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Nov 30, 2021 - 5:17:56 PM
11 posts since 11/30/2021

Hello all, I'm new to banjo hangout and just have a hopefully easy question. A little less than a year ago I bought a new Deering Eagle ii from my local banjo dealer. It plays great and sounds great but it had a bad case of fret sprout(I'm from the southwest and I don't think the dealer was diligent about humidifying) After rehumidifying didn't fix the issue, I took it to a friend who does fret work and he filed them down for me. This was a huge improvement. Everything has been great through months of jamming, EXCEPT the other day I tried a tricky lick up the neck and my finger pulled the high D string off the fret board. I chalked it up to being too aggressive with my left hand which I tend towards sometimes, but it made me wonder if perhaps my friend beveled the fret ends too much. I'll attach some pics and maybe some of you with more fret dressing experience than myself can tell me if this is the case, or if I'm just paranoid and need to practice that lick more with a lighter touch ??

Nov 30, 2021 - 5:36:28 PM

11 posts since 11/30/2021

Hopefully the picture uploaded correctly




 

Nov 30, 2021 - 5:45:43 PM
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Players Union Member

blazo

USA

338 posts since 5/16/2017

That looks to me like you have miles of room for fretting and pull offs. I'd say it's technique.

Nov 30, 2021 - 5:54:39 PM
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rcc56

USA

3910 posts since 2/20/2016

The bevel looks good, plenty of flat fret surface left to work with.
A good pull-off is more of a flick rather than an aggressive pull.

Yes, practice the lick with a lighter touch.

Nov 30, 2021 - 6:06:23 PM

11 posts since 11/30/2021

Awesome! Thanks to you both. I'll give that lick more practice.

Dec 1, 2021 - 5:47:50 AM
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14133 posts since 6/29/2005

The little corners of the fret crown can catch things— you see this on unbound fingerboards and bound ones where they clip the frets in such a way that the ends overlap the binding, creating these pesky sharp little corners that catch wiping cloths, steel wool, etc.

Personally, I don't like that method of resolving the ends of frets, but it's inevitable on unbound fingerboards and many builders go out of their way to do the little overlap trick on bound fingerboards, which is usually perceived as being a positive thing.

One way  the problem has been solved in the past is by using what has been called "Gibson nibs"— the way a lot of old fingerboards were finished, and it's still being done today.  It's my preferred method on guitars and banjos.

Here's how it's done:

Edited by - Ken LeVan on 12/01/2021 05:49:40

Dec 1, 2021 - 6:49:36 AM

11 posts since 11/30/2021

Interesting! I've never seen that method before. You learn something new everyday

Dec 1, 2021 - 8:13:05 AM

2589 posts since 6/19/2008

I'm gonna try that the next time I make a bound fretboard!  Presumbably when you glue the binding on, the glue fills any slight gap between the fret end and the binding.  Do you level, crown, and dress the frets before or after you glue the binding on?

Edited by - Jonnycake White on 12/01/2021 08:14:57

Dec 1, 2021 - 11:21:17 AM

11918 posts since 10/27/2006
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A neat trick when re-fretting is to dissolve some binding material in acetone and paint new nibs on with a brush.

Dec 1, 2021 - 2:10:22 PM

14133 posts since 6/29/2005

quote:
Originally posted by Jonnycake White

I'm gonna try that the next time I make a bound fretboard!  Presumbably when you glue the binding on, the glue fills any slight gap between the fret end and the binding.  Do you level, crown, and dress the frets before or after you glue the binding on?


I do that after the fingerboard is glued onto the neck—last step and part of the setup.

Dec 1, 2021 - 4:58:02 PM

891 posts since 5/22/2021
Online Now

quote:
Originally posted by Ken LeVan

The little corners of the fret crown can catch things— you see this on unbound fingerboards and bound ones where they clip the frets in such a way that the ends overlap the binding, creating these pesky sharp little corners that catch wiping cloths, steel wool, etc.

Personally, I don't like that method of resolving the ends of frets, but it's inevitable on unbound fingerboards and many builders go out of their way to do the little overlap trick on bound fingerboards, which is usually perceived as being a positive thing.

One way  the problem has been solved in the past is by using what has been called "Gibson nibs"— the way a lot of old fingerboards were finished, and it's still being done today.  It's my preferred method on guitars and banjos.

Here's how it's done:


Mr. Levan,

That is fascinating! I have seen the process with the "nibs" on my high-school friend's guitar. That really is a new thing I really never knew how was done before! It creates a nice side finish on my friend's guitar.

Dec 1, 2021 - 5:54:02 PM

2361 posts since 2/7/2008

I like "hot dog" frets.


 

Dec 1, 2021 - 9:06 PM
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Bart Veerman

Canada

5096 posts since 1/5/2005

Yes, it's a technique issue. When the string spills over the edge of the fretboard, does it get stuck under the edge of the fret?

Having said that, instead of a pull-off, why not try a push-up (towards the 2nd string) and that might be easier for you and there's no prohibitions against it smiley

Just in case you're using light-light strings (009~020), they let themselves get pushed around way easy and, going up to 010~022 (or even fatter) often solves the problem you describe.

Good luck and do let us know how things work out for you.

Dec 2, 2021 - 3:44:20 AM

3727 posts since 9/12/2016

I had one with those nibs(sullivan) .I remember they ended up as broken into sections and coming off in pieces. Nowdays I don't want binding at all, when I have to build a new one.

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