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What fretwire to order and where?

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  • What fretwire to order and where?

    What size fretwire should I order for a 1935 Harmony Archtop? It will be a complete re-fret. And where should I order from?



    Also, I am doing a neck reset. Probably a stupid question but, which comes first the refret or the reset? or does it matter?



    Thanks for any help, I'm pretty new at this...
    ***************************
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  • #2
    Stewmac.com sells a lot of the tools and wire you'll need, but if this is your first refret and neck reset, please don't do this on a good guitar. Try it first on a beater. Even better, go to a shop and if you can talk to someone about the process and see if you can observe them doing it. Good refretting and neck reset jobs are something you need to practice at with the right tools.

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    • #3






      Quote Originally Posted by amadylan
      View Post

      What size fretwire should I order for a 1935 Harmony Archtop? It will be a complete re-fret. And where should I order from?



      Also, I am doing a neck reset. Probably a stupid question but, which comes first the refret or the reset? or does it matter?



      Thanks for any help, I'm pretty new at this...




      I buy all of my hardware and most tools from StewMac, most of my wood comes from LMI.



      http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting..._Fretwire.html



      What I would suggest is pulling a fret (you have to do 15 anyway) and mic'ing it - height, width and tang - and ordering the same. If you are compression fretting you will have to go to a thicker tang, but I assume this is a straight refret.



      Most of the time you only need to replace the first 5 or 7 and crown the rest unless there is a lot of wear on the upper frets. Also a good time to clean up divots in the fretboard.



      It shouldn't matter which you do first unless you are going to change the height of the frets, which might have a small affect on the neck angle. However I happem to like pressing frets in with a drill press (rather than hammering) - that is much easier to do with the neck off. If you are hammering you need to back up the fretboard extension - that might be hard to do with an archtop with F-holes



      If it were me, I would pull the fret and order the wire. Refret the neck while off then take out all relief. Set the neck, then level and crown (that will let you deal with the extention and the "14th fret hump"). Finally, put the relief back in and set up. On the off chance that you don't have an adjustable truss rod, you will need to plane the relief in before you fret, it will be much trickier (I've done it on classicals with no T/R).



      Good luck, post some pics.

      Comment


      • #4






        Quote Originally Posted by Freeman Keller
        View Post

        I buy all of my hardware and most tools from StewMac, most of my wood comes from LMI.



        http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting..._Fretwire.html



        What I would suggest is pulling a fret (you have to do 15 anyway) and mic'ing it - height, width and tang - and ordering the same. If you are compression fretting you will have to go to a thicker tang, but I assume this is a straight refret.



        Most of the time you only need to replace the first 5 or 7 and crown the rest unless there is a lot of wear on the upper frets. Also a good time to clean up divots in the fretboard.



        It shouldn't matter which you do first unless you are going to change the height of the frets, which might have a small affect on the neck angle. However I happem to like pressing frets in with a drill press (rather than hammering) - that is much easier to do with the neck off. If you are hammering you need to back up the fretboard extension - that might be hard to do with an archtop with F-holes



        If it were me, I would pull the fret and order the wire. Refret the neck while off then take out all relief. Set the neck, then level and crown (that will let you deal with the extention and the "14th fret hump"). Finally, put the relief back in and set up. On the off chance that you don't have an adjustable truss rod, you will need to plane the relief in before you fret, it will be much trickier (I've done it on classicals with no T/R).



        Good luck, post some pics.




        ^+1 to 100% of this ^



        Edit: FK, I've been using an arbor press system from SM to install frets. What a HUGE improvement this is over the hammering I did on #1. It turned out fine, but I really, intensely dislike the act of whacking any part of a guitar with a hammer... And pressing is so much easier.
        I guess I kinda lost control, because in the middle of the play I ran up and lit the evil puppet villain on fire. No, I didn't. Just kidding. I just said that to help illustrate one of the human emotions, which is freaking out. Another emotion is greed, as when you kill someone for money, or something like that. Another emotion is generosity, as when you pay someone double what he paid for his stupid puppet.I.K.F.C.E.S.C.Potato SocietySAWG

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        • #5






          Quote Originally Posted by knockwood
          View Post

          ^+1 to 100% of this ^



          Edit: FK, I've been using an arbor press system from SM to install frets. What a HUGE improvement this is over the hammering I did on #1. It turned out fine, but I really, intensely dislike the act of whacking any part of a guitar with a hammer... And pressing is so much easier.




          Yes, I did a few with a hammer, but lately have been using that cool little StewMac die. I simply chuck it in a drill press and put my backing caul in a clamp.







          This was a bound fretboard - what a complete PIA - the ends of each fret has to extend over the top of the binding. My big delema now is that the drill press is where I used to work - that will be the next tool to add to my shop.



          For most of my acoustics I haven't bothered to curve the fretwire, but for the Lester (with its 12 inch radius) I built something like what SM sells. That is one more thing for Amadylan to be aware of - if your fretboard has much radius you may want to prebend the wire. On an unbound fretboard I wick a tiny bit of CA in the end of the slots after the frets are installed - with this bound board I put a tiny bit into the slot before pressing the fret. On a refret I would definitely use either hide glue or CA in the slot.

          Comment



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