Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Archtop Guitar Build - Fret and Neck Work

I left the neck as a solid block because it would make support for seating the frets very easy.  I usually seat my frets with a dead blow hammer but I got a fret press with 12 inch radius insert from Bob when I bought the radius beam.  Wow, what a nice tool!  The frets seated well and easily but the fret press really shined in the area over the neck extension.  Just shim up a support and gently press the frets into place.

Now that I don't need the support of the neck block, I trimmed the neck to shape, added the extension for the nut channel as well as ears for the headstock.  We're getting close now...


  1. Hi Scott. Glad you liked the fret press. I like the way it feels when the whole fret sinks into place at one time. I like the way you did NO shaping of the neck before fretting - makes more sense to me than the way Benedetto suggests. I see you made the fingerboard extension rather thin compared to the plans - it's going to be tricky attaching the pickguard. The inlays and bindings look spectacular!

    I'm almost at the end of my wait for lacquer to harden up, before I polish my guitars and eliver them to a luthier friend for "setting up." Can't wait to compare finished guitars with you - they're going to be very different!

  2. Thanks Bob, the fret press was one of those things that I thought looked nice but I've done frets on four other instruments and I've never had problems seating the frets with a hammer. Wow was it nice to use. The fingerboard extension is about double this thickness on the pick-guard side. The top plate geometry dictated the extension geometry. I wish the book pointed out the landing area for the fingerboard extension. It would have been nice to have made that area dead flat when carving the top plate. That would have made fitting the extension easier...