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Tips Or Tricks

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Hi Guys,

I know it's been a while since I've posted.

I've been around as a "guest" though.

Been a little busy with different things.

Anyway here is the problem:

I am building a neck through explorer. All was going well. I had the body almost ready and the neck part was fretted and I was going to install the top nut and was thinking: just string it up with 3 strings to check the intonation. Well the guitar was completely in tune but then the problem arrised. Between the top nut and the first fret I couldn't fret a note, it rattled on the second fret. Not only rattle but I couldn't get a note. So I took the strings off and tried to make the fretboard/frets flat. I got it flat but destroyed the first two frets.

Then I replaced fret #1 and #2.

The problem came back.

After checking I found that the fretboard (actually not a fretboard , but a one piece maple neck) was a tiny bit too high in that region. (I think the wood started working)

That was a problem, cause I had a rather nice 'sharkfin' inlay made in the neck.

In my oppinion there was nothing more to do so I routed the neck flat, sanded it flat and wanted to place a rosewood fretboard.

At the time I made the fretboard (the new rosewood, that is)flat and up to size to fit the neck, a piece of this fretboard chucked away.

Then depression sets in.

Just sleeping over it I decided to try and fit it with the piece missing and fortunally it fitted, but I was to scared to try and make it up to size so I glued it immediatly.

No problems.

The fretboard is absolutely flat (but not radiused)

But now I have to fret it.

I think I know the solution but I need to know off ANYBODY knows some tricks to make it easier.

I think the solution is to draw a new "center line" and work from that. But I'm a little affraid that I will make a small mistake and one (or more) frets will go crooked.

Do you guy's have some tips or tricks to make an almost finished guitar easier to fret!

Thanx in advance


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In some ways you could call it a refret, so study the frets.com refrets.

And whatever you do, stay calm when cutting slots and fretting, if your tension gets up, go get a beer and a big bag of chips(eat half the chips first, if you don't, it ain't pretty). Using that method of beer and chips, I can stay calm enough to concentrate on getting everything perfect.

Edit : I would use the centreline method, and use a "good" protractor, as in a brand new one with no marks on it(that helps if you're mildly OCD and get twitchy when something isn't how it "should" be)

Edited by Mr Alex
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the only time i ever replaced a ruined fretboard on an already tapered neck and had to fret it i actually drew two parallel lines the length of the board (about an inch and a quarter apart) then marked the fret spacing on both of them so that i knew they were square and parallel to each other. it was rosewood by the way so i used a white pencil.

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Thanx guy's


Stay calm is a good advice

(the beer also)


I think you made a helpfull point

Not just one centreline

I will be going to draw two lines, that way I can check if the fretline is square

Anyway I'm a bit scared to do it cause I like what I build so far, so I'm affraid to ruin it.

I'm going to continue anyway



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When I marked for frets recently, I had a see-through template that I got from the university bookstore for drawing rectangles. The template was about a 5x7 green plasticy thing used for drafting. Anywho, on each side of the rectangles, there were center marks.

The neck and fretboard where already tapered and radiused. With the center line drawn in pencil, I just put this template on the fretboard and lined up the center marks on the two sides for a rectangle. I would slide it to where I needed to draw a 90 degree line for the fret slot. It worked really well. Since it is see through I could see where the center line was all the time.

Hope that makes sense.

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