I find it's easier to precut to length and shape ends of frets before putting them in the slots. I have also been using a hacksaw to cut the slots. I use a piece of square 1 1/2inch steel tube which I clamp on top of the frets. This ensures that all the frets are level on the flat surface of the fret board. Then I put a drop of super glue on end of each fret. This works for me.

Views: 119

Replies to This Discussion

So using the hacksaw, you are basically dropping the finished frets into place rather than hammering them I assume? Curious what type of blade you use.

The fret tongue measure 0.6mm in thickness with the Barb's it goes to 1.1mm. The thickness hacksaw blade on a standard hacksaw is 0.9mm. The frets will grip when using this blade. But I also use a drop of super glue on ends. I also have a mini hacksaw which has a blade thickness of 0.7mm this is a tight fit. This is fiddley to use but works well.

This is what I use


If you use a fretting saw, you won’t need glue? I know this works for you, but I don’t recommend using a blade with potential to warp for cutting fret slots, fretting saws have more rigidity than hacksaw blades do & make tighter cuts, but to each his own? 

I'd suggest an economy grade fret saw, with the proper blade thickness, would be one of those things you wish you had gotten far sooner once you use it.

It is also very simple to create a basic miter box that both guides your cut, and controls the depth of cut.

All that said, you may find it necessary to use glue in softer woods. 

And pre-cutting is doable as you have discovered. But with a good sharp set of wire cutters and a good quality file, I can trim and bevel a set of freshly installed frets in about ten minutes. Its the optional detailing from there that takes time!

This guy likes his glue.

Hi Gus, I think what he says makes a lot of sense. I have been gluing my frets in since around the late 1970's. Some Customers actually comment on how much better their guitars sound after a refret, so l keep ding it.

I use Titebond and run a bead of glue along the bottom of the fret tang, otherwise the same as in the video. I do refrets and new fret installations the same.


Hi Neddy, Brian Q and Mark B offer good advice there. I have been through the finding the correct saw dilemma, many, many years ago, and have many, many saws to show for it. Even filing the set of the teeth down to get a good fit. Its hard to beat the saw made for the job. You can use it for other tasks but I keep mine for just fretting only.

You need a stable saw as Brian mentions, and a "back saw" gives you that. Shown in the photo is what I mean. If you feel happy using the hacksaw blade you could make it into a back saw, as also shown in the photo. But does not give much room for slot depth control devise.

A good fit is essential. Fingerboards are not normally protected from the elements with lacquer or varnish so are susceptible to movement, this can cause frets to come lose. I would imagine that loose fitting frets can  allow a neck/fingerboard to bow up more easily under string tension, the same as too tight fitting frets can bow a neck back as they are tapped in.



The Essential Pages

New to Cigar Box Nation? How to Play Cigar Box GuitarsFree Plans & How to Build Cigar Box GuitarsCigar Box Guitar Building BasicsCigar Box Guitar Parts Store

Site Sponsor

Recommended Links & Resources

Discussion Forum

Questions about CBG details...

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by James Pobog Dec 13, 2019. 8 Replies

Magnetic Pickups - What's good

Started by Jim Codog. Last reply by Jim Codog Dec 12, 2019. 7 Replies

Yardstick Fretboards

Started by Jim Codog. Last reply by Jim Codog Dec 11, 2019. 6 Replies

General wiring question

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by James Pobog Dec 9, 2019. 5 Replies

Soldering/grounding plan

Started by T-Gripped. Last reply by Gus K Dec 7, 2019. 7 Replies

I'm gonna need help...

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by MadGomer Dec 6, 2019. 4 Replies

Building my first CBG....

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by James Pobog Dec 4, 2019. 6 Replies

About neck thru....

