Klein Solid Body Electric Travel Guitar #10: Fretting the Details

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Blog entry by Dave G posted 10-19-2015 09:19 AM 1458 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
« Part 9: Tuners Part 10 of Klein Solid Body Electric Travel Guitar series Part 11: Finished - Started Tuning »

We’re heading into the details of the project. I completed the fretting this weekend. It is tedious but fun once you get going. I had a long roll of nickel fretwire that I cut pieces off and worked with my Dremel tool clamped to the drill press to create a little grinding workstation. The fretwire has tangs on it to hold into the fretboard. The tangs that would go into the fretboard binding (white plastic edging you see) have to be trimmed off to avoid ruining the binding.

Once trimmed, the wires were pushed into the board. The drill press had a radiused pressing block to do the pushing, instead of hammering. One of the books suggested starting with the long frets and working towards small so that mistakes can be reused. I saved a few inches of material from that tip.

Press Block in Drill Press; Dremel Workstation Clamped to Side

When all the frets were in I taped the sides all the way up the fretboard to serve as witness to my finish filing. After the fret ends were roughed to shape I removed what was left of the tape and used a small riffler file to remove the end burrs and smooth the ends. Then I used a 12” radiused block to level the frets. Careful! Nickel is softer than you think. I re-rounded the frets with a fret file and cleaned it all up with #1200 sandpaper.

Fretted Guitar

Almost as an afterthought I drilled the bridge mounting holes and ran a grounding wire for the bridge into the control cavity.

Next will be making a string stop for the end of the neck out of brass.

-- Dave, New England - “We are made to persist. that's how we find out who we are.” ― Tobias Wolff

2 comments so far

View JohnSnow's profile


2 posts in 1552 days

#1 posted 10-19-2015 10:36 AM

This is something I would love to try once I get to master the basics (Y)
Great job!

-- John Edward Snow,

View intheshop's profile


58 posts in 3440 days

#2 posted 11-13-2015 03:24 AM

Dave, I just found this series. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it and I’m looking forward to seeing how it wraps up. Thank you for detailing your work.

-- Fast is fine, but accurate is final. The real trick is learning to take your time when you're in a hurry. - Wyatt Earp

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