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fret slot thickness

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Groove Theory, Sep 5, 2005.


  1. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Okay, so I'm almost ready to slot my project's fingerboard...I'm going to be using stainless steel fretwire found here ....the problem is that I'm having a hard time finding a saw that will cut a .021" slot, a coping saw blade is about .020", but slotting a fingerboard with a coping saw seems like it wouldnt be very precise, and I'm not okay with that.... :spit:

    does anyone know where I could find a saw that would work, or possibly somewhere else that I can get different stainless steel fretwire that would be the more standard .023" slot like the stewmac stuff?
     
  2. I've seen a very small saw at woodcraft that is rated at .020. I also think I've seen a .020 xacto saw at michaels, but I'm not too sure about that last one.
     
  3. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    hey, yeah, I think I found what you're talking about...probably one of these (scroll down to the so called "thick kerf, dovetail saw" which is .020") ...anyone ever used one of these? if so, are they any good?
     
  4. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    That stainless fretwire doesn't sound very forgiving.
     
  5. gyancey

    gyancey

    Mar 25, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Is this your first instrument? If so then stainless steel fretwire is probably the last thing you would want to use. I've built quite a few and I don't think I could use it without major, major hassels. What's wrong with normal fretwire?
     
  6. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Greg, would you think that the SS fretwire would not be a hassle on a flat-boarded (no radius) FB, or would there be difficulties seen there also?
     
  7. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    No, this isnt my first instrument, however it is my first time using stainless fretwire (although I do have a bass that has stainless frets and have had no problems working with them as far as leveling and what not.) I assume you are speaking of the issues as far as the wire springing up...I will actually be installing it on a flat (non radiused) fretboard, which as I understand, should correct most, if not all of that issue. however, any help to overcome any problems is appreciated.

    Nothing is wrong with normal fretwire, however on the bass that I do have which features stainless, I very much like their feel. and I figure that since I'm building the bass for myself without any deadlines or anything, I'll just take my time and put exactally what I'm looking for in it.
     
  8. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    I would not count on the flat fingerboard solving all your problems. First of all, 25' of it will probably come coiled, so it will have a natural radius you'll need to work out. Second, the wire still bend somewhat as it goes in if it goes in at all unevenly. Obviously, the more experience you have with fretting (pressing the frets in will also help), the more you will be able to mitigate this type of bending. But definately do a few practice frets with the new wire.

    I was surprised at how much the nickel fretwire wanted to lift in places after breezing casually through my first flat fingerboard.
     
  9. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    good info...I will definantly be doing several practice frets before hand, and depending on how those go, I may go ahead and get a fret press, I've been thinking of getting one for a while anyways.
     
  10. Groove Theory

    Groove Theory Grizzly Adams DID have a beard.

    Oct 3, 2004
    The Psychiatric Ward
    Well, for anyone interested, I just finished fretting it all, I ended up using a .020" thickness saw from stew mac (like $8 or something, can't beat that) it worked well, and used the same fretwire I taked about earlier. it went in well, I used a couple drops of CA on the edges of the fb and in the center, or where the inlay crossed the fret slot. It all went in very smoothly. pretty much no spring up. I think it's more scared of us than we are of it...no, wait, thats bears I'm thinking of...and its in there tight. plus it looks pretty kick @ss...once I get a digital camera for christmas, I'll post some pics. :D

    Thank y'all for the help

    :bassist: