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Sunday, January 15, 2017

Fret work

I decided to bite all remaining bullets and dedicated the available time this weekend to dressing frets. This I thought was the last chance to let a few of the six ukes drop out of the race and be finished later, I really need to ship one or two so I can get money for some stuff. 

But I chose not to. I've forgotten the order between them and don't fancy choosing between the people who've waited so patiently for such a long time. 

If you remember me fretting these you'll remember the nicely bevelled fret ends that I made with the new file holder. That's great but the fret ends do have sharp edges and a bit of burr, so I need to round them off with a fret end file. One of the tools from Stewmac that might seem expensive but is nigh impossible to live without once you've tried them. 

And do the maths - 7 fretboards, 14 frets on each, 2 ends on each fret, 20 strokes on each end... It took a long time. 

My improved fret pressing clamp left the frets almost completely level. I found one or two that was a wee bit high but chose to press them in some more rather than filing them at the top, you get a flat surface that needs to be dealt with using a fret crowning file and it is somewhat boring and nerve wracking at the same time. 

But the frets need to be polished anyway! The fret erasers from Stewmac are quite good. I like them but many people don't. I bought the whole set of grits, ranging from 180 to 1000 in five steps. Each eraser takes me about 20 seconds. 5 erasers on every fret, that's 100 seconds per fret. 14 frets on every board, 7 fretboards... My shoulders hurt. 

But now they're all done and I moved on to laying out and making the screw holes for the cover plates. And my lovely wife helped me with the secret Argapa detail (that ensures the superior sound and performance of my resos) while I was polishing frets, so that's taken care of too. What's left now is
- tuners
- nuts
- fiddling the biscuit (no smutty innuendo intended).
- strings
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