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 Post subject: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 5:47 pm 
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Koa
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Location: Raleigh, NC
First name: Steve
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When I first starting building John Hall suggested that I use %50 Titebond/water under frets. I have always used that on my builds and have had no issues. However, currently, I am doing my first refret of a maple fingerboard Strat. Since this is a little different situation, since it is a refret and a maple board, I'm wondering if I should use something else or simply continue with what I've done. Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated...
Thanks,
Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:01 pm 
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Location: Andersonville
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Superglue both sides, I use a lab pipette and have a rag handy to clean up any excess.


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:23 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Dec 14, 2007 3:21 pm
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Location: Alexandria MN
Hide glue for me. I like how it drys hard. For this application just the bottled Franklin stuff laid in with a syringe and 18G needle. I think you should always use something to fill the empty spaces. Call me nuts but I think it can affect tone and avoid dead spots.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:34 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I still had bottles of LMI white in the fridge before I quit, so I always used that.
Call Terry nutz, but I think it affects tone. Don't like to speculate much though...

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 6:45 pm 
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First name: Chris
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Never had a problem gluing down frets with Titebond, hide glue, epoxy, or super glue. Careful attention is required by the luthier no matter what.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 7:33 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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fish glue


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Fri Feb 23, 2018 8:46 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:04 pm
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First name: Andy
Status: Semi-pro
Hide glue. Please use any other glue so I can curse you when your guitar comes in for refret and I have to clean up the mess.

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:50 am 
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Koa
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First name: Willard
Last Name: Guthrie
City: Cumberland
State: Maryland 21502
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Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
We use hot hide glue, as it is easily cleaned out when refretting, is not a finish hazard like CA, and sticks to itself, unlike Titebond. Old hide glue softens as part of the removal process (heat and moisture), and easily rakes out of the slot without widening. Hot hide flows well into a prepared slot and dries hard for good vibration transfer to the fretboard and neck.

CA is a poor solution in our view, as it is difficult to control if of thin consistency, has poor penetration in medium and gel formulas (leaving gaps and air bubbles), and is very difficult to remove...the worst refret I have experienced was a Huss & Dalton where CA was a substitute for fitting the frets to the slots...all of the frets were loose and floating when the instrument came in, so even then, the CA failed to do what the previous repair person and owner expected. Prep on a board where CA was used as a primary adhesive can add an hour or more to a refret estimate. We consider CA to be a 'last resort' adhesive for the job because of the issues with removal, application, and higher risk to finishes, although it can be an adequate quick fix for a lifting fret, as long as it is understood that the reasons for that fret lifting are not addressed with a CA application.

Titebond is a bit easier to remove because the slot can be filled with De-Glu Goo and the residue removed after an hour or so...this only adds about 30 minutes to the customer's bill. Titebond does not hang onto frets nearly as well as either CA or hot hide glue, but it does swell the wood a bit and eventually dries to a hard consistency for good vibration transfer. As a bonus, Titebond is finish-safe anywhere hot hide glue is, and has the usual advantages of a glue that is usable at room temperature, so likely a good solution for new builders or journeyman repair people looking to avoid the slight but distinct learning curve associated with hot hide glue.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:12 am 
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Koa
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Location: Raleigh, NC
First name: Steve
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Woodie,
What do you think of liquid hide glue for this application?

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 8:30 am 
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Koa
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First name: Willard
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Fresh liquid hide (you might check the date code on the bottle) should be as good as 192g hot hide for this application, although we don't use it that often, other than when out of the shop and away from the glue pot. Dry hide is much less expensive than bottled hide, and I love the scent it contributes to the shop. Hot hide flows into the fret slots a bit more readily, but running a needle or a razor blade through the slot after glue application will allow any air bubbles at the bottom of the slot to rise.

Another thing worth mentioning is that fret wire can be covered in contaminants like oil or anti-corrosion treatment, so cleaning off the wire to be used with naphtha prior to use is something that we do as a matter of routine.

On maple boards, we also carefully prepare the board with a layer or two of the white StewMac low tack tape on the back of the neck and top - for lacquered boards, it minimizes touch-up due to either an errant scrap of fret wire scratching things up or a tool mark if pressing and the alignment is off. The boss and the other old, gray heads (you are imagining things if you claim you see a similar colored hair on my head...) can get away with foregoing that prep, but I find I always seem to discover a new way to spend 10-15 minutes of my time (not billed to customer) fixing something I could have prevented with better preparation and protection.

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These users thanked the author Woodie G for the post: DannyV (Tue Feb 27, 2018 10:02 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 9:26 am 
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Hide glue. I put it in small squeeze bottles from Hobby Lobby.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:30 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:04 pm
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First name: Andy
Status: Semi-pro
Well clearly I won't be cursing Casey on a refret. I do it the same way, Casey - a small squeeze bottle with an 1/8" hole works great. Cleans up easy on install with a damp paper towel I keep close by as I work, and cleans up easy on the refret.

Andy


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 10:35 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Tue May 13, 2008 10:44 am
Posts: 3622
Since I use HHG now it's what I use but I have used TB, CA, and fish many times in the past. I don't think it matters personally so don't worry about it. LHG doesn't last long so I would never get through a bottle of that stuff just be fretting. If you use a soldering iron to heat a fret it will melt any glue you decide to use.


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 3:04 pm 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Wed Feb 17, 2016 8:54 am
Posts: 349
State: Texas
Country: United States
Focus: Repair
I use the Old Brown Glue which is just hide glue. In extreme cases or on cheaper chinesium instruments I'll use CA


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sat Feb 24, 2018 7:07 pm 
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I've used others before but I use CA now. Works for me.

