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First Build Rebuild Redux

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Enjoying this a ton :)

As for super gluing the fret ends, how does one go about trying to cleanly wick the glue in there? I'll be attempting to install frets soon for the first time, I definitely want to use glue to secure them, but that as well as the rest of the process seems daunting 

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Just let a single drop form naturally at the tip of the bottle and slide into the end of the fret slot. Gravity does the rest. No big deal if you end up with a little blob of dried glue on the edge of the board, as you can sand it flush with some 320grit when it dries. Do both ends of each fret

Sometimes you end up with a small tidemark around the fret on top of the board where the glue seeps out from under the fret crown. Once it dries you can scrape the excess away with a razor blade.

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Oooo. A mysterious pile of pale looking powders:


Get your minds out of the gutter. It's sawdust.

Useful tip: when trying to colour-match sawdust for mixing up a filler using CA, try sanding the same timber using different grits of sandpaper. The higher the grit, the darker the filler will look once mixed with superglue. In the above shot I've got Cheesewood sanded with 80g, 120g and 180g on the top row, and Maple sanded with 80g, 120g and 180g on the bottom row.

By cutting some pretend slots into the end of  a piece of MDF I can experiment with seeing which filler matches the maple fretboard best (untinted and pine Timbermate filler thrown in for good measure):


After the filler dries we can sand it back and apply some finish to see how it compares. Also give the side of the fretboard a quick wipe with finish to make sure we're comparing apples to apples:



At the moment to Cheesewood with 80g sawdust is looking closest. Pine Timbermate filler is second, but has a slight yellow tinge.

Sanding up some fresh Cheesewood with 80g paper, the sawdust is mixed with CA and applied to the fret ends to fill the slots:


Once dried the filler is sanded back and cleaned up:


With a bit of finish applied, the timber darkens while the filler retains most of its inherent colour. Not perfect, but better than big gaps. The application of one coat of finish also helps highlight where I need to sand a bit more of the dried CA off the fretboard side (just below the bottom fret slot in the pic below, for example):


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wow thanks for this little tutorial. I was just researching this :) 

Doesn't the CA/sawdust mixture set up really quickly when you mix them together? Or do you put sawdust into the holes and then add a drop of superglue? (I think that's what I'd try to do)

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Not that I've found. It usually has a work time of about 5 minutes or so. I'll  mix up a bit at a time, enough to do half a dozen frets or so.

I'm aware of the CA and baking soda trick for filling nut slots, and that does set up almost instantaneously, but sawdust takes longer for some reason.

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