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Thread: semi hemispherical fretting

  1. #1

    Default semi hemispherical fretting

    There is a quicker way to do it...


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  3. #2
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    The easy way?
    Sigh . . . another sales gimmick for rich hobbyists.

    They're gonna have fun getting each fret the right length so they don't have to re-do the ends after they install them.

    I never saw a need for "semi-hemispherical" fret ends anyway. All of my customers have been perfectly satisfied with a good bevel and a handful of strokes with an end file.

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    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Looks too slow and ineffective IMO. I know folks who do this
    I do this (using hand files and polishing pads) on bass side of the few last frets on f/b extension where standard method of beveling after installation doesn't reach.
    When I last checked I was installing frets under 1 minute per fret on new fretting with SS wire. That is cutting to length (I strive to cut as close to width of board as possible) undercutting tang, trimming the tang nibs a bit (so they won't chip out the edge when pulled) and hammering and securing the fret with few drops of CA glue and cleanup with pad with acetone. All with hand tools - files and ordinary wire cutters (resharpened). Adding bevel takes 3 minutes for the whole board at once and I count three strokes of file to round off each of the fret end. Then some polishing adn done. I don't remember I had to level tops of frets lately as I prepare the surface to perfection and modern frets are very precise and perfectly level after hammering in.
    I can usually do full refret on mandolin within 1 1/2 to 2 hours of time (unless some other problems arise)
    Adrian

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    ...modern frets are very precise and perfectly level after hammering in...
    Don't count on it. If it's the same batch they're pretty close. make the mistake that I did of using frets from two different batches and be ready to spend a couple of hours leveling and crowning, or pulling them out and starting over. (Yes, they were modern high quality frets (Jescar EVO gold)).

    FWIW, I did "semihemispherical" fret ends on early guitars but concluded that it wasn't worth the time and effort for me. Nicely beveled and corners rounded works for me.

  7. #5

    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Now if we wanted to do these jobs the way we have to in responsible government sourcing, we’d have a wall of bins — perhaps 4-500 of them, each labelled with a part number. In each bin is a fret, precut and rounded at both ends and differing from the next bin by a suitable difference; say 0.3mm. Then, of course, another wall containing the pre-radiused selection.
    Each mandolin fretboard is represented by a dimensioned CAD drawing, indicating which PN goes where.
    Then, I’d hire a minimum wage guy to pull the appropriate selection; another to log them into the system, and…..

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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Now if we wanted to do these jobs the way we have to in responsible government sourcing, we’d have a wall of bins — perhaps 4-500 of them, each labelled with a part number. In each bin is a fret, precut and rounded at both ends and differing from the next bin by a suitable difference; say 0.3mm. Then, of course, another wall containing the pre-radiused selection.
    Each mandolin fretboard is represented by a dimensioned CAD drawing, indicating which PN goes where.
    Then, I’d hire a minimum wage guy to pull the appropriate selection; another to log them into the system, and…..
    Having, in the past, worked in manufacturing engineering for a number of years and been involved, among other projects, in setting up a wall of bins like that for screws and other small computer parts, I really appreciate this post.

    Don't forget the associated bills of materials !
    Last edited by Sue Rieter; Nov-25-2021 at 12:20pm. Reason: you mrentioned inventory control

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by Richard500 View Post
    Now if we wanted to do these jobs the way we have to in responsible government sourcing... log them into the system, and…..
    Strange as it may seem for something that is seen on mostly high end hand made instruments, pre-shaped 'semi hemispherical' fret ends would be relatively well suited to CNC or other digital (or even mechanical) mass production.

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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Rieter View Post
    Having, in the past, worked in manufacturing engineering for a number of years and been involved, among other projects, in setting up a wall of bins like that for screws and other small computer parts, I really appreciate this post.

    Don't forget the associated bills of materials and inventory control systems !
    And THEN, from the other end of it, if there is a discrepancy in one part in a bin or a vendor error....or an ECO (engineering change order) being required because of a different change causing fit issues with this part.......or anything else....tied in with "Just In Time" (we used to call it "Just In The Nick Of Time"), you got a bunch of fun on your hands. I worked in Design Engineering for 30 years and it was a constant.

    The thing is if you don't set up your process like this........you get junk coming off the line. Is not just government, is all modern manufacturing facilities that do not feature hand built assemblies by one person do this. Is maddening to be involved with it but if you want process and quality control..........the customer pays for it anyhow.

