Hello All,

I was watching a Stew Mac video the other day, and the fellow that was demonstrating---not Dan Earlywine---said to run some thin CA along the edges of the frets for "better tone quality".

I make classicals, and am wondering if this might apply to my builds. I'm quite fussy about getting the fret slots right at .023", and use Jescar fret wire---no problems with frets coming loose.

My first thought is that the CA would help in doing a fret job, with slots a bit too wide, but I thought that I would ask.



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Nope, Palle, I told you what we do.  How you process that and what you do with it is up to you.



Sorri Palle, 

I was in a bit of a hurry and missed a part of your post:    Shellac does not harm animals - it a natural secretion from a bug  which is harvested after the bug is done with it.  And yes I did copy the "wink". and yes I do have a sense of humor somewhere (it's with my car keys, wherever they are).


Lighten up and smile :-) Everything will look better.

We do what we do, if we believe it works for us.


Agree that CA is a great glue for fret work, mainly because it sets up quickly. Avoiding animal based products is impractical.


Hi Jim, 

Avoiding animal based products is impractical "to you".      We don't (knowingly) use any dead animal products in our guitars and don't seem to have noted any problems.  As I just remarked to Palle, how you process this information and what you do with it is up to you.  I said what we do I didn't tell you what to do.

And, succinctly put,  if you do not use CA in your fretting process how is an opinion formed that it makes no difference;  "will not improve tone or effect it at all."   

Acoustic frequency transmission  losses across an air gap is higher than transmission through a solid interface (not opinion) and as I mentioned before, if one is to accept that the efficient transfer of string energy (call it "tone" if you like) to the fingerboard and neck forms a part of the overall tonal palette then its also accepted that anything that aids this transfer process is a positive thing.

My basis for saying this:  I studied acoustics and acoustic spectrum analysis  at the Admiralty Research Establishment Teddington UK and subsequently taught Sound Spectrum Analysis (including transmission and propagation loss) in a former life. I like to introduce science and physics into guitar making to help round out the knowledge base and debunk the myths.  



Hello Rusty,

A fellow techno-weenie!

Have a look at the "My Process" section of my website:

I have a technical approach to building that you might find interesting.



Hi Brian, 

Love yr work, I'll give it a good read and digest after I get back from the shop, thanks very much. Rusty

Thanks for the info. Do you ever eat a Hamburg?


Hi Jim,

I've been around this buoy before here, this is not about me, it's not personal, as I declared and made clear  last time: I'm not a vegetarian/vegan. Why do you ask anyway? 

I have simply advised the readers of a position we have adopted to not use dead animal products in the production of guitars for a market where Vegans exist - it takes no effort on our part to accommodate their choices and that is what we do. 


I almost always use fish glue. The clean up is easy as well. I do a lot of fret work. I tap in the frets followed by clamping two frets at time with cut to size radius cauls. Install one day, and set up the next. Idea is from Ken Everett.

I will use CA on a fret end that wants to pop up, otherwise I use no glue. I will apply water to the fret slot before hammering in a fret, seems to go in better. 

CA will not improve tone or effect it at all. My opinion.


I wonder how many people are using CA to fill in the gaps left by flat-bottomed fret slots? I recut mine with a depth-stopped hand saw after radiusing, so the bottom of the slot matches the surface, leaving almost no gap.


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