With much patience and care -- far more than I have.
For what I want to do, staples look to be a good option, if only a little time consuming at first. Thanks for the quick responses! i was at Ron Ewing's house once, and he had a dulcimer with frets under only the melody string, but it was standard fret wire all the way to the edge. Any idea how he might have done that?
Dan's video is "da bomb". Yes, we use tiny drill bits and sometimes tiny hand drills, but they are readily available and inexpensive. You have to pre-drill the holes for the staple legs, then bend the staples, and finally tap them into place. It is simple, but a somewhat lost art, and does take a little practice to get it perfect.
Historically, there have been some dulcimers, played with the noter-drone style, which had frets under only the melody string. Many other instruments have such partial frets which do not extend across the whole fret board. My question is, how are these installed? I thought I had read somewhere that it should be simple, but I can't find a simple explanation of how to do it. Online I have found some people saying that you can use really small drill bits or dremel bits, but there should be an easier way, if only because luthiers have been making partial frets for hundreds of years. Any input is appreciated.