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Author Topic: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.  (Read 59 times)

Offline billy

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A while back, I offered to try to repair the lifted fretboard on this beautiful Mojo for JB:

http://forums.parkerguitars.com/index.php/topic,15889.msg141419.html#msg141419

He sent it, and I've been swamped with other responsibilities in the meantime, but I finally had a weekend day with nice enough weather to work outside.

I also have a flame top mojo shell in trans black that had a fretboard replaced, but they didn't clamp it correctly and 5-6 frets were higher enough than the ones around them to make it unplayable.  At the least, seeing the issue gave me some insight on how to clamp a replacement fretboard.  More on this guitar later.

Back to JB's fall mojo-

I was hoping there would be a way I could remove the repair glues without removing the fretboard, then apply some of the factory glue and reclamp to flat(ter).  But, the amount and types of repair glue(s) without clamping made this approach unworkable. 

Fortunately, JB had a spare factory fretboard with the frets on it, trimmed to shape, so no worries about ruining the old one trying to remove it.

I thought about various approaches and finally settled on buying a heat gun - ($12 harbor freight!).  It worked great, though I was a little worried at first about how much heat might be needed.  I used a box cutter to score the edge of the fretboard and reduce further damage to the paint.

I'm now convinced that lifting fretboards are for any or all of three reasons- bad glue application, poor surface prep, and/or extended exposure to high temperatures.









You can see where glue was added underneath the lifted parts of the fretboard- its all bubbly and a different color.  There's a few spots with superglue on top of that.  It also seems like they used epoxy to repair missing frets too. 

My kids used my sandpaper pile to sharpen colored pencils, so I need to get some fresh stuff soon and clean up the surfaces.  Then I can glue on the new fretboard, do some spot touch up on the paint, and get it back to JB.  (Maybe.  Heh heh heh... my pretty)  There's a few other things going on with the posts- too wide apart so the bridge moves side to side on the bearings, and slightly leaning posts but first things first.

If there are other lifted fretboards, replacement seems straightforward enough, but the lack of new fretboards makes replacement a problem.  I have some other ideas for drilling small holes and injecting glue where its needed but the trick is clamping flat.  This approach should hold the fretboard down but flatness may not be good enough without also leveling the frets.  The "access" ports should be easy to fill and touch up with no damage to the fiber shell.

Back to my flame top mojo shell- I wasn't sure if a leveling job would be a great idea given stainless frets, two were very high, but I saw big swifty's fret leveling post and gave it a shot.  It worked great!  Went easier than I thought but def not for the faint of heart or rank beginners.   

I need to crown a few of the previously high frets- they're kind of flat topped atm, and polish them all up.  Then touch up the black paint, level it out and clear coat it.



It's a great sounding guitar so far!  Now it plays great too.

Lots of great stuff for a Saturday afternoon- hope to have one or two more weekends this summer to move my parker projects to completion.

Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]

Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.

Offline vjmanzo

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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2018, 04:46:26 PM »
Awesome!! Very cool project and a great job!
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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.

Offline jb63

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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.
« Reply #2 on: August 12, 2018, 04:50:59 PM »
Wow!
That is coming up to rival your other post about replacing an entire bridge with a wooden patch!

Be sure to check that fretboard you removed and the frets. I am 90% sure that the previous owner didn't # the frets so that at least 2 of the higher ones are in the wrong place. Up through the 9th fret are for sure correct, though. I think the idea is to write the # right on the frets when they come off, and/or individually place them in a #'d bag or something. I think I found that last fretboard for about $50 back before the factory closed. The unused fretboards are pretty cheap and if you are serous about it, I would think about buying 3-pack or something.

That flame-top mojo looks pretty nice and ready now! Is that a satin finish on that now?

Anyway, excellent work!

Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.

Offline Big Swifty

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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.
« Reply #3 on: August 12, 2018, 09:29:17 PM »
Great work Billy!

As per always.. love it!

Removing the old glue... keeping the radius consistent so the new fingerboard goes on right is going to be the challenge.. i presume it's not flat?.

How you going to clamp it up?

Love all the info in this forum..Gotta keep them Fly's running and Mojo's on!

B.S.
« Last Edit: August 12, 2018, 11:37:01 PM by Big Swifty »
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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.

Offline billy

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Re: Fall Mojo- Lifted fretboard - no guts, no glory. No frets either.
« Reply #4 on: August 14, 2018, 12:12:38 PM »
High praise, thanks much gents!

I’ll try to get all the questions...

The old frets- definitely some were switched.  The heights would have been the same, but they were epoxied on vs superglue. So they ended up higher. The lengths were def off on a few, so out of order.  I’m guessing probably 8-10 between frets 2 and 11 had been glued back on. Most quickly fell off under heat, making the dubious order impossible to preserve, but the ones with original glue stayed on very well. I think I have all of them saved but I didn’t count them.

The old fretboard is in one piece but is wrinkled in a few places and lost the conic section it originally had.  I had visions of peeling it up in small chunks but the use of heat made it a non-issue. 

The wood under the fretboard is conic to match the fretboard.  Btw Seeing the new fretboard made me realize that the precision fixture I saw and referred to in JB’s original post was for gluing frets onto the fretboard, not for gluing the fretboard to the neck. (I only saw the half of the tool with the fret side.)

As for clamping, the key in my mind is to maintain flatness and even pressure along the conic sections while clamping. I bought some relatively thick right angle extrusions (which I cut to the length of the fretboard) and a bunch of light duty spring clamps to use on either side of the fretboard and neck.  The epoxy can be mixed to various viscosities and you can add fibers to adjust gap filling tendencies.  Managing squeeze out might be a challenge but masking tape will go a long way.

Combined with the extrusions and multiple light duty clamps, this should avoid the over compression and/or distortion that leads to the high/low frets I saw on my flame mojo.

Once I get the old epoxy sanded off, I can do a few dry runs and adjust as necessary. 

For my mojo, the finish looks matt because it had been sanded all over to about 1500 grit in prep for paint. I’m guessing this is the moment when they noticed the fret issues and abandoned further work. The edges of the neck have the paint removed when they blended the new fretboard edge.

JB’s new fretboard lines up pretty well so it will need very little of this kind of work. Rain for the next 5 days here, so hopefully this weekend I’ll get a chance to resume work on it.

I might pick up some of those fretboards but there’s a lot more labor involved with attaching frets one at a time without a fixture. That said, I have a few ideas on how to make a relatively cheap fixture to glue them on at once with relatively decent consistency.

I’d love to buy the Parker brand if I had the $$!
Billy

[always the beautiful answer who asks a more beautiful question.  e. e. cummings]