hammered fret wire to the board as i described above? will that space provide wiggle room over time and allow for lifting or something? should i have used some CA or something to fill in the gaps?
Usually, people cut fret slots that are just deep enough to accommodate the tang of the frets, leaving negligible gap. If the slot is not sufficiently deep, the fret will not seat fully and the tops of the frets will be uneven. If one has to err, it should be on overly deep slots. Mostly, it is a cosmetic issue, though it does reduce the stiffness of the fingerboard somewhat. Some people fill the gaps after fretting. More aesthetically pleasing is to put binding around the fingerboard to conceal the fret ends. This requires undercutting the fret tangs while allowing the fret crowns to overhang the binding, so that the crowns extend to the edges of the bound fingerboard.


When glue is applied to the bottom of the fingerboard, it is like adding grease: the fingerboard will have a tendency to slide. If the frets are not yet installed, small nails can be inserted through two fret slots into the neck to prevent it from sliding. (Alternatives include clamping laterally while gluing and using cable ties, in addition to the clamps squeezing the fingerboard to the neck/top.) These two nails can also be used for repeated accurate positioning, making it easier to mark and fit the sound hole end of the fingerboard prior to attaching the fingerboard. Shaping the end of the fingerboard is much easier to do before the fingerboard is permanently attached to the neck/body.

Last edited by charles Tauber; 03-15-2015 at 07:36 PM.
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  #55  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:23 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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question: as i stated previously i have to sand down the fretboard a bit to fit the neck so i used the extra space to try out filing frets. as you can see in pic 1 i am not happy with my results. i used the files in pic 2 starting with the largest round one on the bottom which took off chunks way to large and bit into the fretboard. then i started using the smaller ones. i think part of my problem is i was filing straight against the fret/wood instead of along the sides of the fret/wood. i have to review some fret filing videos to gain more insight. any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

pic 1


pic 2
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  #56  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:33 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
My point was that the fingerboard does not need to clamped to a table at all when hammering frets.



Usually, people cut fret slots that are just deep enough to accommodate the tang of the frets, leaving negligible gap. If the slot is not sufficiently deep, the fret will not seat fully and the tops of the frets will be uneven. If one has to err, it should be on overly deep slots. Mostly, it is a cosmetic issue. Some people fill the gaps after fretting. More aesthetically pleasing is to put binding around the fingerboard to conceal the fret ends. This requires undercutting the fret tangs while allowing the fret crowns to overhang the binding, so that the crowns extend to the edges of the bound fingerboard.


When glue is applied to the bottom of the fingerboard, it is like adding grease: the fingerboard will have a tendency to slide. If the frets are not yet installed, small nails can be inserted through two fret slots into the neck to prevent it from sliding. (Alternatives include clamping laterally while gluing and using cable ties, in addition to the clamps squeezing the fingerboard to the neck/top.) These two nails can also be used for repeated accurate positioning, making it easier to mark and fit the sound hole end of the fingerboard prior to attaching the fingerboard. Shaping the end of the fingerboard is much easier to do before the fingerboard is permanently attached to the neck/body.
i understand what you are saying now about the fret board. don't clamp it at all. if i do clamp the ends that is exactly why the middle pops when hammering. thanks!

for the binding of the fretboard i just noticed that recently on some of my guitars as others i have seen shrink from lack of humidity a little this year in my home. i will look into binding fretboards also. is that something i can do at a later time like repair work or do i need to do it now while i am doing the main build? i like the idea of it as i never feel the frets on my hands as i slide up and down the fretboard. i've had one of my acoustics for 10+ years and with the binding i never have to feel the frets. awesome idea!

i have not put the fretboard on the neck yet so i should still be able to shape it. i see the idea about the nails and will use it when i glue the fretboard on. thanks!
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  #57  
Old 03-15-2015, 07:42 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by Twilo123 View Post
is that something i can do at a later time like repair work or do i need to do it now while i am doing the main build?
It will be substantially easier to bind the fingerboard when making the fingerboard. At this point, you'd have to pull all the frets to bind the fingerboard. Keep in mind that the fingerboard needs to be 2x the thickness of the binding less wide than the neck. That is, the playing width of the fingerboard remains the same as without binding.

Quote:
i see the idea about the nails and will use it when i glue the fretboard on. thanks!
Unless you remove two frets to access their fret slots, you can't. One plus for fretting after attaching the fingerboard.
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Old 03-15-2015, 07:49 PM
charles Tauber charles Tauber is offline
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Originally Posted by Twilo123 View Post
i used the extra space to try out filing frets.
If you re-read what I wrote, I explicitly stated I use a ba$tard mill file. The files you have are wood-cutting, not metal cutting. Run the length of the file back and forth along the edge of the fingerboard. Tilt the file at a slight angle, away from the wood so that it does not file into the wood itself, just the ends of the frets. Also, cut the fret ends as close as possible to flush with the edge of the fingerboard prior to filing. That requires a decent set of flush-cutting end nippers/cutters, so that very little metal needs to be filed.



http://www.homedepot.com/p/Nicholson...842L/100116371
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  #59  
Old 03-15-2015, 08:07 PM
Twilo123 Twilo123 is offline
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Originally Posted by charles Tauber View Post
If you re-read what I wrote, I explicitly stated I use a ba$tard mill file. The files you have are wood-cutting, not metal cutting. Run the length of the file back and forth along the edge of the fingerboard. Tilt the file at a slight angle, away from the wood so that it does not file into the wood itself, just the ends of the frets. Also, cut the fret ends as close as possible to flush with the edge of the fingerboard prior to filing. That requires a decent set of flush-cutting end nippers/cutters, so that very little metal needs to be filed.



http://www.homedepot.com/p/Nicholson...842L/100116371
i was using the ba$tard mill at first (even though i don't show it in the pic) which is what created some of the chunks in wood. again i am going directly against the wood/fret. should i be going along the side of the fretboard when filing or directly against it? i changed to the round file because i thought it would have smaller contact point and only file the metal. the ba$tard file is like an inch wide so it is bound to hit the wood. since my frets were sticking out up to 1/8th i couldn't just file on 45 degree angle and get it flat against the wood i thought so i did 45 degree and then sharply turned straight down to try to shorten the overall length of the fret wire. i am obviously doing something wrong here.
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  #60  
Old 03-15-2015, 08:12 PM
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bnjp bnjp is offline
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pic 4
That looks really nice. certainly suits the character of the instrument.
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