Does anyone have any advice on preventing or even minimizing fret sprout? I've made 4 guitars so far, and all developed fret spout to varying degrees. My most recent build almost immediately!
This last one and the one I am working on are gifts, so I'd hate to give them away, only to have them develop it later.
Currently, I put two coats of stain on my necks and fretboards.
All I can really think of is just holding onto the wood for some time before building, to let them fully dry out.
Maybe a few pics would illustrate the problem? Lots of reasons, cuts not deep enough, cuts too wide, frets not properly seated? Lots of people go without glue on the initial fretting, but gluing them in will keep them put & give more sustain. Plus if you ever have to do a refret, you’ll have to glue them in anyway, so why not from the start? Good luck on the rest of your builds :)
Hi Dave, I would say Brian's spot on with his suggestions, but 'll ad a couple of my observations.
Too narrow a fret slot often leads to having to hit the fret wire too hard, so either putting flat spots on the crown or causing the wire to bend out of the slot.
Too soft a fret board material. The wood fibres are not dense enough to grip the tang
Here's a tip.... Put a radius on the fret wire before tapping the fret in-
tap the ends first and as you tap the high point, the middle of the fret, it pushes the ends outwards slightly and embeds the barbs into the grain fibres better.
I always, with full size necks run a bead of glue along the tang. If the frets are difficult to get along with tap it home a and after every 5 frets place a caul on top of the frets and clamp until glue sets. And then move on.
If you mean traditional fret sprout ,( like the frets stick out the side as if they are too long now due to wood shrinkage ), Then humidification is the key . Indeed try the dryout first , if the new wood is not the issue (as you suggested) , some folks add humidipaks in a guitar case with it , or store them in a room where you can keep a small humidifier on now and then . not sure what the desirable numbers are .. but you can get humidity readers at wallmart and hardware stores etc I believe . Even cigar shops may have a room reader . check the desired numbers for where you live .
Hi again, I have never heard the term "fret sprout", and thought you were referring to badly seated frets. Your comment, "happens almost immediately" threw me.
Fingerboard/neck shrinkage usually happens over some time and/or if the instrument is transferred to a different climate. To happen immediately is unusual, to me. You say you stain the fingerboard and neck, do you apply any sort of lacquer to limit the taking on and releasing of moisture from the timber.
Acoustic guitars are ideally built in a workshop environment of 50% humidity. This allows for the guitar to acustomise to any new surroundings with its out damage.
Not so important in a CBG. Well the good thing is if it happens almost immediately you got time to correct the problem befor delivery.
I have had the same issue that developed over time. Like Pic said it was due to low humidity during the heating season here in Ohio. Even after carefully filing the ends flush and finishing the neck with coats of Tung oil. What I do now on all my builds is cut the frets a little short / narrower than the fingerboard and then center the fret on the width so there is a small gap ~1/32 -ish on each end of the fret. Now no sprout ever.
I really like this idea. Does it make it any harder to dress the fret ends? This is by far the area I struggle with most.
Thanks, everyone! Sorry that it's been a minute before I could get back to you. Work keeps getting in my way!