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 Post subject: Re: Titanium Fretwire
PostPosted: Sat Oct 07, 2017 4:54 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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Joined: Fri Nov 02, 2007 9:49 am
Posts: 9891
Location: Ann Arbor, Michigan
First name: Hesh
Last Name: Breakstone
Country: United States
Status: Professional
david farmer wrote:
Hesh wrote:
I'll throw this out for discussion too since it's related.

For our stainless clients who have death grips and wear out their stainless in 6 - 8 months..... we've gone to doing partial refrets over fret dresses for the obvious reasons. The wire is so very hard that leveling and crowning it takes way more time and effort than replacing it and doing the minor amount of leveling and crowning that once the fret board has been trued up with a full refret requires. Other wise we are not fans of partial refrets because we want the opportunity to.... finish the original manufacturing of the thing and shape the fret board properly..... beehive

The vast majority of necks that we see simply suck. The relief is wrong and often reversed with more on the treble side, fall away is non-existent and instead we often see a ski ramp... or the dreaded body hump for too shallow a grave....(sorry, so I can be overly dramatic at times...;) ).

Anyway for very hard wire partial refrets are something that we've moved to recently and it's working well for us. Fret wire costs mouse nuts anyway in comparison to the "opportunity costs" for a busy shop with other jobs to do and bill.



I guess I haven't been doing it long enough to have someone come back for a re-fret of stainless. 6-8 months is impressive! I'd worry about the body of a customer like that.

It might be sacrilegous but I sometimes do a lift-plane-and replacement of the same frets on the sound hole end.
Sometimes a re-fret or "press and dress" is out of the question and the frets are either not tall enough from 12 on up to take out a rise or they'r huge and recrowning after filing off .020" will take forever.
It's a specific case. If playability can be improved dramatically if they are lowered, I carefully pull them, keep them in order, plane out the hump or rise, put them back in, and wick in thin CA to keep them down. I'll even skip the dress or just hit fallaway above the 12th. The frets go back in and the ends all line right back up and now I can lower the saddle and make life better at a low cost. This is one place where having a small plane and the skill to use it with certainty helps . A small plane knocks a hump down in a heartbeat where sanding would take forever.

Another lift, plane, replace situation is on Martins with Richlite boards and the neck block that doesn't go to the back. idunno
The ones I see, tend to have a huge swoop up at the nut and a wicked hump over the body, and a truss rod that isn't doing the job, among other things. Sanding that stuff is no fun and makes my shop smell like a tire factory. Even if the frets are not worn, I'll pull just the frets at the humps, chop them down with a small plane and put them back in. I think it makes more sense than filing them thin as tinfoil in a fret dress.

Speaking of weak necks and alternate fret material, wire is often not exactly as the specs would indicate. You can use that to your advantage. My current roll of 37x80 EVO wire has a barb that's a full .005" wider than the Stainless roll I have. Maybe the different materials come through the dies differently. It's useful info when trying to give someone wire they want while helping a redlining truss rod at the same time.


Our clients who wear out stainless (there are several of them now....) belong to the same church and they are foreign exchange students who practice complete abstinence.... as part of their faith. I wonder if this has anything to do with their death grip on their guitar necks.... but I digress...... ;)

I like what you are doing with the plane David! We use bastard files on wood handles or sanding beams and it takes way more effort than I want it too. Thanks for sharing that!

Makes me wonder what the builders who are fearful of fretting on a finished instrument think of using a plane on a finished instrument!

Dave and I have discussed making a small, hand held belt sander just for extensions but the plane is perhaps a better idea.



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: david farmer (Sat Oct 07, 2017 8:19 am)
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