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All My Frets Are Loose

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Did you hammered the frets in or did you pressed them in? If you hammered them in and didn’t pre-bend the frets they will almost always spring back when you hammer the middle of the fret in. There ate a few ways to fix this:

- Refret using a hammer. Probably the simplest and cheapest (no extra tools needed) solution. Remove the frets, measure the fret slots and use a fret wire that will let the barbs on the tang bite into the slot sides. Remember to overbend the frets and tap the frets in without excess force.

- Refret using a fret press system. My preferred way to fret. Much more control and a uniform pressure that minimise fret end spring back.

- Use a Fret press caul in an arbour or a pillar drill and glue the fret ends down under pressure. Run a tiny bit of water thin CA glue under the fret and use the arbour/pillar drill to apply pressure to the fret via the caul. Lock the fret press into place and let the clue set for much longer time that you think it will take. CA binds in seconds, but takes much more time to get really hard. I personally don’t like to use CA for fretting, but the few times I use it is to fix your type of problem and I do it this way.

Having said all this I think that you will have to find out way the frets doesn’t stay in the slots. The only way is to remove at least one fret and measure the slots and compare to your fret wire. And remember: All this is a learning experience. Like soapbar I had this problem on my first neck. I had to fret it three times before I got it right.

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I am just curious. Is this a bound fretboard and or did you undercut the fretwire at the edges? If it is bound. did you make sure to clean the slots well(just in case glue may have built up in the slots duing binding). If you undercut the fretwire is it the undercut section that is lifting? Last question. after radiusing the fretboard did you check the slots depth to be sure you didn't wind up shallow at the outer edge of the radius? This could leave you with plenty depth for the tang in the center and shallow at the edges(just a thought).


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