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  #31  
Old 06-20-2016, 05:49 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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Originally Posted by LouieAtienza View Post
It's a myopic view that a commercial business shouldn't have to ask for advice. ht
I guess we will have to agree to dis-agree.

So let's see,

You take your car to a mechanic and it needs a new piston, so would you let the mechanic work on your car if he needs to ask a forum how to change the piston

You need to have your gall bladder removed, would you allow the doctor to do the surgery after he needs to consult a forum on how to do it.

Your taxes need to be done, how much confidence would you have if your accountant had to ask a forum on how to work out a depreciation schedule or something similar.

Your treasured guitar needs the x braces replaced, would you let someone who has never done the repair practice on your guitar after they consult a forum first.

If you are being paid to do a job, it is arrogance to assume that you can learn on some one else's pride and joy after consulting a forum on how to do it.

Practice on your own stuff, repair your friends if you want, people comment on how bad there guitars have been set up by luthiers, yet most of the time these people are not luthiers, simply someone hanging a shingle and wanting to learn the trade at your expense.

You want skills, go and apprentice with someone that has the real world skills.

Steve
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Last edited by mirwa; 06-20-2016 at 06:23 AM.
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  #32  
Old 06-20-2016, 07:16 AM
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murrmac123 murrmac123 is offline
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Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
Your treasured guitar needs the x braces replaced, would you let someone who has never done the repair practice on your guitar after they consult a forum first.
Steve
Have you done a lot of X-brace replacement , Steve?

I have repaired an X-brace a couple of times, but I have to admit that the necessity for total replacement of the entire X-brace assembly is something I cannot even visualize.

Don't feel pressured into disclosing any trade secrets as to how you went about it ... keep that info for your apprentices, but I am sure you wouldn't mind disclosing the symptoms which led you to diagnose that total replacement was felt to be necessary.
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  #33  
Old 06-20-2016, 07:23 AM
mirwa mirwa is offline
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I happily disclose all my methods with no hesitation, everything I state is from having completed said task.

Peruse my post history, painting, spray guns, setups, crack repairs, have happily explained how to complete said tasks.

I have trained quite a few apprentices, I have carried out many one on one instructional / hands on guitar building courses, I have run many a multi student guitar building course, I regularly train staff from music stores.

Yes I have replaced x braces.

However, with your earlier reply, and underlying sarcasm,

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Originally Posted by murrmac123 View Post
One of the criteria which I apply when deciding whether I can trust the advice of internet gurus is their ability to differentiate between "their" - "there" , and "your" - "you're".
I have no intention of discussing anything further with yourself, you should find someone else to ask these questions.

Steve
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Last edited by mirwa; 06-20-2016 at 07:29 AM.
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  #34  
Old 06-20-2016, 07:56 AM
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Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
Yes I have replaced x braces.

However, with your earlier reply, and underlying sarcasm, I have no intention of discussing anything further with yourself, you should find someone else to ask these questions.

Steve
The loss is all mine ... I can only live in hopes that some other luthier will chip in and explain the circumstances they might have encountered in which total X-brace replacement was perceived to be both feasible and necessary.
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  #35  
Old 06-20-2016, 08:45 AM
John Arnold John Arnold is offline
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I can only live in hopes that some other luthier will chip in and explain the circumstances they might have encountered in which total X-brace replacement was perceived to be both feasible and necessary.
That is easy....when the brace has been hacked down so small that it is not sufficient to maintain structural integrity or acceptable tone.
Where I live, I see a lot of amateur brace scalloping. I believe it is a cultural artifact in Southern Appalachia.....the isolation meant that you fixed things yourself, regardless of your ability.

I was shocked the first time I read an internet forum....shocked at how many adults seem to lack 6th grade grammar skills. But I soon found out that correcting grammar tends to make people defensive. Right or wrong, the lesson is that the written word is often used to judge competency.