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by John Mark Perchalski Dec 4, 2019. 1 Reply

Fitting Frets

Started by neddy. Last reply by Taffy Evans Nov 27, 2019. 8 Replies

Joinery suggestions for hand-made boxes

Started by Chris Wharton. Last reply by MadGomer Nov 23, 2019. 43 Replies


Started by Jim Codog. Last reply by Jim Codog Nov 20, 2019. 5 Replies

Connecting a guitar jack?

Started by rick schoen. Last reply by David Clewell Nov 17, 2019. 5 Replies

Fretting for beginners

Started by Michael Myers. Last reply by MadGomer Nov 14, 2019. 3 Replies

Adjusting the action on a cbg 3 string.

Started by rick schoen. Last reply by Tim Pannabecker Nov 11, 2019. 8 Replies

Tuner and nut question.

Started by Bill. Last reply by Gus K Nov 6, 2019. 12 Replies

Help with first tuning procedure.

Started by James Pobog. Last reply by Mark Bliss Nov 6, 2019. 3 Replies

Too far gone??

Started by T-Gripped. Last reply by Mark Bliss Nov 6, 2019. 7 Replies

Pickup query

Started by Arthur Payne. Last reply by Arthur Payne Nov 6, 2019. 11 Replies

Newbie question about marking frets.

Started by Bill. Last reply by BrianQ. Nov 5, 2019. 9 Replies

Blog Posts

Neck bowing

Posted by Mike Kinzie on January 24, 2020 at 5:38pm 1 Comment

Dual lap steel

Posted by Ron Lutz on January 9, 2020 at 2:42pm 4 Comments

My 3 Gitty Kits

Posted by Poorness Studios on January 8, 2020 at 9:20am 2 Comments

My CBG details

Posted by Paul scofield on January 1, 2020 at 9:22am 2 Comments

Latest Activity

Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson commented on Derek Rose's video

Blues & Whiskey

"Super song Derek, & usual velvet voice always a pleasure. I had watched your 6 string version…"
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson commented on Dave Lynas's video

The Barn Dance

"Chickin' lickin' good! This format suits you :D"
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked Dave Lynas's video
1 hour ago
Gary O'slide posted videos
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked AGP #'s photo
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked AGP #'s photo
1 hour ago
Dennis "Denbo" Goodinson liked AGP #'s photo
1 hour ago
Derek Rose posted a video

Blues & Whiskey - on cigar box guitar

Original song on cigar box guitar and a home made amp. Thanks for listening!
3 hours ago
Derek Rose commented on 3 String Guitars's video

⚡️Electro-Cigar Box Resonator⚡️Guitar - Old Time Slide Botteneck Blues

"Love the hue of blue. Nice bass to complement the ringy slide."
3 hours ago
Derek Rose liked 3 String Guitars's video
3 hours ago
Derek Rose commented on Gary O'slide's video

Gary O'slide Nature

"Nice warm tone and tremolo. Very pretty playing."
3 hours ago
Derek Rose liked Gary O'slide's video
3 hours ago



© 2020   Created by Ben "C. B. Gitty" Baker.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service

\uastyle>\ud/** Scrollup **/\ud.scrollup {\ud background: url("https://storage.ning.com/topology/rest/1.0/file/get/963882636?profile=original") no-repeat scroll 0 0 transparent;\ud bottom: 25px;\ud display: inline !important;\ud height: 40px;\ud opacity: 0.3 !important;\ud position: fixed;\ud right: 30px;\ud text-indent: -9999px;\ud width: 40px;\ud z-index: 999;\ud}\ud.scrollup:hover {\ud opacity:0.99!important;\ud}\ud \uascript type="text/javascript">\ud x$(document).ready(function(){\ud x$(window).scroll(function(){\ud if (x$(this).scrollTop() > 100) {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeIn();\ud } else {\ud x$('.scrollup').fadeOut();\ud }\ud });\ud x$('.scrollup').click(function(){\ud x$("html, body").animate({ scrollTop: 0 }, 600);\ud return false;\ud });\ud });\ud \ua!-- End Scroll Up -->