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I'm just practicing tying frets using B and E classical strings having sandpapered them down according to info found on the web. But when I tried the different knots, they didn't quite work the way the instruction said. Is there anyone here who can describe a functional knot that I can use, or point to a web site? On my 32 year old lute the nylon frets are still as tight as they were when I bought it, but the knot is difficult to make out. But the two ends run under the nylon fret on each side of the knot.



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Martin, thank you for your PM yesterday. I was unable to log in and answer your post, so I do it here.
I would like help with this also. I managed to use a very simple overhand knot for all but the lowest fret. If you burn the tied end, then pass the loose end through the knot, then pulling on the string will cinch the knot pretty well. Then you just burn the loose end to melt it into the knot. But you need to tie it two frets below your target. For the lowest fret on the neck, you don't have that option. Also, on my guitar the change in width is less dramatic at that position.

So I would sure appreciate any pointers one can offer. So far I have wads of paper shoved under the fret, and even that doesn't keep the fret from easily slipping around.
That's a good diagram, Martin. Thanks for that, I'll put a copy on my workshop wall.

Part of the problem with slippage might be the nylon strings. I've never been able to make that stuff work without stretching or slipping.
Martin, spot on! Thank you! I guess Scot is right concerning nylon, so I have just ordered gut fret from Gamut Strings, .85, .80 and .75. Hopefully this will work better.
Martin, I was contemplating on the same problem yesterday, and I came up with the very same solution! I made a measuring stick of very thin wood, and since my baroque guitar has the same string length as my classicals, 650mm, it was easy to mark the frets on the stick. In addition to the gauges I have ordered, I think I shall also get hold of .95 and .90.
To quote Poirot:"Better the safeness than the sorrow, Hastings!"
After consulting different web sites, I have come up with this grading of the frets:
1. fret: 0.95
2. and 3.:0.90
4. and 5.: 0.85
6. and 7. and 8.: 0.80
9. and 10.: 0,75

Does this seem sensible? Any changes I should make?

Gut does respond to humidity. Less so Nylon but as many have found out, Nylon is a rather stretchy material. Pre used nylon Guitar strings might give less problems, although Gut is the sensible way to go. It's not as though fret Gut costs a huge amount of money.
As for the different gauges. Much depends on the geometry of the fingerboard and the string height at the bridge. There is no logical reason to grade the frets, unless the actual set up of the instrument demands it or the player prefers the feel of graded frets. In other words, one size does not fit all.
Michael and Martin, thanks for interesting positive feedback (and I am not talking about climate change....) While I am waiting for the gut frets to arrive, I'm preparing myself for the great task: replacing the frets on my baroque guitar. The original frets were triple, and I found that this dampened the sound, so I just wanted single frets like the ones on my old lute. I'll inform you of my progress!
It maybe counter intuitive but Humidity tends to fall in cold weather - which is why some people suffer from chapped lips during cold winters. Temperature and Relative Humidity are related. It is the very same reason why you should be careful with the humidity levels that your instrument is kept at. Chapped Spruce isn't good.

Merry Christmas! I have just completed my great task: refretting my baroque guitar using different gauges of fret gut, and I must say that I am a bit proud of myself. I armed myself with pliers, nailcutter and a soldering iron and set to work, having a rather bad feeling when I cut off the old frets.... But everything went fine until the first fret where the tightening distance was too short. I tried twice, but only wasting gut, and I was in danger of running out of .95. I even considered gluing a bone fret in the first position.


But then -a Columbi egg! I simply removed the nut, and in the "valley" that opened up between the headstock and the beginning of the fretboard I calmly tied my fretknot as tight as I could. Then I forced the fret over the edge of the fingerboard and slid it up to its position -and, heureka! - it became as tight as the others! Now I am just waiting for a pippin file to arrive, I guess it's lost in Christmas mail, then I will finish the nut adapting it to the new frets.

Hi, Harry,


since you've completed your job, my post might be redundant.  But anyway here is my solution of the "loose 1st fret" problem that I also encountered: a wedge-shaped tiny piece of sliced veneer pushed underneath the knot.



Thank you, Akira! This might come in handy some day, the first fret is fairly tight, but I noticed today it is not quite as tight as the others, but it presents no problem so far, and the sound is clear and sharp which is a good indication of a tight fret.


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