Hardness of fretwire

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simso
Blackwood
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Hardness of fretwire

Post by simso » Tue Dec 06, 2016 5:39 pm

A recent topic on another forum was discussing how hard fretwire really is and how some guitars wear way quicker than others.

Its a good topic, as I currently have a guitar in, where the customer has chewed through the frets, apparently its 8 months old, been fret levelled twice and now needs replacement

Doing research (google trolling), I did not find much information out there, except for a few quotes which if you cross-reference with each other they are sort of like chinese whispers and reflect what another person said with no true origin.

Up until now, I sort of know approximate hardness's from the feel of the wire, I use to do hardness testing on aircraft and would certify that hardness to an international standard, so I do have an idea of how it works.

Having not done it properly for at least 20 yrs, I went and contacted a good friend who still does it for a living to be able to quantify my results.

I have a hardness tester, whilst the shape and profile of the fret may make it difficult to be able to give the perfect measurement, eg indentation must be 1/10 of material thickness and minimum material width to prevent elasticising of the side walls, it will definitely be able to give a comparative measurement from one fret to another.

So taking all that into consideration, I hardness tested a couple of frets this morning, the first was a fret I removed from a gibson les paul (in for a refret) and the second was one from my stewmac fretwire container.

The original Gibson wire rated 108 Rockwell F
The Stewmac wire rated 96 Rockwell F

I have to fit some Dunlop 6105 accufrets into the Gibson tomoz, so will measure one of the off cuts when doing it (stupid accufrets come pre-cut and straight, doubles refretting time)

Realistically I do not think it makes a huge difference, but its good to know

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

Dave M
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Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by Dave M » Tue Dec 06, 2016 10:59 pm

You could have your work cut out there Steve. Unfortunately I guess we can't count on a manufacturer being consistent.

I seem to remember Trevor G saying that some of them anneal before forming so they would be pretty soft.
------------------
Dave

simso
Blackwood
Posts: 1691
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by simso » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:03 am

Agreed, it was more curiosity than anything else that got me to actually hardness test a couple.

Might roll one of the stewmac frets back and forth a few times and see if that can increase its hardness to bring it close to gibsons one.

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

Ormsby Guitars
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Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by Ormsby Guitars » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:28 am

Need some stainless steel wire?

simso
Blackwood
Posts: 1691
Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by simso » Wed Dec 07, 2016 1:15 am

Nah all good perry, got some, customer still wants nickel silver, was experimenting.

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

routout
Blackwood
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Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by routout » Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:32 am

I normally roll back and forth it will harden it a little these were done using the full length wire though,by the look of the crimp in the end of some of the Dunlop i would say it was drawn through a series of rollers to get it flat .
John ,of way too many things to do.

simso
Blackwood
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Joined: Mon Apr 25, 2011 10:36 pm
Location: Perth WA

Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by simso » Wed Dec 07, 2016 11:36 am

Its curious how they are made, I am envisaging they are shape extruded and then possibly stamped in lengths for the tangs, but guessing...

Steve
Steve
Master of nothing,

Do your own repairs - http://www.mirwa.com.au/How_to_Series.html

routout
Blackwood
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Joined: Mon Jun 15, 2015 7:34 am

Re: Hardness of fretwire

Post by routout » Wed Dec 07, 2016 12:52 pm

From what I have seen It looks like it is drawn through a die to create the crown and tang then I guess a set of rollers to put the indents in ,not un like a knurl .
John ,of way too many things to do.

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