OK so I got real tired of this fret thing... can't do them and don't have the time so I wanted something I could do in 1 hour. The tops are ruff and maybe there are some others out there but here it is..

Located in the Heavy Electric Isle at Home Depot Nuf Said!

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I've heard of bicycle spokes for frets.

Maybe welding rod, too?

I like the idea of glued-down ones until I am comfortable slotting in the right place & hammering fret wire.

Filed flat on one side...I guess you can move them to check intonation if you want too be sure you trust your chart...
Wow! that is friggin' awesome!!!! I love the concept and plan on giving it a whirl on a future build - I too am so over this fretting thing and how time consuming it is...... Congrats!
Just an addendum.

Those staples (Home Depot's GSE-15410s) are really stout staples and must be stainless steel. They are tough to cut. What do you guys use to cut them? My wire cutters and personal strength fail me here.

So, I decided on finishing nails which I could cut with my wire cutters (still a good workout). However, when I went to super glue them in, I gave up after 8 frets on my diatonic scale. What a mess it is working with super glue. Now I know why some people call it crazy glue - it gets all over everything and everything gets stuck everywhere. It drives me crazy! And now I know not to bother finishing (staining and varnishing) until after the frets are installed. Oh, well. It was just a prototype anyway (seems that's all I build).

The best luck fretting I have had is with bailing wire and drilling holes on either side of the fret slot about 1/8th of an inch from the edges of the neck. I think I'll try to build a jig for bending and cutting the bailing wire into staples. Has anyone a plan for a jig? I was looking for square tubing at Home depot, but they didn't have much choice, and nothing in the size range I was looking for.

Also, at Home Depot I found 1.25" wide flat topped staples that are thinner than those GSE-15410 staples discussed above, but they (Home Depot) want you to buy them by the ton ($45 to $50 price range as I recall), enough staples for probably everyone on CBN to build a couple of guitars with. However, they look a lot easier to work with - even easier than bailing wire. The frets produced using these staples would probably be classified as "small" as compared to bailing wire frets (medium), and the GSE-15410s (large).


Rand Moore said:
Okay, today I got some of these GSE-15410 staples from the Home Depot in Pleasanton, CA. They were in the Electrical Department (about half-way down Isle 5). In their fasteners section they also had a thinner staple that was 1.25" wide (an 8th of an inch wider), but you had to buy a "million" of them in a box for almost 50 US dollars (several life time supplies for you average CBG builder). Forget that! I bought four packs of the "GSE-15410s", and I really like the thicker "rough top" look of these staples a lot more. Will use them on my next project, which will be my first 3-stringer round cookie tin "banjo-canjo". I working on the neck/headstock now, trying to figure how to best position the tuners. After that is done, I'll begin fretting. It'll have a 24" scale. Actually, I'll also be staining and "varnishing" the head/neck, so that will come before adding the frets. Will let you know how the fret work goes...
I also checked out Lowe's in Dublin, CA. Like Home Depot, they have lots of interesting stuff, but I couldn't find any large (1" wide or better) flat topped staples. They just had up to 9/16" wide flat top staples. I was thinking though, if you are building a stick dulcimer to play using the middle and bass strings as a drone, you could get by with the smaller width staples and just fret where the melody string(s) is (are). The drone strings are never really fretted unless you are playing chords, so not fretting the middle and bass strings is a viable option for "drone" players. On one of my three string builds in the near future I hope to add a fourth string so I can have dual melody strings for a hopefully louder melody with greater sustain as compared to the drone strings so the drone won't continue to drown out my melodies. Lowe's did have some nice red oak and poplar boards for making necks and heads, but I still practicing my wood working skills so I'm sticking to my softwood pine for my next build or two (to use my supply up as well). My last trip of the day (today) was over to Gryphon Stringed Instruments in Palo Alto, CA. They have a great collection of stringed instruments, but no stick dulcimers or cigar box guitars. But a great collection of banjos, ukuleles and even three mountain dulcimers. I spent some time picking out tunes on the ukuleles and the mountain dulcimers. The mountain dulcimers sounded great. I bought a bunch of individual geared machine tuners, enough for 4 builds. That should keep me real busy for the rest of my summer vacation here in the States. I would like to spend a few hours everyday checking out places like Gryphon. I wonder if they need any volunteers.


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