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Fret Wire Not Flush On Board...problem?


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I just performed my first refret (bolt on 7-string Ibanez). After paying close attention to all of the 'how to' books, I'm still left with what a appears to be a problem (to me at least). After hammering in the fret wire, I've noticed there are some small spaces at the edges of the fret board (between the fret wire and the fret board). This spacing issue does not inflict all of the frets; mostly the upper frets. The space is about .25 mm or so. Please be aware the fret wire is NOT loose whatsoever, despite the spaces.

I'm wondering if these spaces are a problem? I've done my best to eliminate them (ie, re-bend the wire, glue, etc.). However, the small spaces don't seem to go away.

Based on your experiences, please let me know if you believe if I'm okay and can move on to the leveling process, or if I need to fix the spacing problem.

Thanks.

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Check this post. I had a similar question some time ago. I was suggested to fill the gap with glue. Frets are rarely flush with the fretboard, except and high-end guitars. Even then. A friend of mine has a PRS McCarty, and it's easy to see that they filled the gap with black glue.

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...mp;#entry359872

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Check this post. I had a similar question some time ago. I was suggested to fill the gap with glue. Frets are rarely flush with the fretboard, except and high-end guitars. Even then. A friend of mine has a PRS McCarty, and it's easy to see that they filled the gap with black glue.

http://projectguitar.ibforums.com/index.ph...mp;#entry359872

I believe they were discussing the depth of the slot itself, as in the fret does not seat against the bottom of the slot. The fret should evenly seat against the fretboard. You need to ensure the slot depth is deep enough to make sure the tang does not bottom out. If you bind or inlay a fretboard, you need to also make sure glue has not filled the slot(again making it impossible for the fret to seat properly). It is also a good idea to bevel the top of the slot a bit (small file does the job quickly), as sometimes the tang and bottom of the fret are not perfectly matched at 90 degree (meaning the joint is a little rounded, and may not seat against a square edge at the top of your slot).

If your frets are bottoming out, you need to remove the fret, check and make sure the slot depth is deep enough, and that the fret is not bottoming out at the top of the slot on a sloppy tang/fret joint. If you have binding, and the tang has been removed under the ends, you usually use a bit of CA under the fret ends, press till it sets, and your in business.

Peace,Rich

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Thanks for all the great suggestions. In fact, I'm going to go home for lunch (I'm at work) and check the depth of the slots, since I'm obsessing over the problem. I actually took some wood off of the fret board, so maye the slots have become too shallow.

To note, I use a slotted pliers to bend the fret wire. It's harder than I thought. I'm not sure how 'perfect' the bend needs to be, but mine radius bends are typically always somewhat imperfect.

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I'd vote for the slots being too shallow as well...

Nice way to check this is get a small section (5cm) of your fretwire and put about a 45 degree backwards bend in it about 5-10 mm from the end. On this small straight section, file off the fret tangs. This should now easily slide in to the fret slots and will allow you to check every part of every slot carefully...

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I had the same symptoms but a differant cause. When I was finish sanding my fretboard, my slots were fine but my binding is softer the then wood, I must have angled my sanding block a little. I had a slight angle on the binding, it wasn't a perfect curve like the neck. My frets had a little angled gap where the binding was on one side.

My solution was to sand the neck a tiny bit to even out the curve at the binding. It cleared up the problem.

Oh, and I'm using home made tang cutters: End nippers ground flat. When I cut the tang sometimes it makes the end of the fret bend up a little. Sqeezing the metal on the tang makes it wider. This wasn't a problem, as I just used a bigger hammer. It went into place.

-John

[Edit: changed "neck" to "fretboard" per John's suggestion -Rick]

Edited by Rick500
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