  12. #9
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    Don't count on it. If it's the same batch they're pretty close. make the mistake that I did of using frets from two different batches and be ready to spend a couple of hours leveling and crowning, or pulling them out and starting over. (Yes, they were modern high quality frets (Jescar EVO gold)).
    So far I haven't got that problem. I order pound of wire at once and I guess it is all from the same batch. Never had to mix batches.
    I wonder how large was the difference you experienced?
    Coud be someone mixed wrong gauge of wire through the machine at Jescar resulting in wrong endproduct. Or mixed up the opposite parts of the forming dies?
    Adrian

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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    I could see using semi hemispherical fret end work on the most visible bass side of the fingerboard, and then install the frets, level them and do the fret ends on the treble side in the conventional way by hand -- but only if it saves time and produces good results.

    But, I'd bet no new instrument owner would notice the difference.

    Well, maybe some would... Remembering back, I know I used to take great pride in the Gibson style binding covers over fret ends on my own instruments -- until I had to re-fret them -- then they were just a pain to work with if I wanted to keep the binding covers in place.

    So maybe some owners would notice.
    -- Don

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    ...I wonder how large was the difference you experienced?
    Coud be someone mixed wrong gauge of wire through the machine at Jescar resulting in wrong endproduct. Or mixed up the opposite parts of the forming dies?
    About .005" height difference.
    I ordered by the pound and, as always, kept any left over ends long enough to use. Ran out, ordered another pound and found out the hard way that there was a difference by using up left-overs from the earlier batch.
    Either batches normally differ, a mistake was made, a machine needed adjustment, whatever, it doesn't really matter, I learned to measure all frets before installing.

  15. #12
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    They claim accuracy within 0.002" so you likely got some bad batch. The heights of close types of their wire differ by 0.003 or even less.
    Adrian

  16. #13
    Registered User Tom Haywood's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    I prefer the feel of rounded end frets on mandolins (semi hemispherical sounds too ... hard to type), and that's what I install on my higher end mandolins. It takes me about four to six minutes per fret to cut the wire to length, round each end with mill files, bend it appropriately, and hammer it in. That is compared to about a minute per fret for beveled frets, so I am certainly interested in a faster process for rounded frets. If the video is showing real time, then it appears to be one minute for one end of the fret. Estimating the other end to be the same one minute, plus maybe another minute to file it to the correct length, bend and hammer it, it looks like three minutes per fret. That would save me 30 minutes to an hour. The problem I see is that it might be easy to file a fret too short, requiring you to start over on that one. That usually happens to me on one or two frets doing it completely by hand. It could negate any time savings.

    At 140.00 for the disks and a one hour time saving, that's maybe five full fret jobs to pay for it. Probably worthwhile if you do that many of these a year.

    Fret leveling is not really related to rounding the fret ends. I have learned the hard way to buy the 2 foot or 4 foot wire lengths at a time for the one job. With a perfectly level board, I occasionally see that new EVO wire doesn't need to be leveled, but most often it just needs a light leveling.
    Tom

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Haywood View Post
    ...The problem I see is that it might be easy to file a fret too short, requiring you to start over on that one. That usually happens to me on one or two frets doing it completely by hand...
    That's why I always start at the wide end of the fingerboard. Cut a fret too short? No problem, it's still long enough for one of the next slots.

    That is, BTW one of the reasons I don't finish fret ends before installing the frets. Too difficult to get each one exactly the right length.

  18. #15
    Adrian Minarovic
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by sunburst View Post
    That's why I always start at the wide end of the fingerboard. Cut a fret too short? No problem, it's still long enough for one of the next slots.

    That is, BTW one of the reasons I don't finish fret ends before installing the frets. Too difficult to get each one exactly the right length.
    I've been thinking about going from the wide end for a while but manage to cut short fret perhaps once in few fret jobs so I will just save it for the next job or use it on the extension (I'm mostly working on mandolins).
    My procedure to get the lengths pretty close to width of board is to use flush cutters (regrinded wire cutters with one side perfectly flat) to trim both ends of wire. I trim the end of the long piece of wire perfectly square hold it at the fret slot with the trimmed end flush with one side of board and butt he cutters against other side of board and grip the wire gently with the cutters. I check visually if the length is exact and remove it from instrument and finish the cut. Then do two tiny cuts with the same cutters on each side of fret to remove tang and clean it with 2-3 strokes of file (I've never used tang nippers). I often remove part of the barbs (especially on new builds with tight slots) with small fine file with smooth edge riding along the underside of the fret crown.
    Adrian

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    Registered User sunburst's Avatar
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    Default Re: semi hemispherical fretting

    Quote Originally Posted by HoGo View Post
    ...manage to cut short fret perhaps once in few fret jobs so I will just save it for the next job...
    That's how I ended up with frets that didn't match in height. When you use those leftovers be sure they match your new wire (if it's not the same batch).
    Also, I usually cut off a length of fret wire from the factory roll long enough for the fret job at hand and run it through my fret bender to get the radius correct for the fingerboard. That usually leaves a short leftover piece. I save those too.

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