Jazz Bass Refret – installing the frets

I press the frets in using  a special clamp from Stuart-Macdonald which accepts grooved radiused cauls to match the fretboard radius.  Although it is a bit tedious I press each fret 3 times starting with a caul one size down to seat the fret ends, then with one that matches the radius, and then one larger just to make sure the center seats completely.  In this case I am also using hot hide glue for a little extra holding strength.  It also makes the frets press in a little easier.

I start by applying the hot hide glue, and then press with my first caul.  Since the neck radius is 7.25″ I started with a 6″ caul.

After the first pressing the hide glue has cooled and gelled so I heat the fret with a soldering iron to liquify the glue again and proceed to the 7.25″ caul and the 9″ caul.