I have a friend who wants me to build them a custom CBG, he has provided a nice black and gold COHIBA box and we have decided to go with gold accents on the bridge, tuners and knobs. If possible we would also like to do the frets in gold.

CBGitty has gold fret wire in small lots that seems perfect, but it's pre-bent to a 9" radius. I don't have the tools or the patience to radius the fretboard to match that, now I am wondering if the wire will conform or if I should look at other sources.

If you've tried this and succeeded or failed, please drop a line here and pass the knowledge on.


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  • i,ve used curved wire 3 times 1 on a radius board 2 on flats,have had no problems,it actally grabbed hold better on the flat ones if that makes sence

  • I always use fretwire off the coil as I buy it in bulk direct from the manufacturer in the Netherlands, so it's naturally precurved.  In fact it's an advantage for installing it, because you are far less likely to get problems with the ends of the frets lifting. As long as the fret slot is good and narrow, its fine, just seat the fret ends first then gently tap or press in the centre of the fret. I've seen people who make flat fretboard instruments such as classical guitar  actually say that they pre-bend straight fretwire in order to keep the fret ends down.

    As long as the slots are cut right it will be fine and you won't need to glue the wire in either. I'm not sure what the composition of that gold wire is, but I use regular hard nickel silver and don't have any issues with curved wire on a flat fretboard.

  • You can beat the radiused fret wire flat, but you may end up with variably high spots, and then have to do a lot of fret recrowning. Better to buy flat for a flat fretboard, or alternatively, learn how to radius a fretboard using sanding blocks and a handmade radiusing tool ( there are vids out there showing how). Gitty sells the gold Jescar Narrow / low EVO flat fret wire in 4 ft total length.
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