I recently built my first Uke and I like the result. However, I hadn't fretted a neck for ages and the frets didn't go in easily. If you look at the video of Farley tapping in frets on the Gitty Guys Show ....... mine was nothing like that. Big hammer, press the fret ends down in the vice, bigger hammer :-\
In order to get rid of buzzes, I had to file the frets quite bit to level them, which I think has affected playability, especially higher up the fingerboard. The neck is bolted in, so can be removed easily. My plan is:
1. Take the neck out.
2. Remove the nice shiny tuners.
3. Remove the nut (push fit).
4. Remove the frets and fit new ones.
Any hints on Step 4 would be very welcome. What's the best way of removing frets (the fingerboard is not bound) ? Should I sand the fingerboard down a bit and re-cut the slots ? What's the best way of holding a round-backed neck firm while you fret it ?
I'd add that I have fretted a few CBG necks previously, with quite good results. I think that the problems in this case may have been the rounded neck profile, the grain of the wood and, most of all, rusty skills.
For me, if I find a fret that sticks up too much, its because I wasn't watching closely and cut the fret slot too shallow and it won't seat all the way down to the shoulders.
Thanks, JL. I had a depth gauge on the saw that should have cut the slots to exctly the right depth. However, I did quite a bit of sanding afterwards so they may be too shallow. I guess cutting a bit too deep is less of a problem than a bit too shallow.
Well, to see what I was aiming for, I bought a second hand Uke off eBay - a Mahalo Tenor. The fret wire is tiny and it doesn't play too well higher up the fingerboard either. Maybe mine's not so bad. And maybe the problem is my playing and not the instruments :-)