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Quick question, I'm making an SG alike and I want 12" radius, but I can buy precut fret wire and these frets are 10". Can I use them? I've read that it's proper to use frets with a little smaller radius than fretboard and I don't have a fret bender, so it would suit me.

Sorry for my english, I hope it's understandable :D



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Hello @Gucio and welcome!

It's strongly preferable to use fret wire with a tighter radius than the fretboard has. The reason is twofold:

  1. When the frets have a tighter radius the ends don't try to bounce upwards as the metal tries to keep its original shape.
  2. When you hammer the frets in starting from the ends (1), the little teeth will slide sideways inside the slot when you push/hammer the center in (2), making the frets sit tighter. The brown line is the slot, the burgundy is the solid fretboard, orange lines show how the barbs of the tang go down and sideways when the fretwire aligns with the radius of the fretboard.


Your English is good enough for me,

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On my last build I used Fender standard fretwire, precut and preradiused to 9.5" and the fretboard radius is 16". But yeah, as @Bizman62's illustration shows, it's actually beneficial  that the fretwire radius is a bit smaller than the fretboard radius. Best'o'luck :) 

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Will do, I've bought some crappy ebony fretboard wood and frets to make a try. 

Btw 2 more questions crossed me mind.

1. Should I use some super glue for the frets ? I've read some topics on different forums with people arguing what's better and ofc. there are many discussions about how superior are ones over the others, how much the tone is affected and other bs...

Just pls give me a tip what is more practical :)

2. Is it easier to hammer in frets before glueing in the fretboard ?


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The whole tone thing is silly. Unless the frets are held in only by the glue, they are fine. Too many people like to feel as though things that don't confirm their personal ideas are just wrong. If the frets don't need it, don't use it. It makes repairs more difficult. That's the practical answer.

I prefer to hammer in frets after glueing the fingerboard, however there are reasons people use either method. I find it easier to align and apply clamping pressure to a fingerboard that doesn't have frets in it. Also, a fingerboard tends to bow/bend when frets are inserted because of the pressure of the teeth pushing the fret slots apart slightly.

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5 hours ago, Gucio said:

1. Should I use some super glue for the frets ?

What @Prostheta said, plus: After you've got the fretboard in place some super glue and ebony dust to fill the ends of the fret slots is a common practice. That will also somewhat tighten the fitting of the frets at the ends.


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