Resonant Qualities Of Glues Used In Fret Slots

Discussion in 'Glues, Fillers & Painting' started by DougGuy, Sep 14, 2017.

  1. DougGuy

    DougGuy New Member

    Sep 14, 2017
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    HI everyone, 1st post on this forum, looks like a way cool place!! Hopefully I may have something to contribute from time to time but today I have a question..

    I first started doing refrets using the 5min epoxy method ala Dan Erlewine, and I did hundreds of this style refret over many years with great success. The volume of notes was very consistent all the way up and down the neck, even the plain strings are very loud way up the end of the neck. Sustain is about as good as you could ever want it to be. This I attribute to the fact that there is virtually no airspace under the bead of the fret wire, and the tang makes more contact to the fingerboard using a liquid glue because it fills in all the void and makes 100% contact. Simple law of physics, liquid takes the shape of the container you put it in, in this case it's the fret slot with the tang of the fret wire, thus total contact yields excellent volume and consistency thoughout the range of the scale.

    The acoustic properties of the 5min epoxy are not bad, but I don't think it hardens anything like superglue for instance, and I do notice a difference in frets that have been repaired and replacements set into superglue do conduct resonance or sustain as some would say, and it works quite well for the acoustic properties.

    I wouldn't want to do an entire refret with superglue because it dries hard enough to inhibit the action of the truss rod to a certain extent, it doesn't let the fret slots expand or contract very well when the truss rod is adjusted.. By contrast, superglue used in a peghead repair has excellent resonant qualities and transfers sustain from the peghead back down into the neck really well. Sometimes the guitar sounds even better after a superglue peghead repair, and you can "hear" the mass of the peghead and tuners better.

    Anyway, not wanting to get off on a thread about superglue so... It's been years since I took a look at available tools and materials used to refret, and maybe technology has made some new improvements?

    What are some choices for glues that can be used to set frets in a solid body (Les Paul) neck that dry hard enough to transmit good resonance and achieve basically the same note to note consistency as using 5min epoxy, but may have a little brighter response or a little better "pop" to the picking attack after seating frets in with it?
  2. GuitarBuilder

    GuitarBuilder Member

    May 16, 2013
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    I understand and agree that a good glue under the frets would indeed improve string resonance. My main concern, however, is what would happen when the frets need to be removed for a re-fret. Would this not potentially lead to more damage to the fretboard?
  3. Chris Pile

    Chris Pile Member

    Jan 10, 2016
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    Wichita, KS
    Sure, if you just yank them out like a neanderthal. Most glues start breaking down around 180 degrees, so application of heat via soldering pencil or a clothes iron will soften the glue enough to make fret pulling relatively painless. Also, the epoxy is easily routed out of the slot for refretting with epoxy again. Dan Erlewine showed the way - done it myself dozens of times.
    GuitarBuilder likes this.
  4. Vurric

    Vurric New Member

    Nov 4, 2018
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    I'm interested in trying this type of gluing. I search and can't find any videos on this.
    Can anyone tell me how hard it is to remove the epoxy if needed to refret these?
    And a brand name of epoxy used?

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