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Pearl Frets?

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so, when i was daydraming the other day, i was thinking about ppl who made pearl nuts;

this was new to me, never really seen a solid piece of pearl with the right dimensions fro nut/saddle material;

it obviouslly exists,but whatev; what i was thinking was, if its hard enough to take the wear of being a nut, what about a fret?

so this is how "I" would go about it;

using my fret slotting jig ,replace the stewmac fret blade with one that will remove like 1/8 inch;

(i dont have any measuring apperatices with me) and set it low enough so theres not alot of extra slot after radiusing;

then epoxy in the pearl; iwas thinking the radiused pieces they sell for lining acoustics;

level with maybe something not as brutal as a file like sharpening stone and continue like a regular board;

i have a few issues with 'experimenting'

first is if i do it like any other build the board will be flat and slotted when i put it on; if i screw the pooch after its glued ive ruined an entire neck;

and if i just practice on scrap ,then i waste the pearl;

i dont like gluing a fnished fb onto a neck; i like the chance to relevel after every gluing;

and is pearl consistant enough material to be working in unisin(sp) with each other; cause frets got to be ...the same(?)

any thoughts or concerns would be appreciated because its one of those ideas id really like to try, but theres got to be some good reasons why its not being done


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A nut doesn't get the same wear as frets do. 99% of the time, the nut is only sitting under pressure. The frets get abused every time you bend or use some vibrato.

Or drop your guitar, or throw it against the wall, or show off and play your guitar with the mic stand. Metal is great because it's durable, relatively inexpensive, easy to replace, and easy to work with. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying your idea is stupid. It's just not practical, nor will it be cost efficient.

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I can't imagine it working. Even as a nut, I'm skeptical-- sure, people have done it, but has it worked out well in the longterm? I'm sure people have made gold frets before, too, but I don't see that as a great idea. :D Lots of softer materials have been used for nuts, but I wouldn't want to use THOSE either... for example, ivory, bone, and whatever Graph-Tec is made from (not exactly 'graphite' I don't think, despite the name).

In addition to just being brittle and easy to grind down, I can't imagine how you would crown a pearl fret.

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Greg, MOP nuts have been in common use, very successfully, for longer than t-shaped fretwire has been made. It's particularly common on high end banjos (but don't hold that against it...). Well established as a successful material for nuts.

But, frets will never work. Too brittle, too succeptable to wear, they'll be worn to pieces in days or weeks, if not hours.

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