Trying hard to fret my first cbg. Reading all the material out there.. looks like tomorrow i will go the japanese saw route. Have a miter box. Now just figure out depth control. Thank god i am bald... my guitar is so close to completion i would pull out my hair if i had any over these fret slots

Views: 308


You need to be a member of Cigar Box Nation to add comments!

Join Cigar Box Nation

Comment by Bad Finger (Eric) on March 23, 2012 at 11:27am

I remember the first time I tried something else that had a lot of mystique.  I was all nervous and sweaty and couldn't imagine touching my girl that way.  What if I got it all sideways and broke something important?  What if she had a hard time moving the next morning?  Would she do everything I wanted her to do if I made a mistake?

That's right, it was a front wheel alignment on my Jeep Wrangler.  I had taken it in and paid the man $50 a couple times before to do it right and then thought I shouldn't be doing that anymore.  So I got out some chalk and my pipe wrench and did it better than the automatic laser jiggy thing in about 10 minutes.  And I pulled several muscles kicking myself in the arse for past expenditures.

I have my six year old daughter helping me fret and she does great.  The guys who promote all the this-n-that about fretting are probably trying to sell expensive tools and/or service.

Comment by Slowpaw Steve T on March 23, 2012 at 3:06am

Like anything it takes practice - experiment on an old piece of wodd the same size as your neck first, i  made up a fret gauge from cutting notches in a long plastic ruler. I don't use any expensive jigs or rigs, i always get perfect results. Obviously fret and finish the neck before adding the nut and attaching to the guitar body.

Pencil in the fret slots along the neck according to the fret gauge, then true them up with a metal set square and score the fret positions with a stanley knife using the set square. 

For medium fret wire cut the slots in using a junior hack saw with just a few strokes of the saw, check again with the set square and a few more strokes of the saw if required, then using a three-sided needle file dress up the slot.

The metal fret should be a sticky fit, and at first pushed down using fingers then a small nylon hammer tapped lightly. Wood glue can be used in the slot but very little, and wipe off the excess straight away.

Trim off the overhang of the metal frets with very strong snippers and file down the edges using a long file with the handle removed and further with a long block of wood wrapped in wet and dry paper, then dress the ftet ends off using a flat needle file.

I use a muslin cloth or duster to "test" up and down the neck for snags. Apply a couple of coats of lemon oil to a bare fetboard or a couple of coats of polyurethane gloss for a super smooth neck !  (-:


The Sheriff


Comment by the anonymous pick on March 22, 2012 at 2:38pm

coolaroo  ;-)

Comment by Tim on March 22, 2012 at 2:27pm

You were right man...  I just finished 19 frets.  it took me a few hours and a few of the slots were just a tad deep ( learning experience).  It turn out great, i'll post a picture later.  Going to make a jig I think

So, for my first cbg...  i will string it up later and see how it sounds.  I am excited!!

Comment by the anonymous pick on March 22, 2012 at 1:43pm

i think you  will  find its  not as hard as most  make it out to be .. and you will  kinda snicker later     and wonder what you were scared  of .  once  you do it  ;-)

good  luck ;-)

Comment by Suspect Device on March 22, 2012 at 11:14am

I'm still pretty new at this too, but I've found a couple things that helped me. First, I purchased a fret saw  (tho not the japanese style one) from StewMac. I built a simple fret cutting miter box out of scrap hardwood, and found some thick aluminum yardsticks with millimeters ($2.85 a pop at the hardware store) and cut/notched them with a hacksaw for fret scales The first ones I made were 25", 23", and 22" respectively.) They work really well for laying out and re-checking placement throughout each build. The biggest money saver, though, is that I decided to build my own fingerboards out of relatively inexpensive wood like maple, and oak. I just cut a few pieces to width and rip them to @ 1/4" thick. If I slip or do a mis-cut (which tends to happen to impatient newbies like me), it's not like I just ruined a perfect ebony fingerboard. It's just another cheap strip of oak.. I can always make another.

Comment by Tim on March 22, 2012 at 9:29am

Thanks Dan, i will do that now..

Comment by Dan Sleep on March 22, 2012 at 9:19am

Check out my beginner videos on my page here, it may help you with your fretting.

Comment by Tim on March 22, 2012 at 9:05am

I have given the bobby pins a lot of thought.  I bought the fret wire before I read the thread.  I want, or rather I think NEED to figure it out and accomplish it.  Kind of wierd, but it is something I have always wanted to do/learn.  I will use the bobby pin method for sure though.  It is truly a "wow, look what I used and it sounds great!"  and very easy to do.

I appreciate you sharing it with me/us... 

Comment by the anonymous pick on March 22, 2012 at 1:22am

heres a sound bite with  the bobbypin frets

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


Neck mortising jig

Started by Rough Cut Tom in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Rough Cut Tom on Wednesday. 2 Replies

Swedish Inventor Creates "Ondophone" Diddley Bow Instrument!

Started by Shane Speal in Feature Articles. Last reply by Paul Craig on Sunday. 3 Replies

Ukulele & piezo

Started by James Pobog in Building Secrets, Tips, Advice, Discussion. Last reply by Timothy Hunter Jan 11. 1 Reply

Fun with a 2x4 Bass - Build Your Own

Started by Shane Speal in Feature Articles. Last reply by James Pobog Jan 9. 30 Replies

Blog Posts

Dual lap steel

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



© 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("") 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 -->