I have been a full time repairman for 32 years, and I still learn new things by reading internet forums.
'
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  #36  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
If I don't fit the frets too tightly, the difference in bow once the frets are installed is small and quite predictable, and can therefore be factored in while I'm planing the board. When I fit the frets more tightly is when the unpredictability creeps in, which is partly why I've been skeptical of the effectiveness and accuracy of compression fretting. That said, I'm always willing to learn new things.
While we're on the subject of compression fretting, I'd like to hear ideas on how tightly frets should fit for both tone and structure.
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  #37  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:16 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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Originally Posted by Todd Yates View Post
Compression fretting may be used in conjunction with planing, assuming planing is appropriate for the situation.
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Originally Posted by redir View Post
I'm a bit confused here because the first thing he does is level the fretboard and then does the compression fretting. So it's still leveling the fretboard which would be removing fretboard material and essentially thinning the neck.
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Originally Posted by Tico View Post
I don't think this compression fretting process is 'authentic'.
After watching the video posted by Murmac, I'm convinced that compression fretting is authentic. I think at the Martin factory, they planed the fingerboards dead flat and relied on fret compression to induce the necessary amount of back bow so that it has the right amount of relief under string tension. That said, some of the worst factory fret jobs I've ever seen were on vintage Martins. I'm assuming the version of compression fretting demonstrated in the Blues Creek video is pretty close to the way it was done back in the day, but I'm sure John at Blues Creek puts more time and care into the job than was afforded to a Martin factory worker.

Because I have no background or training in compression fretting, and because of my perception of vintage purists being so opposed to fingerboard planing, I assumed that the "correct" method of compression fretting was to pull the frets and replace them without any leveling (which of course would be stupid), relying solely on fret compression to correct any warpage or fingerboard irregularities. I'm glad to learn that this is not the case, and that fingerboard leveling is the norm in the compression fretting process, and the frets merely force the neck into a slight back bow.

Therefore, I take back what I said - well at least part of it. I said compression fretting is crude and imprecise. I withdraw "crude" from that statement. In the Blues Creek video, John said that sometimes he has to pull frets and do it over again if it doesn't come out right, and for that reason, he charges more for compression jobs. So I will maintain that it is indeed somewhat imprecise, but not crude.
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  #38  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by John Arnold View Post
That is easy....when the brace has been hacked down so small that it is not sufficient to maintain structural integrity or acceptable tone.
Where I live, I see a lot of amateur brace scalloping. I believe it is a cultural artifact in Southern Appalachia.....the isolation meant that you fixed things yourself, regardless of your ability.
'
Interesting ...so does the replacement involve keyhole surgery, or back removal ?
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  #39  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:39 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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Originally Posted by Todd Yates View Post
While we're on the subject of compression fretting, I'd like to hear ideas on how tightly frets should fit for both tone and structure.
IMO they only need to be tight enough to fill the slot. I usually fit my frets so they can be pressed most of the way in with my thumb. Sometimes I hammer them, and sometimes I press them with "Jaws" (I or II), and I use superglue to keep them seated. After the frets are installed, depending on the stiffness of the neck, I will lose .001"-.003" of relief due to fret compression.

I've played several guitars which were refretted by Don Teeter. His method is somewhat controversial. He dremels out the slots and uses epoxy to hold them in. The frets almost drop in the slots with zero compression. The guitars I've seen that were done by Teeter sounded fine, and the necks were structurally sound. No problems whatsoever.

Last edited by Hot Vibrato; 06-20-2016 at 09:49 AM.
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  #40  
Old 06-20-2016, 09:58 AM
redir redir is offline
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That's interesting to hear because over the years I've finally settled down on my style of fretting and that is to put the frets in very easily. I cut the slots wider then recommended and glue them in usually with fish glue. I do this for guitars I build, if it's a refret I don't go and widen the slots. But once I get a fretboard perfect I don't want hammering frets in to alter it so I like the 'loose' fret method.

As for the other development in this thread, I find online forums to be incredibly valuable. A lot of us here started before the Internet and as such have either developed our own methods and or were taught how to do something in specific ways. Then comes the Internet and the access to vast amounts of information and methods that other people use. Sometimes I read a forum post about some clever simple little thing like how to install a heal cap or something and have to knock myself on the head for doing it 'wrong' all these years.

