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Question Regarding Fretting Through Inlay...

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Hi all!

I'm underway fretting my first neck. I have a mother of pearl inlay at the 12th fret which (deliberately!) expands past the 11th and 12th frets. It's a technique I have seen several times before, and really liked (Ibanez K7, Vai's Tree Of Life, Dean Dime razor etc etc)

Here's a photo of mine to illustrate my issue:


So, when thinking about installing the 11th and 12th frets, my theory is that it would be a bad idea to leave the barbs on the fret tangs where they touch the mother of pearl??? The fretboard is ebony BTW. I've been hammering in the frets so far, but I think if I hammer in these two frets it will crack or damage the MOP.

Regarding suitable solutions then, here's a couple of options I'm considering-

I could "de-barb" the 11th and 12th frets where they touch the MOP (that way the remaining barbs would hold the fret in place) This is why the fret in the photo has black marks on the tang - that's where it touches the MOP!


I could widen the fret slots and clamp'n'glue those two frets into place.

Just looking for some guidance here! Anyone had the same issue before?

(Does the inlay look OK?)



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Thanks for all your suggestions guys!

Between all the things suggested I feel confident I can do this properly now.

Mattia: that's an awesome inlay! Is that done by hand or CNC? (I have to admit mine's CNC- I cheated!)

BTW - with fretting through inlays as wide as those in your photo, I take it you've never had a problem with the fret not gripping the inlay enough to stay properly seated in the slot? Just curious.........



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By hand - can't afford a CNC, and I enjoy the process too much to give it up for now. Thanks for the kind words!

I did use a bit more superglue than usual on the frets with the most pearl to either side. Just the thin kind, wipe away excess with acetone. I always glue down the ends anyway, since I undercut them for the binding.

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