I have a customer who owns a Stelling Staghorn Banjo. I have refretted it 2 times since he bought it (around 1980) and it has the wide slots and the frets are epoxied into the neck. It needs refretting now and I was considering trying some of the stainless frets but I wondered if anyone has tried them in this type of installation. Do these frets work well with the epoxy method? I'd rather learn by asking than the hard way. Thanks in advance for any advice you can give.
Ronnie Nichols

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I have not personally tried them, but I have read a lot of threads on the stainless frets. The overwhelming majority feels that the stainless is way to hard, and while you will have longevity of frets, you will go through strings like never before. The softer frets allow for the wear and preserves the strings. The harder frets will wear the string right apart. Now, the other camp says that there's nothing to worry about since you'll change your strings long before they get close to breaking. So, there's a bit of both sides. fwiw.

dave fox
Read my other response to the "stainless" connection..I have done 2 Taylors for this guy and I ain't not heard 'bout no problems with strangs a breakin'
It seems silly to reply to my own post, but I now can answer the question myself. Since nobody else apparently has tried the stainless on a glue-in type application, I can now say that I've tried them. The fretting job went well and besides being tougher to file the ends of the frets it generally went smoothly. The stainless will be a lot tougher on your nippers and files than the normal wire. It was a little tougher to deal with but it made a nice looking job. I think it would be worth a little more for refretting with this wire due to the extra effort required. The owner is very pleased with the banjo. He's a world-class picker and he noticed no difference in tone due to these frets. I also installed a set of the American Made Banjo Strings. They are also stainless and are cryogenically treated.
Ronnie Nichols
I just did a stainless yesterday and used a dremel cut off wheel after carefully measuring the fret width..much easier on the old wrists....Also dialed the width in on the sander to get them as close as possible so there was less work for the file later on..And,diamond fret crowners are a luthiers best friend...That,and punk rockers who play Gibsons and think they are Pete Townsend...Keep those headstocks comin' folks!!!
They will work fine with this method. The epoxy gets a mechanical hold on the fret tangs. The type of wire shouldn't make a difference. I have epoxied stainless fretwire without any problems. David


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