You really can learn something every day.
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  #41  
Old 06-20-2016, 10:28 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by mirwa View Post
I guess we will have to agree to dis-agree.

So let's see,

You take your car to a mechanic and it needs a new piston, so would you let the mechanic work on your car if he needs to ask a forum how to change the piston

You need to have your gall bladder removed, would you allow the doctor to do the surgery after he needs to consult a forum on how to do it.

Your taxes need to be done, how much confidence would you have if your accountant had to ask a forum on how to work out a depreciation schedule or something similar.

Your treasured guitar needs the x braces replaced, would you let someone who has never done the repair practice on your guitar after they consult a forum first.

If you are being paid to do a job, it is arrogance to assume that you can learn on some one else's pride and joy after consulting a forum on how to do it.

Practice on your own stuff, repair your friends if you want, people comment on how bad there guitars have been set up by luthiers, yet most of the time these people are not luthiers, simply someone hanging a shingle and wanting to learn the trade at your expense.

You want skills, go and apprentice with someone that has the real world skills.

Steve
For God's sake, I'm not saying that. If one's vintage or high-end guitar is that much valuable to them, then they would have vetted out prospective luthiers to do the work on.

Not every guitar demands or warrants high-end work. Of course most all of us here strive to do the best job possible, given the customer's budgetary needs and time constraints. But we all didn't learn in a vacuum.

But it's arrogance to think that you are the only one that knows everything and everyone else gets lumped into the category of "just gets their info from the internet."

I've worked on exactly one guitar that had a non-adjustable trussrod, and a little excessive relief, about 12 years ago or so (the fellow had long since passed, but he was in his 80's at the time I did the work.) It was an 00 sized guitar. Since the frets were in decent shape and the fretboard leveled out after sitting without tension, I simply pulled frets 4-9 out, crimped the tangs slightly, then reinserted them. Checked under tension, not enough relief, so I took one fret out and flattened my crimps. Put it back in, checked again, and it was fine. A very light fret dressing and it was done. Guitar still looked all-original, customer was happy (couldn't figure out how I "fixed" his neck), I didn't have to bog myself down with a truing and re-fret, and he saved a few bucks - a win-win. Now are there times when the board should be planed? Sure. But just like anything, an evaluation of the problem and a list of options - from several repairmen - should be gotten, not just the word of one individual.

On the flip side, I have a friend who runs a very busy repair shop. He farms out stuff to me - custom electric guitar bodies. He had in a vintage Gibson ES-175 or something like that, that the customer wanted a re-fret on. The neck was super-narrow, like 1-9/16" or so, and the fretboard was so worn from 1-8 that it look scalloped. But the customer did not want to have the board planed because it was his father's guitar and the "wear spots" were just as sentimental to him. My buddy was able to just "skim" the spots where the frets seated in that area, while still preserving the "nibs", and after some touch-up one couldn't tell that new frets were installed other than they looked new and shiny.
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  #42  
Old 06-20-2016, 10:34 AM
Guest 1928
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Originally Posted by Hot Vibrato View Post
IMO they only need to be tight enough to fill the slot. I usually fit my frets so they can be pressed most of the way in with my thumb. Sometimes I hammer them, and sometimes I press them with "Jaws" (I or II), and I use superglue to keep them seated. After the frets are installed, depending on the stiffness of the neck, I will lose .001"-.003" of relief due to fret compression.

I've played several guitars which were refretted by Don Teeter. His method is somewhat controversial. He dremels out the slots and uses epoxy to hold them in. The frets almost drop in the slots with zero compression. The guitars I've seen that were done by Teeter sounded fine, and the necks were structurally sound. No problems whatsoever.
I think you'll find most of the folks I mentioned in the other thread take the opposite view, that frets should be tightly fit for the best tone. Based on my experience, I agree. While nearly everyone respects Don Teeter, and to be fair his early work came at a time when steel string guitar repair had not developed a great deal, I think you'll find very few vintage repairmen these days that don't wince at the idea of loose frets and certainly wouldn't recommend the epoxy route.
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  #43  
Old 06-20-2016, 10:36 AM
LouieAtienza LouieAtienza is offline
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Originally Posted by redir View Post
That's interesting to hear because over the years I've finally settled down on my style of fretting and that is to put the frets in very easily. I cut the slots wider then recommended and glue them in usually with fish glue. I do this for guitars I build, if it's a refret I don't go and widen the slots. But once I get a fretboard perfect I don't want hammering frets in to alter it so I like the 'loose' fret method.

