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How to Fix a Banjo Fretboard

    • 1). Heat up the frets with a soldering iron. Doing so will soften the glue used to secure the frets. Grip the frets with a pair of flush cutting end nips and rock them back and forth until they come loose.

    • 2). Place a stiff rubber squeegee over a piece of 220-grit sandpaper. Lightly sand the surface of the fretboard until the surface is smooth.

    • 3). Sand the surface of the fretboard with .0000 steel wool. Use compressed air to remove sanding dust from between the fret slots and the surface of the fretboard.

    • 4). Block the fret slots with pieces of plastic that are approximately the same width and length as the slots. Fill any chips found on the fretboard with ebony or rosewood dust, depending on the type of fretboard used. Add a small amount of cyanoacrylate glue over the dust and allow it to dry.

    • 5). Remove the plastic pieces from the fretboard slot. Sand the fretboard down to a level and smooth surface with 220-grit sandpaper.

    • 6). Trim the size of the fret tang with the fret tang nipper until it fits into the slot on the fret board. Place a block of wood over the fret and drive it into place with a hammer.

    • 7). Coat the fretboard and the back of the banjo neck with a small amount of paste wax. Apply a small amount of cyanoacrylate glue around the frets and let it dry overnight. Remove excess glue with a wide chisel and razor blades, and then clean the surface with .0000 steel wool.

    • 8). Trim and sand the ends of the frets with flush cutting end nips and a file. Switch to 220-grit, and then 400-grit sandpaper once the frets are filed down to the fretboard binding. Clean the surface with .0000 steel wool.

    • 9). Run the file lightly along the tops of the frets to make them level. Finish up with 220-grit and 400-grit sandpaper. Clean the surface with .0000 steel wool. Apply several drops of lemon oil onto a soft cloth and rub the fretboard down.


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