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Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

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Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Howell » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:21 pm

fretboard problems.jpg
So I was working late. Messed up and must work it into a design of some kind. I need ideas.

Help.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Brian Evans » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:32 pm

If it's on the neck already, I would plug them with grain-matched wood. If it's not on the neck, I'd make a new one.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Gramann » Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:32 pm

You might replace two strips of the surface wood between the frets. A little dust and CA and the seams will be all but invisible.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby John Tuttle » Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:05 pm

Bob, I have felt your pain. Think of this as an opportunity. Bob Gramann's suggestion is the direction I would take first. If you have any scrap from the fretboard available to test on see how well it takes to a closely matching inlay. The grain of the wood should be matchable as it appears quite straight and regular in pattern. Take your time and think it through. Then test it. I've sen some pretty big ness-ups disappear with a little care and thought.In the end, if it just doesn't look right, starting over is always an option.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Howell » Mon Aug 07, 2017 9:21 pm

Its glued on neck. I was thinking of cutting a third hole and making 3 cherries with stems. So getting a plug cutter and cutting 3 plugs of some contrasting wood. Think I'll get the plug cutter first and see what I can make. Three cherries; my brand! Would that location confuse the player?
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Gramann » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:05 pm

It might. The markers on the board aren't really for the player but for the other folks in the circle trying to follow along. Do you look at the board when you play?
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Francis » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:07 pm

Bob Howell wrote:Its glued on neck. I was thinking of cutting a third hole and making 3 cherries with stems. So getting a plug cutter and cutting 3 plugs of some contrasting wood. Think I'll get the plug cutter first and see what I can make. Three cherries; my brand! Would that location confuse the player?



I don't think so.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Gordon Bellerose » Mon Aug 07, 2017 10:26 pm

I have had fret boards that I messed up on too.
Bob's suggestion is correct.
Cut a small piece of the same wood, and treat it like inlay.
I would cut it just wide enough to cover the holes, but long enough to go from one fret slot to the next.
That way you are only trying to hide the seams that go with the grain.

Should be easy enough if you have a dremel with a base.
I need your help. I can't possibly make all the mistakes myself!
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Howell » Tue Aug 08, 2017 5:58 am

Bob Gramann wrote:You might replace two strips of the surface wood between the frets. A little dust and CA and the seams will be all but invisible.

I'm' thinking this way after sleeping on it. One patch of the same wood inlayed. Creating some obscure design.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Alan Carruth » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:15 am

Any time you try to patch the hardest thing to cover up is the cross grain cuts, so you try to avoid those. In this case, with the fret slots already there, you have natural terminations that are hidden, so the us of strips along the grain is certainly the way to go, even though it entails replacing more wood. If you have to you can use a little black dye to draw in a line either in the patch or in the frets above and below the repair to obscure it. Generally speaking this will disappear once it's done. The only way they'll pick it up is when they do the CAT scan for the book about the 'Great Guitars of the Early 21st Century', where the glue lines will show.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Steven Smith » Tue Aug 08, 2017 9:46 am

I've repaired two like this. On one I used plugs - I ended up replacing the fret board because it just didn't look right. The other one was a mandolin where I put a marker at the 9th instead of the 10th. In that case I routed out the wood between the 9th and 10th frets and using HHG I replaced it with wood from an offcut of the fret board. That one came out invisible. The binding does complicate things and I would probably try putting in two strips. Don't forget that the strings will help camouflage the repair to an extent too.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby David King » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:07 pm

I have a neck like this that had abalone bird inlays at the 13th. I drilled a hole in the end of the neck and tied a rough rope loop through it so i could wear it around my neck for a year. Not so pleasant with a sunburn but I've never made THAT mistake again.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Stephen Neal Saqui » Wed Aug 09, 2017 12:25 pm

You're not alone! In making a guitar for a friend I showed it to him...he burst out laughing and didn't mind the ebony plugs...oh but he does point it out to other friends!
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Bob Howell » Thu Aug 10, 2017 11:37 am

fretboardrepair.jpg
Here is my repair. I tried cherry but it stood out and looked like a mistake so I went with the same rose wood which blended fine. I cut a number of plugs with a plug cutter. Very tight fit so I sanded them with 120 sand paper, after beveling the edge with a carving knife.

I have arched the board per Cumpaino with the truss rod and radiused the board. I was not comfortable with a large inlay attempt.

I'm happy.
The repair is at the eleventh fret and now hard to see.

This one is #2 and goes to my niece and their 4 children ages 2-15, boys and a girl. They are taking piano and this is for them to experiment with.
No need for perfection.
Now I can start fretting.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Steven Smith » Thu Aug 10, 2017 8:27 pm

Nice job, it blended in quite nicely.
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Re: Spare holes in fretboard-how to cover

Postby Todd Stock » Sat Aug 12, 2017 7:17 am

In the future - where we all end up anyway - the repair recommended by Bob Gramann is the usual approach I've seen and used, and one of the reasons why we save offcuts from the fretboard stock. While few of us end up exercising some creativity in marker placement (yup...done it not once but three times, if side markers are counted), failed truss rod anchors on peghead-adjusted guitars are not uncommon, and the least disruptive option is to remove a section of the fretboard to replace. For a mis-drilled marker, the work is easier - there's no need to go much beyond what might be reasonably expected to be lost from future refrets...3/32" of new material is plenty. The repair is very straight-forward, with spacers used to keep the sawdust-tinted epoxy from filling the fret space (a gap-filling adhesive is a very good idea here).
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