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Fretting Help

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Is it a bad idea to fret a fretboard before it's attached to the neck?

Some people do, but I avoid it because I figure the pressure from all those tight fitting frets might cause the wood to bow, and so be hard to glue to the neck. The other reason is that I glue the fingerboard onto the neck, then use a flush trim router bit to shape the fingerboard edge perfectly to the neck shape - and you can't do that with frets in :D

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It's certainly one way that some do it. I have found it to be a more solid feel, when hammering frets into a board backed by nothing but a solid workbench top, although it ain't often that I'm able to do it that way.

I like the simplicity of doing it that way, but prefer the results of doing it the other way.

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Yeah its a bad idea in my opinion for a couple reasons. I wouldnt want to damage the frets while I have the neck clamped down for carving.

The biggest reason that comes to mind for me is the fret board surface is gonna move and change shape once it is joined to another piece of wood, then move even more once you torque on the truss rod. So now there is no real way to tell if your fretboard surface is level before fretting. Which of course makes fretting all that much harder. Less work you have to do to the fretbaord surface+good fret install= less work for the level crown and polish. The less fret material removed the better.

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