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These users thanked the author SteveSmith for the post: Clinchriver (Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:17 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:21 am 
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I'm still hammering, or perhaps "tapping" when I have a more refined start. I tried hhg on a recent and it seemed to work although it splashes out everywhere. Am I using too much? Or is that just on par? Or have you all graduated to pressing?

I wonder how long Hesh can stay out of this conversation...


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 5:55 am 
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Koa
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First name: Willard
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We use a 2 ounce squeeze bottle, treating 4-5 slots at a time, running a sewing needle through the fret slot to ensure full penetration to the bottom of the slot, then removal of any excess with a wipe along the lengthwise direction of the board with a paper towel dampened with hot water prior to tapping in the fret (with tapping being a more accurate description than hammering if the fret and slot are properly matched).

Any additional squeeze-out is easily removed once the fret is in. Any excess left on the surface of the board is ineffective at either bedding the fret in the slot or gluing the fret in place, and once dried, looks exactly like what it is - excess glue on a show surface.

Please do not consider this a criticism of what was otherwise a humorous comment, but perhaps we might keep in mind that Mr. Breakstone's vacation from forum participation is to his benefit, rather than ours. An agreement on our part to allow him to enjoy the time away in peace seems like a small kindness, but one we should afford him.

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These users thanked the author Woodie G for the post: Pmaj7 (Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:08 am)
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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:11 am 
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Noted. So, using that method you don't get any glue splashing when you tap?


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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 7:57 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Jan 15, 2016 9:04 pm
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First name: Andy
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I've been hammering in frets for a long time with hide glue. One doesn't splash glue everywhere - it's in the slot. I'm not sure I get the hubbub around pressing frets vs hammering them. I have pressed frets as well. I always level, crown, and polish my frets on new builds to ensure a dead flat plane from which to do a setup and provide the best possible action. HIde glue (or fish works fine) is simply insurance on the fret barbs. Hammer and hide glue is fast, easy, tried and true, and effective. Simply either method is effective and results in an outstanding setup if one works the process methodically.

Andy


Last edited by AndyB on Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 8:04 am 
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Koa
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First name: Willard
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Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
Mr. Macaluso:

No - no splashing, although some squeeze-out is possible...a quick swipe with wet paper towel addresses that. I abhor a mess as well, if not on general principle, then on the time wasted correcting it.

Re: the first of your last...

"If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world."
- Francis Bacon

Thank you... :D

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 3:55 pm 
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Koa
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No disrespect for what others have worked out, but put me down for wicking CA under pressed frets.

The ambient humidity changes a little and I pull out the file to knock protruding fret ends down for folks all the time. Adding water to 40+ end-grain wood surfaces just before dressing frets is pretty counter intuitive to me.
If you put CA in the slot and press your ok (that's how we did it at Collings) but if using a hammer, for Gods sake use glasses! (and maybe Teflon coveralls?)



These users thanked the author david farmer for the post (total 2): SteveSmith (Mon Feb 26, 2018 1:16 pm) • Clinchriver (Sun Feb 25, 2018 4:11 pm)
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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:06 pm 
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Koa
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We wait for the glue to dry prior to dressing, so any moisture associated with using a glue that is more easily removed come refret time is not an issue - perhaps not an option in a factory setting, but we pull and prep, then fret, allow to dry overnight, then finish up.

I am not certain how glue choice would have any impact on trimming back fret sprout...are you suggesting that a protruding fret end warrants resetting of the fret? That would not be a common approach in this shop, unless lifting and loose frets were found, and even then, we usually resort to CA for the quick fix if a refret is not indicated.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Sun Feb 25, 2018 11:12 pm 
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CA here and use a pipette to control the flow. it doesn't take much. And yes you can still take them out with a little heat

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 7:26 am 
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Koa
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dofthesea wrote:
CA here and use a pipette to control the flow. it doesn't take much. And yes you can still take them out with a little heat


I think my concerns with CA must have been poorly expressed. Let's not confuse a little thin CA wicked under a fret to address fit or security issues with fully bedding a fret with CA for best acoustic performance. Two different situations with very different impacts on the repair person performing a refret.

Removing the fret is not the issue - heat breaks any fret-to-glue bond and the fret comes out. For an unfinished board, a little CA wicked under the fret as Mr. Foster suggested does not represent much of a chore for a refret - most of the CA stays on the surface of the fretboard or on the tang in any case, and the slot is largely found clear of dead glue. On a finished board, as the OP is working with, the type of finish matters...a poly-finished board can be cleaned with CA remover if the glue ends up where it does not belong, while for a lacquer-finished board, the finish may require some scraping, careful leveling, and possibly a touch-up. Tape or wax can limit the area of damage, but a hot CA is happy to glue the tape, so the best approach is careful control (we went through about 800 disposable micro-pipettes last year!).

Where trouble is found is when the fret slot is fully filled with medium CA during fretting, as we've seen with several production guitars and a handful of refrets of vintage instruments. Cleaning out that slot after fret removal is a miserable chore, as the heat from an iron does not melt the glue all the way down to the bottom of the slot. While I understand the rationale - speed and security (the same rationale used by Martin when they glue in through saddles with CA), it adds to the work associated with a refret, and we advise the customer of that fact when offering an estimate.

Once more, I'll mention that we - like most other repair people - use thin CA for the quick fix on loose frets...it has little impact on further fret work and does a decent job of keeping the frets in place until the underlying issues can be addressed. We consider this a separate application versus fret bedding, which has a very different purpose, and for which we consider CA to be unsuitable.

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Last edited by Woodie G on Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Glue under Frets
PostPosted: Mon Feb 26, 2018 9:38 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I don't use CA on maple as it wicks into the wood fibers and can stain
Glue isn't really holding it is just a lube agent and filler
I use liquid Hide or tite bond or fish.

I may use CA to fill the ends to level off to the finish

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