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fret tention vs string tention   You are logged in as Guest
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mango

Posts: 13
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

fret tention vs string tention 

Hello everybody!
I know some people like to have a slightly bowed fretboard (concave), but for my personal taste it needs to be as flat as possible. I try to reach that goal during the construction process of my first build and want to discuss some aspects with you.
Some Luthiers say that the fretboard should be slightly bowed before fretting to compensate the tention that the frets add to the neck, otherwise resulting in a negative (convex) bow. But on the other hand there is the string tention which will pull the neck to the opposite direction later on. Do you think the fret tention is stronger than the string tention? Or could it compensate each other? Maybe better glue in the frets rather than make the slots too small? Using wider slots could reduce the tention right?
I am asking you because many old guitars I own have bowed necks after some years of string tention and so it seems strange to me to add the same kind of bow right from the beginning. I have an old 1987 yairi blanca which has a fretboard that is absolutely flat after over thirty years, so it must be possible ;-)

looking foreward to your opinions...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 9 2019 13:25:04
 
mango

Posts: 13
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

So do you curve your fretboards before fretting?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2019 14:40:56
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1423
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

My question as a player would be; is the yairi 3mm (3,2mm, nobody is perfect :-)) at the 12th fret 6th string with no buzzing?

If not, do not take this guitar as a refering point.

_____________________________

  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2019 21:27:12
 
mango

Posts: 13
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to gerundino63

The original setup was much higher, but I put it to E-3mm and e-2.75mm and it works well...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2019 21:37:35
 
gerundino63

Posts: 1423
Joined: Jul. 11 2003
From: The Netherlands

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

Ok! Than It is ok I think. I cannot see any disadvance. The hight of the bridge is not to high either?
Also it is good playable with a capo on fret 4 for example?

In theory the intonation should be better...but remember, I am not a builder.

If not, maybe the builders know any disadvance....

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 10 2019 21:49:33
 
JasonM

Posts: 911
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

I grappled with this too recently. I opted to go for a flat board with no relief. I Filed away a some of the barbs on the fret wire to try and minimize the compression factor as much as possible. but not all of the barb. Then I wicked in CA glue. Other factors are moisture from the type of glue used on the fretboard. Some use epoxy here . I used fish glue and I did have to do a little re leveling after I let it sit for a few days. Another is neck reinforcement.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 11 2019 5:24:00
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1341
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

If you are using the correct saw to cut the slots for your frets, installing the frets should not cause any back bow of the fingerboard.

The way to avoid having the string tension cause concave bow is to reinforce the neck with pultruded carbon fiber bars.

Why do some people want a fingerboard that is perfectly flat, with no relief? Do they like buzzing or do they like high action? Several of us have had a potential customer ask for a perfectly straight fingerboard with low action and no buzzing, and that is physically impossible.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 20 2019 2:40:06
 
JasonM

Posts: 911
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to constructordeguitarras

Ethan, I went with a flat fingerboard because I don’t think I have the experience yet to level the frets and keep the relief plane without just bulldozing it all flat again. I also read that without neck reinforcement the tension of the strings might give the needed relief
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 26 2019 17:47:22
 
David LaPlante

 

Posts: 26
Joined: Mar. 7 2016
 

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

I try to keep the neck as straight as possible during the fretting process. My fret slots are at .023" and I use .0185" wire so just the bead engages the slot. I carve the neck AFTER fretting which keeps things much more stable. String tension brings up the correct relief.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jun. 28 2019 16:18:58
 
mango

Posts: 13
Joined: Apr. 2 2019
 

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

Thank you for your opinions!
@Ethan... well it just feels good to me and I don´t have any problems with buzzing with this kind of setup. Maybe it´s not totally flat but perhaps like a very very very little relief ;-) . Much less than like many high end guitars I tried. When you hold down the first and the last fret at the same time, the string is not touching the middle frets but it is very very close...
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2019 10:51:07
 
Tom Blackshear

 

Posts: 1839
Joined: Apr. 15 2008
 

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

quote:

Maybe it´s not totally flat but perhaps like a very very very little relief ;-) . Much less than like many high end guitars I tried. When you hold down the first and the last fret at the same time, the string is not touching the middle frets but it is very very close...


Maybe "the board is not flat," is right , since it takes very little concave curve to eliminate buzz. Also, there are myriad top patterns out there that have engineered stiffness in certain designs for eliminating buzz.

The trick is for the master builder to work these issues out with his particular design.

Any builder can build a top so stiff that nothing moves adversely, but at what cost to the sound.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2019 18:48:59
 
constructordeguitarras

Posts: 1341
Joined: Jan. 29 2012
From: Seattle, Washington, USA

RE: fret tention vs string tention (in reply to mango

quote:

Maybe it´s not totally flat but perhaps like a very very very little relief ;-) .


After experimenting with many levels of relief, that is what I too have found to work the best, just a tiny bit of relief.

_____________________________

Ethan Deutsch
www.edluthier.com
www.facebook.com/ethandeutschguitars
www.youtube.com/marioamayaflamenco
I always have flamenco guitars available for sale.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jul. 4 2019 21:55:07
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