Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Construction and repair of Classical Guitar and related instruments
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geoff-bristol
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by geoff-bristol » Sun Mar 04, 2018 11:09 pm

As said - get some print outs based initially on 2 x nut to 12th. Is the 12th more or less halfway to saddle - thats the first thing to check ?
Saddle should be a few mm longer to 12th than nut to 12th ? Take that as your scale for a starter.
Check them up from nut. Each one nut to 1 - nut to 2 etc. If things match - say - 650 specs - then check above 12 fret to fret.
Looks to me like the 11th is out - just eyeballing it. Easy checked with a rule and the figures - and the figures are all there, instant and free !
Trouble with frets is one misplaced can send all above awol - depending on how they were cut !

Maybe a new board and nice new frets is the answer !

SteveL123
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:13 am

Home Depot didn't have a yardstick, nor any of the hardware stores around here! I resorted to using a tape measure for the scale length. The fret to fret measurements were made with a digital vernier caliper. From the nut incrementally, I was able to measure up to 4th fret (vernier maxes out at 150 mm). All numbers in mm.

I have not checked these numbers against the Stew Mac calculator yet. Maybe later after my headache goes away.
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:38 am

amezcua wrote:
Sun Mar 04, 2018 7:40 pm
CTI glue for metal to wood . Flexible enough to cope with humidity changes . Only straight frets ? No problem. Use straight wire . You just need a decent tuner . CTI is a recent innovation for glue addicts . I have a cheap guitar where the fret slots were burned into the wood . Probably automatic machinery used . A saw would run straight across but these slots stopped short with a pointy shape and the edge was not cut , apart from the very tip of the point . The edges of the slots were darkened by the heat .
Interesting stuff. Have you used it to glue frets? How about 5 min Epoxy? It should be strong enough.

Pull the frets

Fill/glue slots with Ebony strips

Sand smooth

File tangs off the pulled frets, straighten

Mark and glue frets in the right spots with an electronic tuner

After Epoxy is fully cured, do some fret leveling/ crowning if necessary



Edit:
This CT1 product is expensive! I found some sources (Amazon) and they are $64 and up for a tube! No thanks, I will stick with Epoxy.
Last edited by SteveL123 on Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

gauchita
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by gauchita » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:45 am

I think it would be difficult to replace the frets in the way you have described. The old slots would be too near the new. It would be possible to cut, remove and replace the fingerboard from the11or12 frets down. But you would need to find a piece of wood that is a close match to the original. Or just remove the entire fingerboard.

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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by SteveL123 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:53 pm

gauchita, you may very well be right if the new slot is very close to the old and may break apart upon cutting the new slot. I have thought about replacing just the section of fretboard for frets 12 to 18 by routing it away and gluing in a new section. Of course the best way is to replace the whole fret board which is the most work.

Since I like to experiment and tinker, I think the first thing I will try is file away fret 12, leaving just the tang in the fret board, then Epoxy in a tang-less fret in the correct position per my electronic tuner. I will evaluate by playing on it for a while and see how it goes and how well it holds up. If it plays and holds up well, I will do more frets like that.

If I do not like the results, I can always replace a section of fret board or the entire fret board later.

Does that seem like a reasonable plan?

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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by gauchita » Tue Mar 06, 2018 5:46 pm

I have never tried glueing on frets, but I have glued other things onto a guitar. It is difficult to glue things accurately. I use pins to hold bridges and fingerboards in the right place. Also, positioning the fret with a tuner would be challenging. I have old but very accurate auto-chromatic tuner and a small collection of clip-on tuners. Most are designed for standard tuning at 440hz and are fine when tuning open strings. However, once you start moving down the fingerboard they can be misleading. Right down at the 12 fret, you can move your finger just slightly and it will bring the sting in and out of tune. I don't know what tuner you have but I suggest, if you not already done so, play the harmonic at first and then twelfth fret. You might get a more accurate reading. Then try it fretted

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robin loops
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by robin loops » Tue Mar 06, 2018 6:37 pm

Im nit a luthier but l.. Maybe if the slots are close enough you could just widen them to recenter the slot (and use a fatter fret wire)? But, how often do you play above the 12th fret? Is it enough to even worry about? If one or two high notes in an occasional piece are a bit out will anyone notice?
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geoff-bristol
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by geoff-bristol » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:11 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:13 am
Home Depot didn't have a yardstick, nor any of the hardware stores around here! I resorted to using a tape measure for the scale length. The fret to fret measurements were made with a digital vernier caliper. From the nut incrementally, I was able to measure up to 4th fret (vernier maxes out at 150 mm). All numbers in mm.

I have not checked these numbers against the Stew Mac calculator yet. Maybe later after my headache goes away.

20180305_205235-979x1305.jpg
Some oddballs there - If thats a 650 scale ( seems like it - or close to it ) - but mostly between 8 and 12.
Some major errors - 8-9 and 9-10 are the same ! 8-9 should be on 650 scale - 22.98 ( 23 ) and 9-10 should be 21.692 ( 21.7 ) Major one is 11-12 - you have 21.3 and it should be 19.36.

Get scale readout and draw up a paper pattern - its easier to lay that against what you have and see any major mismatches.
Measure each one from the nut to the fret when drawing it up - no need to be super precise, its a rough guide !

A new slotted board is pretty cheap !

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robin loops
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by robin loops » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:24 pm

Another thought if the frets are close enough. Instead of changing the slots at all, use really fat fret wire and crown like a thinner fret centering the top of the crown rather than moving the fret. This would result in the actual top center of the fret being offset from the slot.

For example: if a fret needs to be moved by .5mm then before placing the fat fret remove 1mm from one side and recrown roughly. Now the center of the crown will be offset by half a mm. Place fret and crown again. Since fret was adjusted before putting in place it should make final crowning in proper position easier (rather than trying to adjust with just final crowning which would have a strange lopsided aesthetic as well as being more difficult)
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OldPotter
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by OldPotter » Tue Mar 06, 2018 8:53 pm

Though I like the idea of a new pre slotted board best, if you wanted to measure all frets from the nut you could make up some "gauge blocks" from whatever metal strip you have. A couple of 150mm strips could be made reasonably accurately with your calipers, then all could be measured from the nut.

I am surprised to see some large errors in the fret placement. Adding up all the errors up to the 12th fret I make it 2.18mm out. I did not expect to see that.
"When I was younger, I could remember almost everything, whether it happened or not." Mark Twain

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petermc61
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by petermc61 » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:03 pm

Steve,

So have you done basic measurements (nut to 12th, 12th to saddle) to check it has basic compensatikm done? If the bridge is in the wrong place it may simply never play on tune.

Peter

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Steve Ganz
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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by Steve Ganz » Tue Mar 06, 2018 9:08 pm

Rule 1: Measure before doing anything.
Rule 2: Measure again.
Geoff Bristol has done rule 1 for you. After your headache, measure again and compare numbers.
You have significant errors either in the fingerboard or the measurements (below 12)
Steve

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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by simonm » Tue Mar 06, 2018 10:12 pm

SteveL123 wrote:
Tue Mar 06, 2018 2:13 am
... I resorted to using a tape measure for the scale length. The fret to fret measurements were made with a digital vernier caliper. ...
Tape measures (and cheap rulers) can be off in various ways. Worth checking the tape against the calipers. I have a couple of cheap rulers which are good enough if I start at (say) the 10cm position. The first "cm" is more like 1.2 because the "printing" is badly positioned at the beginning of the ruler.

No I don't use these for fretboards. :-)

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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by amezcua » Wed Mar 07, 2018 1:33 am

I have been experimenting with glued on frets for a while. The latest method is to fill the old slots with superglue . Level the surface when it sets . Make sure it is as level as possible while still fluid . Tape on a paper cover on the new section . Fit all the strings . Trace the lines of the strings on the paper . A straight piece of bronze wire 2mm round section is used to find the correct fret position . Lay the wire beneath the string and pluck while checking the note with a Korg Orchestral Tuner .Always check the open string first and then the "fretted note". Mark the position both sides of the wire .Check the other strings or just use the top and bottom strings since the frets are straight . Work along the strings recording each position carefully. After removing the strings ; It is possible to mark the positions with a sharp soldering iron between the marks made on the paper.Two per fret would be sufficient .That gives the lines across the board .
The paper is a record of position but removing it invites some possible errors even if you are careful .
So assuming the positions are marked through the paper, take off the paper and the burned dots will be accurate .
Evostik is messy and needs practice .It`s stringy and sometimes will not stop coming out of the tube.
Apply the glue to the fret away from the guitar !
Best way is to add two spots of Evostik between the string positions while it`s held with pointy pliers . Place the fret in the position marked. Now you have a few minutes to double check the tuning You can move the frets to and fro while plucking the string. Tack the fret down with a piece of tape while the glue is setting . Press downwards for a few seconds before leaving it .
The glue will reduce down and be quite firm next day . Test all this on some scrap wood with spare bits of wire to see how durable it can be. The two spots of glue will be firm next day . Check the tuning again and apply a line of glue both sides of each fret to make it permanent . Evostik sell a cleaner to remove thin films of dried glue .Try to smooth the ends of the frets before fitting them . Each one is a little longer as you get nearer the sounhole.
My latest attempt is very accurate and up to the eighth fret (so far ) each note is exactly right by the Korg tuner . It`s a simple bombproof method .
If a fret is still out of position just slice it off with a razor blade and try again. A hot soldering iron will remove Evostik . Test this on the scrap wood first . It does not need much practice to get it right .
The CT1 had such good publicity I tried it myself and unlike Evostik it needs 24 hours to set . Maybe using that after the two Evostik dots are dry is the best way .It`s not stringy and the texture makes it possible to apply with a small brush or pointed spatula . CT1 is not expensive now and it is firm but permanently elastic so humidity is not a problem . It`s made to glue wood to metal reliably .

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Re: Remedy for frets 12 to 19 in wrong place

Post by SteveL123 » Wed Mar 07, 2018 2:57 am

geoff-bristol, good idea: "Get scale readout and draw up a paper pattern"!

I did a variation and drew it up on a plastic Venetian blind slat with dimensions from StewMac's calculator using 650 mm and 19 frets as inputs https://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator? ... nstrument= .

I used a 150 mm digital vernier caliper and started from nut to fret 4, then fret 4 to 10, then 10 to 19 to lessen the compound error. After I finished making the scale, I noticed the following note on StewMac's site.

"Bridge placement for 650.000mm scale length
Distance indicated is from the fretboard edge of the nut, to the break-angle of the string at the peak of the saddle.
Treble "E" or 1st string: 652.266mm (± 0.5mm)
Bass "E" or 6th string: 655.470mm (± 0.5mm)
Please note that these measurements are based on a mathmatical formula for compensation as well as an average of what "plays in tune" for a variety of instruments. Variables such as string height (action) and string gauge can affect the intonation of an instrument, so you may need to slightly adjust the locations given."

Based on the above, my scale length input for the calculator should be less than 650 mm, so the venetian slat I drew up is invalid and needs to be re-done.

Since I am not going to move the bridge or nut, I have to work backwards based on the distance between nut to saddle and arrive at a compensated scale length as the input to the calculator if I want to buy a pre slotted fret board from LMI.

Am I making any sense?
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