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tang width compared to slot width

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Hello everyone,

I'm hoping you can help me with this project guitar.

It is an older japanese copy of a Hofner Bass.

I'm needing to refret it.  The fret slot is .028" wide.

The closest thing I can find is a fret with a .023 tang width, but has a .045" wide stud width.


This leaves .017" (or .0085" per side) of protruded tang.

If I use these frets, will this much difference be too much?  I'm concerned about back-bow.


Thank you!


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Hi and welcome to the forum!

So, if you understand you right, the fret wire you can find has a narrower tang (D) but wider studs (C)? Correct me if I'm wrong!

If so, well, one might assume that the slots have widened when pulling the frets so the .005" narrower frets might be close to  the originals. Driving some wood glue into the slots should tighten them enough for a tad narrower tang. Notice that I'm not talking about gluing the frets in, I'm talking about solidifying and uniforming the slots! Wider studs actually can help in keeping the frets seated, that should be no issue at all. Fatter than original tangs might create some back bow, studs are small and spiky so they sink into the walls of the slots.

I'd start by measuring the tangs of the original frets. The width should not exceed the original as widening the slots all the way down can misplace them - and cause back-bow. Cutting them deeper is a no-brainer, filling the ends of deep slots after fretting is also a common task. So concentrate on the "D" and make sure you have enough detpth for "A". "C" is what keeps the frets seated and the rest depend on your liking.

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