PDA

View Full Version : Adding Wire Frets?



Paul December
09-11-2011, 08:58 AM
About a year ago I got a Lute-Kulele (Lute strung like a Uke) and the instrument has traditional tied nylon frets. They were OK at first, but now I think I'd play the instrument more if it had standard wire frets.
Would it be an difficult and/or expensive thing to do to have 8 wire frets added?

Rick Turner
09-11-2011, 09:37 AM
Shouldn't be a big deal for someone who knows how to do it.

Michael N.
09-11-2011, 01:09 PM
Not difficult but it may be wise to cut the slots wide and glue them in. At least that way there is very little chance of introducing a back bow.
Cost is a difficult one. A Guitar refret runs at around 100 + UK. It shouldn't be as much as that but it might not be far off.
The other alternative is to glue on wooden Ebony frets, which is what I intend to use for my renaissance Uke. The Ebony frets will be fine with plain strings but will wear relatively fast with wound. Having said that they are easy to replace.

joejeweler
09-11-2011, 03:09 PM
Not difficult but it may be wise to cut the slots wide and glue them in. At least that way there is very little chance of introducing a back bow.
Cost is a difficult one. A Guitar refret runs at around 100 + UK. It shouldn't be as much as that but it might not be far off.
The other alternative is to glue on wooden Ebony frets, which is what I intend to use for my renaissance Uke. The Ebony frets will be fine with plain strings but will wear relatively fast with wound. Having said that they are easy to replace.

Hadn't ever thought of that,......but that sounds like a cool idea on a fun project. Might get around to trying that someday, as a confirmed ebony lover.

.....ebony nut, saddle, tuner knobs,.......and now frets! Nice! :D

The ebony binding stock that stewmac.com sells could be easily split into at least 2 (possibly 3) frets per cut fret length.
A regular fret crowning file would do the rest after leveling.

Michael N.
09-12-2011, 03:57 AM
Sorry I forgot to add. I do most of the shaping of these 'fretlets' before gluing them on the fretboard. It's also much easier if you use a water soluble glue and create a gummed fret. You'll get the idea if you think of gummed envelopes. Should be no need for clamps, just careful positioning.