1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
     
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Stainless Steel fretwire... OMG!!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Arnie, Jul 30, 2012.


  1. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    Continuing with my first build and I ordered stainless steel fretwire from LMI BIG HUGE MISTAKE (I think) I am running a file over it and it doesn't seem to be removing any material. Is the common with SS wire or would any fretwire be this ridiculous to work with?

    I just ran a hand held file over it and am thinking of getting a 35 degree fret bevel er hope that works better..
     
  2. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    Stainless isn't for the faint of heart. FW75 18% nickel silver is one of my more preferred fretwire. Easy to level and crown.
     
  3. Markpotato

    Markpotato

    Jul 19, 2012
    Eureka Springs, AR
    Luthier, Sorrentino Guitars
    Yes, stainless steel is extremely hard. Think about it, they make knives out of it. Hardest wire to work, but hardest to wear as well.

    I would try make sure you have to do very little or no fret leveling. Crowning those things could take years.
     
  4. Big B.

    Big B.

    Dec 31, 2007
    Austin, TX
    As the guys have said, stainless is very hard and can be a pain to work but that transfers to a longer time between fret jobs for the customer. I use diamond coated files when possible. With the right file leveling and crowning is only a little worse than standard nickel wire. I generally go with standard or gold EVO wire but if a customer wants stainless I'll do that as well. Depending on how cool they've been I may or may not charge a few extra bucks for the time and tool wear.
     
  5. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I just charge extra for it.
     
  6. Hapa

    Hapa

    Apr 21, 2011
    Tustin, CA
    If you are thinking about the Stew mac bevel, SS fret chews through the file pretty quick to say that you will have a line of less sharp file...dedicate one file for it and progressively move the file up to use all the file surface over time. Otherwise I would recommend a carbon steel file double stuck to a flat wood block for better pressure/grip. Then finish with a long flat block with 220 stuck to it and make a few final passes for an even more consistent beveling. It is how I learned to do things...also because of compound radius'. With those fret bevel things (file in a block of delrin) that stew mac sells doesn't work with a compound radius. because the top surface flattens out so does the reference angle so at the 1st fret it will look like 35 deg at the last fret it would look like 45-50 deg. From the top view it looks like the fret ends are getting further away from the fretboard edge.
     
  7. gbarcus

    gbarcus Commercial User

    Jul 20, 2008
    Minneapolis & St.Paul, MN
    Owner of Barcus Basses barcusbasses.com
    Well played. :)
     
  8. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    What's the best fret material for metal?
     
  9. vintager

    vintager

    Jan 29, 2005
    Slovakia
    gut, of course

    gamba-frets.
     
  10. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    Uggghhh Thanks, lol. Oh well these are all newbie mistakes. Saleman at LMI tried to steer me away but of course I KNOW BETTER...
     
  11. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    This is also why the radius of the wire just doesn't want to lay against the fret board, it keeps the arch that I rolled it out at.
     
  12. curbowkid

    curbowkid Guest

    Jun 27, 2011
    Brooklyn, New York
    Run that into an ampeg, tone for dayssss
     
  13. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    Ok maybe I will just re-fret it with a softer wire, any recommendations? And I should just be able to pull the old fret wire out, or know it out? What is the preferred way when using Ebony for the fret board?
     
  14. Arnie

    Arnie

    May 14, 2005
    Kingston, NY
    Oh by the way, I didnt use any glue for the wire so removal should be much easier.
     

Share This Page