Sharkfin Uke Build – Fitting the Frets (Take 2)

Time for another update on my Sharkfin Ukulele build. In my last post I was quite literally fretting over frets. I was tired and had foolishly rushed ahead with gay abandon. My head told me to take things slowly and make sure that I was getting things right. My heart told me to bang ’em in and thunder on. Unfortunately, my heart won out and things didn’t go according to plan. I’m sure there is a lesson to be learnt here somewhere.

When you know it’s wrong, but you do it anyway…
Photo courtesy of aintitcool

Thankfully, all is not lost…

In the interests of sharing the good and the bad with you… here is the
bad. I haven’t done too terrible a job of fitting the frets if you overlook the
fact that I’ve got them all at a godawful angle! They didn’t look right
and sure enough if I angled the fretboard so that they are straight, you
can see that the fretboard isn’t close to right. Damn, damn, damn!!!
On the bright side, that fret that kept falling out was fixed firm after I’d
glued it. I’d mentioned that I’d had lots of trouble getting the frets in.
A couple of them were starting to pop out. This was good to know as
I started mark 2 of the fretboard…


I cut a new blank and this time I marked the centre line and each fret with
pencil.  I didn’t want to leave anything to chance.


With the mark 1 fretboard, I did in fact forget to fit the fret markers. If you
can remember, I made exactly the same mistake with the Kingcaster build.
Here you can see that I’ve cut the slots for the frets and drilled the holes
for the fret markers. I only need three and that’s exactly how many
markers I had left over from the Kingcaster build. Beautiful!


If I was doing this properly, I should have glued, waited 24 hrs and
sanded the fret markers flush before fitting the frets. I’m too impatient for
that. You can see that I’m fitting the frets at the same time as gluing the
fret markers. It was just as hard to fit the frets as last time. This time
however, I took the unorthodox step of applying glue to the slots before
hammering the frets into place. My hope is that this will keep them firm.


All the frets are fitted in this picture. Everything needs triming and
tidying up, but I’m not going to contemplate that until the glue is dry
and I’m certain that things are going to stay where it should. I’m seriously
considering gluing the fretboard to the neck before I do any tidy-up.
My thinking is that it may be easier to do it this way. I’ll sleep on it
before I make a call.


And finally… I sandwiched the fretboard between two bits of wood
and clamped as tight as I could. Just got to wait for it to dry and then
I can figure out what to do next.

Have I done it right this time? Has disaster been averted? Stayed tuned for the next thrilling episode where I shall reveal all…

One thought on “Sharkfin Uke Build – Fitting the Frets (Take 2)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *