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Perils of using drill bits to prevent slipping whilst gluing...

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One of the drill bits I was using to stop the fretboard move during gluing sheared off when I tried to remove it.


I was careful but glue had seeped up the thread and set the bit in place. You can see some of the remnants of the glue in the fret slot either side.
The bit sheared straight away with very little torque (I was using a hand drill).
There's not much clearance between the top of the bit and the fretboard, and that's prior to radiusing.
Hoping I can just nip off some of the fret tang in that area but I have a feeling it's going to cause me problems.

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Chalk it up to experience. I use small 1mm brad nails for that kind of thing rather than my precious drill bits, which can then be pulled out easily once the glue is dry. Nails are made of plain steel which will tolerate bending without breaking. Dril bits are hardened and brittle, and small ones will break as soon as they are held up in a stiff breeze.

Cutting a small "window" in the fret tang to fit over the drill stub should be doable. Provided the cutout is as small as you can make it, I would imagine there should still be enough barbed tang either side to keep the fret seated securely. Scrape out as much excess glue in the slot as you can too.

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I give them a little heat before pulling them out. Just a quick hit with the soldering iron loosens them up nicely. I've had them break, but not such that they were not retrievable.

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Just punch that @#$%^$ down a few mm with a small bullet head nail and carry on as normal

Yeah I tried that but as the bit has sheared at quite a sharp angle, the nail kept slipping off (hence the wider hole). I stopped as I was afraid of doing much more damage to the fretboard.

I've rough radiused the board (there's still a bit more material to come at the upper end) and there's very little clearance in the slot, so I'm going to have to do something. Thinking about attacking it with a soldering iron (to loosen the glue) and some tweezers.

I saw someone on a woodworking forum suggest dissolving broken HSS bits with a mild acid but that's bonkers IMO.

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Push pins with plastic heads work nicely. At worst you might have to drill holes through your caul(s) to accommodate them. Drill bits tend to be far more brittle and prone to snapping from shear forces than the steel in push pins. Additionally, sticking them into a candle or a bar of soap before putting them into the workpieces helps stop them from jamming up in the holes and aids removal.

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