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Thread: Stainless steel  mando fretwire... does it exist?

  1. #1
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    Hi, all,

    I have a 1995 Flatiron F5 which is in need of a partial refret (first seven frets).

    The original wire is the small "vintage" size.

    I am considering requesting that the seven worn frets be replaced with stainless steel, but (ignoring all the various esthetic, practical, etc. reasons to NOT use steel) I haven't been able to find a source for stainless steel fretwire in the small/vintage/mandolin size.

    Does such an animal exist?

    Thanks!

    Ken

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    try axiom..G

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    www.axinc.net

  4. #4
    Gibson A9
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  5. #5
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    I seldom use anything but stainless steel these days. It's not much harder to work with than the usual stuff. The small stuff works well on old Gibsons.

  6. #6
    Registered User man dough nollij's Avatar
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    What is "normal" fret wire made of-- nickel? I assume the benefit of SS is reduced fret wear?

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    Cafe Linux Mommy danb's Avatar
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    Jamie Wiens put ss wire on my f5. It seems that was one of Charlie Derrington's contributions- there was a supplly from Jescar for a while that matched exactly the Loar stuff. I'm fairly hard on frets with lots of hammer-downs etc. Seems to be lasting great so far with no real noticable difference in tone or feel
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  8. #8

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    Lee, most fretwire is 18% nickel/silver. I like SS for the stuff Charlie had made as the frets are .040" and 18% would wear pretty fast. Don't know about string wear against the SS frets, but I've started using SS strings on the F5C's and it all seems to work fine.

  9. #9
    Café habitué Paul Hostetter's Avatar
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    Rick Turner employed Jescar's stainless frets pretty early on and to his dismay, found it wore much faster than he'd supposed. Tougher than nickel, but not as tough as you might think. And it's really pretty hard on tools - diamond is the only practical way to go.

    I've found the Jescar "gold" alloy to be better than either stainless or 18% nickel, but it doesn't (yet) come in a good size for mandolins.
    .
    ph

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