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refreting - tangs too small?:help


lucindrea
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ok .. got me some fret wire and my neck is all sanded , leveled , and shaped .. problem is ( basicly why i needed to re-fret ) the tangs of the fret wire is too thin .. either the neck was bowed back more than i thought ( i doubt as the slot width is the same on all frets ), or the wood did some shrinking , or they were just off sized frets in it before , but i can put the frets in the neck and pull them out agin with my finger tips .. so the frets are loose ...

i have read that mixing dust from the sanding and some super glue can be used for simple repairs on fret slots ( fill slot , re-saw slot ) .. is this ok? .. or would i be better spreding some wood filler over the neck then sanding it smooth/level ? and if so , what filler would you recomend .. the fret board is maple i belive ( light colored , like ash almost ) ... is their a fret out their that has a thick tang? i checked stwert mcdonald and all their frets say they should be in a .023" wide slot , and mine are closer to .03 :D

Edited by lucindrea
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Just don't fill the slots to where you have to totally re-cut the slots.

Super-glue gel mixed with wood dust is certainly an appealing option, if it will stay wet long enough (???)

In my early "dark days" of fretting, I'd actually rout the slots to around .030" then mix up long-dry epoxy with wood dust to make a paste, pack a bunch of that into the fret-slots, then clamp-press the frets in. (mainly stew-mac 150 and Dunlop 6105 fret-wire).

I totally gave up that method a good 12 years ago, or so.

Also check-out Martin fret-wire. I think they have some with a wider tang, but the crown size is limited.

Edited by soapbarstrat
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I'd try a larger tang fretwire first. They are out there. Even Dunlop has some good jumbos with wider tangs. The tang expanding pliers are IMO just to be used when you need a little extra bite because the fret won't stay down. And it's sort of on a spot by spot basis. You might use it only a few times per neck. Using it on every fret, you might get the frets to hold tighter, but you will not increase the compression. If you're one of those people that says you can hear the difference between loose slots and a "weak" neck vs. tight slots and a stiff neck, the "widening" pliers won't be the cure. They'll hold the frets in better but when you string it up you'll need more action from the truss rod. I like tight fret slots. The only time I loosen them is when I need some relief in that area of the neck. Plus, the fretwire is cheaper than the pliers, and will save you time.

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i looked at dunlops stuff .. doesnt look like i will be able to find what i need their ( their largest i could find was .6mm thats .0236 inch .. just a hair wider than stewart mcdonalds stuff ) .. looks like an epoxy dust mixture .. should be ok , ( eyes the JB weld tubes on the end of the desk , then dismisses it as overkill hehe ) ... acctully , now that i think of it .. do i really need to dust? it's not like it would ever been seen .. of course having good wood in their would probly effect the sound .. chould probly jam those cheapo flat toothpicks in their ( not the rounds ones ) ... looks like i will be looking into more than a few methods

oh .. i looked at the frets i pulled out ( almost fell out ) .. they ALL look like someone went over them with fret pliers

thanks for the advice on the pliers :-) ... hehe simple refinishing of this guitar is turning into an adventure :D

Edited by lucindrea
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At least look at the Dunlop 6170. The tang is .024 but the barbs are a whopping .048. That's the wire I've used before. It's a good jumbo size, and I'm trying to save you from disaster. You will not enjoy reslotting the board. You can use a fret like this with any glue type if you want to pool glue around the barbs, but the barbs will hold the fret in place. Otherwise, have fun and don't say I didn't warn you. :D

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Martin has a size with a .0275" tang width. I couldn't find the barb width, or the crown width, on their web-page. I do have a Martin catalog out of reach right now, but I think it gave a few more specs on their wire. I remember their crown heights were too small for me. I like a crown height of .045"-.050". (I don't think theirs was nearly this high, but I could be wrong)

The JB weld is not a bad idea. That's some tough stuff if mixed properly (and not too old, maybe). But I'm thinking epoxy mixed with hardwood dust is closer to what it would be like if your slots were more narrow. Same with super-glue and wood dust.

Another crazy idea would be to possibly glue thin brass or aluminum sheet material to the fret-slot sides. That just popped into my head, so don't take it too seriously.

Edited by soapbarstrat
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ok .. dunlops site is so easy to navagate that i compleatly missed a whole section of fretwire ( sometimes all the cool flash , java , etc just makes sites hard to find anything on ) i was looking at the accu-frets not the jumbos.. i kind of like the feel of .1 width ( 2.5mm ) with a .05 ( 1.27mm ) height for good room to level ... so it looks like so it lookes like the 6170 's are right where i want them so i'll get a few feet of that .. the worst frets are 19 and 20 so i'll test on them without any glue first , i'll probly end up useing a drop or 2 here and their unless my mesurments are wayy off and even those dont fit and any re-doing those frets if i mess up is not a problem as that part of the board can be ramped slightly anyway.

thanks for pushing the 6170's , probly saved me alot of frustration .. now the problem is finding someone that acctully sells them ( no real reasion for this smilie .. i just like him )

:D

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