I built my dulcimer almost 30 years ago at a fair that was part a museum project on the mountain dulcimer. I paid $20 for the kit and the project leader helped the people me included build our dulcimers.

our frets are actually baling wire (from old hay bales) that had been shaped into a staple, and at each point where the fret was he had drilled two holes so that we could insert the wire fret. This to me is a very cheep and practical way of creating frets. ;o) lol no gluing involved and they have held for 29 years now

when I asked about where the idea came from he told me it was from the area where he was doing his research for the museum, so he created a jig to make the holes. it is not a teriablly difficult process.
hae fun I hope this helps
Allan

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please forgive the photo as it is not totally clear , I am not a good photogrrapher
Allan
Bailing wire, " the original duct tape!" I also use it as welding rod!
I have used it for that also.. one way of making fret and they have held up well it took me a while to remember what was used
Allan

Vince Stark said:
Bailing wire, " the original duct tape!" I also use it as welding rod!
Cool. I was just thinking of something like this today, then I see this. Thanks for the information. If you want help with your photos, check my post in the forum or email me. Be glad to give you some tips.
Thanks for the offer I was being lazy and did not dig out the tripod I would have to take my telesope of it and I shake to much.. do you need better pictures?
Allan

Bluesheart said:
Cool. I was just thinking of something like this today, then I see this. Thanks for the information. If you want help with your photos, check my post in the forum or email me. Be glad to give you some tips.
Great tip! I tried it myself only I drilled one hole and only bent one end of the wire, the fret sits in a little groove I cut aligned with the centre of the hole and is held in place with a small amount of epoxy (3 dots) I found that if the fret bend is on the playing edge it works fine with only one end to file smooth and no worries about bending both ends in exactly the same place. . . I used coat-hanger wire. .
Thanks a great idea about a coat hanger never thought of that
Allan

Paul Thorley said:
Great tip! I tried it myself only I drilled one hole and only bent one end of the wire, the fret sits in a little groove I cut aligned with the centre of the hole and is held in place with a small amount of epoxy (3 dots) I found that if the fret bend is on the playing edge it works fine with only one end to file smooth and no worries about bending both ends in exactly the same place. . . I used coat-hanger wire. .
I used broom wire for frets on my Dulcimer, drilled holes, no glue...drilled the holes just a little short so I had to tap them in. Bent the wire with side cutters, cut it off on an angle so it was sharp, and left one side a bit longer than the other so it was easier to put in the holes.
Works great and looks authentic and the price is right! Think I got 11' or 12' of wire from one old broom. Cleaned it up a bit with some emory cloth.
Think I will use it again on the Dulcimer I'm working on now.
The only thing is the frets have to be set in maybe 1/8" rather than spanning the entire width of the fretboard, so take that into consideration when deciding how many strings you want and their spacing
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