As for the other development in this thread, I find online forums to be incredibly valuable. A lot of us here started before the Internet and as such have either developed our own methods and or were taught how to do something in specific ways. Then comes the Internet and the access to vast amounts of information and methods that other people use. Sometimes I read a forum post about some clever simple little thing like how to install a heal cap or something and have to knock myself on the head for doing it 'wrong' all these years.

You really can learn something every day.
I've never tried doing it this way.... I've always hammered my frets in, albeit with not a lot of force, or use my drill press as an arbor with fret-pressing cauls, when I have to do a "vintage" style, non-compound radius neck. But then, on my new builds, for a Strat-style neck, I insert the frets before carving, even if shaping on CNC, and for my acoustics, I've employed the Mario Proulx idea of fretting the fingerboard first, then inducing a "bow" on the board to "seat" the fret tangs and remove any back-bow that may occur from fretting. Once I unclamp the board, it sits flat with no "compression" back-bow from the frets. For repairs, I'll either crimp or file the tangs as necessary.
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  #44  
Old 06-20-2016, 11:43 AM
Hot Vibrato Hot Vibrato is offline
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Originally Posted by Todd Yates View Post
I think you'll find most of the folks I mentioned in the other thread take the opposite view, that frets should be tightly fit for the best tone. Based on my experience, I agree. While nearly everyone respects Don Teeter, and to be fair his early work came at a time when steel string guitar repair had not developed a great deal, I think you'll find very few vintage repairmen these days that don't wince at the idea of loose frets and certainly wouldn't recommend the epoxy route.
I grew up and trained in Tulsa, Oklahoma (Don Teeter is in OKC). The luthier I trained under knew Teeter personally and used many of his methods early on. During my first few years at the repair shop, all of my bound fingerboard refrets were done pretty much by the (Teeter) book - I dremeled out the slots, but we used CA instead of epoxy. The tone and stability of the necks were not perceptibly changed. So based on that experience, and the guitars I've played that were done by Teeter (which in some cases I was able to see and hear the guitars before and after) I'm convinced that virtually any method of installing frets which results in a clean and precise outcome is fine from a tonal and structural standpoint.

Bear in mind, that John Hall of Blues Creek Guitars also offers "regular" fret jobs, as well as compression fret jobs. On a compression fret job, the amount of relief changes .007"-.009" after the frets are installed. As I mentioned before, the amount of relief on my fret jobs usually changes .001"-.003" after the frets are installed. How much compression is required before you cross the line between a normal fret job and a compression fret job? How tight would I have to fit them to meet your standards?
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  #45  
Old 06-20-2016, 11:46 AM
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Bruce Sexauer Bruce Sexauer is offline
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A friend pointed out that my name was invoked in the thread that generated this one. I have skimmed through and see that all the usual arguments have been offered, and that the subject has changed a couple of times. Still, I have to make my statement:

I do compression fret guitars that have non-adjustable truss systems, when appropriate. It is not nearly as difficult as it may sound to the inexperienced. Years ago I bought a bunch of Martin wire of 6 or so tang thicknesses. I have very little left, but have found that a few pieces of any thicker wire in an otherwise normal wire fret set will do the job AS LONG AS ALL FRETS ARE TIGHT.

I consider it a shade of criminal to take bend out of an old Martin by planing/scraping/sanding/chewing off the ends of the fingerboard as long as thicker tanged wire is still available.

By the way, actually planing a fingerboard with MOP in it will damage your plane iron.

Carry on.
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