Excuse the bad pun, but putting the frets into the fretboard is a bit of a boring repetitive task. I was in the mood today so figured I had better get it done.
So here is the empty fretboard and a piece of fret wire, one of many that I had bent previously on my luthier friend George Thomas's fret bender. Pre-bent fret wire is a necessity if you are going to radius the fretboard.
And here we are all ready to start putting them in. Each one cut to approximately the width of a slot. This fretboard will have a Zero fret, the large one at the bottom of the picture.
I will drill a tiny hole at the first and the fifteenth fret just large enough for a brad to hold the fretboard perfectly in place when it is glued to the neck. These two frets will be put into place after the fret board is glued down.
Now a tiny bit of glue is spread onto the tang of the fret
And the fret is gently tapped into place
Then it is firmly pressed into its slot with the arbor press and the curved press blade that perfectly matches the radius curve of the fret board. Note the glue squeezed out in the pressing. That is wiped up with a damp cloth.
That process is repeated 38 times until the result is seen above. The empty slots will be filled after the fret boards are installed on the necks. Now to trim the ends and round them so they are smooth to the fingers.