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Sunday, February 9, 2020


Time to put the frets in. I do this differently from when I’m fretting a uke with a fretboard because I can’t get at the ends with bevelling files in the same way. Let me show you. My darling wife helped me by taking the pics today. 

First I cut the tang off at a 45 degree angle so it won’t stick out if the wood shrinks in the winter. This is still a whole length of fretwire. 

I shape the end of the fret with a file. I aim for a parabolic shape. It’s quite quick, like eight or ten strokes. 

Then I lay it flat in the slot it’s destined for, leaving a distance at the end that is big enough to split between both edges when it’s installed. I cut it off flush with the other edge, then I shape that end in the same way as the first one. 

I press the tang in with the Iron Thumb öf Death. Just lightly so it doesn’t rattle off and away in the Crud öf Death that covers the floor. 

Then some old bloke pops in and presses the fret in with a copyright-violating tool that resembles Stewmac’s press ”Jaws”. 

This pic shows how evenly the frets go in. I hardly ever need to level them with files, if I’m careful to use consistent force with the press. 

Next up, the bridge! 

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