I just realized that the fretboard that I built was straight, and the frets I bought were curved.

When installing them, I cut the slot a bit deeper than needed and hammered them in place (classy...), which does barely the trick.

Do you go for a fretboard with a radius + curved frets ? Or flat fretboard and frets ? Or a mix of both (then I missed something on the installation :-) )

I read that with curved frets, it's easier to bar chords for folk guitars, but I'm not sure with a cigar box guitar with 3 strings and a narrow neck it's required.


Thanks !


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Hi, Ben.  I saw your pics and the guitar looked pretty good.   It's usually best to start simple and work up.  You started kind of complicated with a scarfed neck and frets.   I have built a lot of cbgs and maybe 20 or more with frets.  I get frets from CB Gitty right here on this site.   I use medium/medium and they work well for me.  I think they are flat frets.  I think 95% of use flat frets.  

Gitty sells a DVD fretting instructional.  I have not actually watched it.  I cut my frets with a nipper and 'dress' the ends with a stationary belt sander.  Not proper, but it works for me.    And I put a piece of scarp wood over the frets and hammer them in.  

Someone with better skills than me probably has a how-to fret video on youtube.

Hi Ben 

,you are. Correct a radiused fingerboard aids fingering on a wide fingerboard. I think three stringers don't need it. Neck is not tapered wider at one end.

i always overradius my frets, or slight radius on flat boards. Assuming you slot is the correct width and grips the tang, as the radiused fret is tapped in it flattens out and the barbs in the tang move slightly left an right as well as down. This creates a better grip at the ends.


Hm ok I'll go first with simple flat fretboard and flat frets first. I purchased online a fret saw because it's too sloppy using my regular saw and some glue to compensate the wider slots.

Note for Uncle, I started without frets and had a lot of fun with the slide, but I was greedy and wanted to try out everything directly, I'm currently riding the beginner enthusiasm wave :-)

Haha, it's gonna be a long wave, I'm still learning after 50 years building and repairing. I think one has to be like a sponge soak up as much info as you can, you will need it one day. Glad to hear you got a proper fret saw. Back in the day I tried to modify 4 or 5 regular saws, but the best one is one made for the job.



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