I have a cheap Fender Mandolin with a warped neck. It has a high point aroungd the 12th fret. I took it to local repair people, and both people said that it would cost around $200 to remove the fretboard, level the neck, and refret it. The mandolin isn't even worth that much, and I'll be buying a new, better quality instrument. What I want to do is attempt to fix it myself, as a learning project. I've seen where hide glue can be heated and softened, but I'm not sure the Fender FM-100 was made with hide glue. Does anyone have experience with cheaper instruments such as this? Any advice on this topic would be appreciated.

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I emailed Fender, and they said the fret board is glued on with white glue. They recommended I remove the frets, and level the fretboard, then re-fret.

That sounds right. Check your new fret slot depths before installation.

 This is a post just to make sure you realize, Thomas, that you usually don't have to remove the fret board to pull the fret wire and level the board. OK?  

Yes. I was addressing leveling the fingerboard and a refret idea.

Sorry, Thomas JAMES. I guess my telepathy isn't working today.  I didn't even realize that you both had the same first name. I was actually addressing Thomas McGuigan. It never thought for a moment that you might not know what I brought up. I try to be more cautious in the future.

I didn't notice that either Ned. No biggie. I am all for clarity :) 

Thanks everyone for your replies! I went through the steps of re-fretting a Gibson over at, and will use that as a guide. I need to buy a new Mandolin before I attempt this though. I can at least play a little with this one, and I want to make sure I have something to play before I "experiment". I also need to buy some tools to prepare.

also if you're shooting for low action...consider exaggerated lowering of the upper end frets past per Chris Thile concerning L/A....just a suggestion... 

Thank you, I will look into that!

*(disclaimer) I haven't done this, this way ....however I've heard of it being done with success. if you don't have a heat press and old clothes iron is the right length for a mandolin neck. Shim at the nut and body joint (popsicle thickness or 2) use a clamp in the middle,slightly exaggerate the straightness  when the back of the neck is warm then turn it off (it's ok to be cautious with the heat setting) . Leave it clamped like that overnight.  

*I have successfully straightened many necks using a conventional heat press with this method. I've used a clothes iron for other repairs but not as a heat press.  

I have done as John suggests, and it can work. The problem with 'heat pressing' necks is that the neck'remembers' were it was and REALLY wants to go back there. There has only been (I think ) once, that I have had to do it a single time on a axe. All the other times, it has taken multiple treatments, sometimes as many as 5 or 7 times.


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