Does anyone have a source for Small Gibson Fretwire??

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by DGNRepair, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    I have a 57 Goldtop in the shop, well its back with the customer for now, that is going to need a partial refret. I can't seem to find wire small enough, .070. The smallest I can find is Dunlop precut wire which is .075. Does anyone have a source for .070 x .030ish fret wire? Thanks for any help.

    Dan
     
  2. SG Lou

    SG Lou Senior Member

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    Dan,
    I got a partial roll of some really narrow wire in the shop. I'm at work at the moment so when I get home tomorrow morning I'll measure what I got and get back to you. You're looking for 0.70 wide by .030 high ?
    Lou
     
  3. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    Thanks Lou, that would be great. Yes, .070 wide and .030 high. I am most concerned with the .070 width. I would like the new frets the blend right in with the originals. If its up to .003 +/- it should still work for me. Thank you for checking.

    The closest I have found is .063 and .075 both of which may be noticeable.
     
  4. alk-3

    alk-3 MLP Sponsor

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    Hey Dan. I have found on 57's the wire is consistently closer to .074” .. actually, to be more exact, it is .0735". What serial range is this 57? I wonder if a pattern might devellop as to when the wire changed a bit. I'm sure there are manufacturing tolerances though, so variability is to be expected I suppose.
    Anyway, I have used .075 and dressed the edges ever so slightly to get them down a bit before I install them. I've actually found the wire's colour to be a bit of a problem more than the size. The new stuff is a bit more white, where the old wire has a bit of a faint golden hue to it. Heating the wire can introduce a bit of this coloring to blend them if need be.
     
  5. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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    I measured the frets on a '56, and they measured .070/.071". I did some searching, and discovered the same thing. Nobody seems to makes the same size. I posted the question on $tewMac's facebook page. They said that nobody makes it, and Dan uses some kind of tool to shave a little of both sides until the correct size is achieved. They said they'd post a pic of the tool but never did. I imagine it being similar in concept to the Fret Barber.
    [​IMG]
     
  6. bruce bennett

    bruce bennett Banned

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    in this case, only Eric Johnson could "see" .005

    you can sand that off with just a little 400 grit

    you do realize that what your going with is a "spec" number not an actual number right.. Fretwire is horribley inconsistant, actually all die drawn metals are. they can vary by as much as .007 easy.
     
  7. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    Tom the guitar has a stinger and no serial, but we believe it to be a very very early '57 based on the '56 pot codes.

    I have measured more than half of the frets and they are all in that .070-.071 range. I can find .075 wire but not in full lengths of wire, just short cutup bits from Dunlop. The short 2.5" pieces with be much harder to work with if I need to shave them down slightly. Anyone know if the .075 comes in 2 foot lengths?

    I did a quick setup on it yesterday and with the exception of 1 fret, the playability is passable for the customer. It looks like the refret is on hold for now. I am still actively searching for wire just to have on hand though.
     
  8. DGNRepair

    DGNRepair MLP Vendor

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    Sadly I may be as crazy at EJ because I could see a difference. I was hoping I didn't have to order 2-3 brands of wire to get the right size, or close enough.

    Where's the guy with the stash of vintage mid 50's wire stolen from the Gibson factory. :hmm::fingersx::D
     
  9. nuance97

    nuance97 Premium Member

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  10. SG Lou

    SG Lou Senior Member

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    Dan,

    I apologize for my tardiness in getting back to you.
    My Dad took a spill ( 75 yrs old ) and not only did he mess his back up but he also ripped a 2" x 4" piece of skin off of his forearm. Needless to say I had a couple of busy days.

    Anyway, The wire I got is .098 wide.
    Sorry Mate, I thought it was narrower.

    Lou

    PS: the Old Man will live..........He's a tough old cookie ! :thumb:
     

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