This job was actually done a while back – before I did the bridge. But It was incomplete so I didn’t post it. Now that I am coming back to it I see my pictures are not compete. So bear with me on this.
Here I have pictured a fret bending jig. It was pretty simple to make. The hardware comprises of three 8mm nuts, bolts and washers, and four bearings attached to a piece of plywood on a 16″ radius with the two outer bearings equidistant from the center.
A close up of the jig. The tange of the wire rides in between two bearings in the center.
With the fret wire bent to the desired radius I cut it to length and hammer it into the cut slot.
Make sure your slots are deep enough. Sometimes the slot has to be cut a little deeper.
There were a couple where the ends of the fret wire didn’t hold down on the ends. The fix is some CA glue in the trouble area.
After the frets are in you have to file the ends at a 45 degree angle because they are sharp.
Then you have to level the frets (not pictured), and then crown them with a crowning file. You can see in the picture I have a fret rocker, which checks for high frets using three points when laid on the frets. Also not pictured is the polishing you have to do after the frets have been crowned. For that I used my Dremel tool with a polishing stone.
I found fretting the fretboard to be a little more difficult than anticipated. Not that it is a hard task but you have to develop a feel for it and that is something that comes after practice.