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Message started by Spanky on Dec 27th, 2004 at 4:31pm

Title: Fret boards...
Post by Spanky on Dec 27th, 2004 at 4:31pm
Hey... I have a question about Mike Chock's fret boards. I have played some classical guitar and I really saw a similarity between the classical guitar fret board and the fret boards that Mike had made for his pineapple's.  

Just currious... What material and preperation steps were used to create such a refined look?

The points about the fret board that I liked were:
The edges of the fret board were a bit rounded.  
kind of mated to the roundness of the neck.  
No visable grain in the fret board
No hanging or sharp ends on the frets them selves
I liked the pineapple theme fret markers


Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by ukeman on Jan 6th, 2005 at 9:29am
aloha spanky...ok in answer to your questions about Mike's (aka ukemans ) fretboards heres the poop direct from the horses mouth:

I use mostly ebony for fretboard...gabon if I can...macascar as another choice. Will be fooling with cocobolo in the near future.

Pre Installation

Fretboards sanded to 120-grit
Inlay installed
Sanded to 340-grit
Fingerboard playing edges slightly beveled
Wax one coat
Pound frets
bevel edges of fretwire.
Fret wire installed

Post Installation

Dress frets
crown and file frets and fret ends
sand edges via hand with 340-grit
sand entire fingerboard surface with corian abrasive sheets...gray first and white last
scrape fingerboiard with single edged razor blade
Polish frets with dremmel used with a abrasive rubber wheel that has its edge filed into a groove to fit fret wire profiles.
Final polish with dremmel flap wheel flannels.
Oil with fingerboard oil

Hard to see but I am now radiusing my fingerboards like acoustical guitars  very small...20"radius

ok hope this helps....laters  ukeman

Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by Dominator on Jan 6th, 2005 at 10:48am
Good info there.  Just curious.......is this sort of detail included in your new manual that is available in the on-line store?  I posted a questions regarding the manual in another thread.

Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by Spanky on Jan 8th, 2005 at 6:24pm
Thanks Mike! Thats great to information. When I was in Hawaii alot of luthiers asked me to try their instruments and I got to say I was very impressed. There are a lot of really talented folks in the guild and that participate on the boards.

My biggest suggestion to all of the builders is to ensure that your Ukulele is playable. The action has to be right the neck must feel good. Fret and fret board dressing is a huge part of this as well. I dont know how you guys do it. I am not sure I have the patience for it.


Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by ukeman on Jan 13th, 2005 at 10:51am
aloha all...hey dominator...in answer to your question: Yes the construction manual covers the building process ala hana lima 'ia in detail and will iclude fingerboard prep and fret dressing! I try to stay true to my teaching methods as much as possible, but a self published book with me and son Asa was indeed a trip!

Thought I'd pass a message to all builders:

Certain items are totally in your control and need to be spot on in your building process!

Understanding of Scale Length
Proper Intonation and Compensation
Importance of Playability
 a. Fingerboard and fret dressing
 b. No sharp fret ends
 c. Good action
Overall..the uke sucks up your energy and intention..so stay focused and be happy ..I feel a good uke senses all of this and will respond in kind. If you only focus on aesthetics and not sound your uke will be pretty but play junk. You need to focus on all things that become the uke...den no can go wrong....laters  ukeman

Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by Dominator on Jan 13th, 2005 at 6:08pm
Hey Ukeman,
Thanks for the info.  Your point is well taken about concentrating on all areas of the build process and not just the asthetics.   I hope to do just that on my next one.

Should have some bonus money coming soon so I definately plan to get my hands on your manual soon.

Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by msrvfx on Jan 21st, 2005 at 3:54pm

Thanks for all the great information.
Just a few questions: What is the wax you put on teh fret board in pre-installation, what oil do you use when you're finished, and finally, can you direct me to a topic on the forum about intonation and sadle adjustments....or is that best covered in the manual?

Thank you again.


Title: Re: Fret boards...
Post by ukeman on Feb 9th, 2005 at 10:43am
Yo Mark: Frets.com and Frank Ford has info on fretting and intonation and compensation...his website should answer all you need to know!

As for the wax I put on the fingerboard before I pound frets...any wax..household furniture or auto...a quick coat so that when I apply frets and I use a tad of Titebond on each tang the glue wipes off easily cause of the wax. Thats all!

I only finish my fretboards...after final dressing etc. with Fingerboard oil. Avbailable at any Music store...one drop per fret space wipe on wipe off..thats it! Ukeman

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