I recently read a thread on a builder forum where one builder proudly proclaimed that stainless frets once installed require no leveling/dressing and never will.....

Silly me - I thought that stainless fret wire was simply harder but had I known that it would improve my lutherie chops to the degree that no leveling or crowning would be required after installing the frets I might have jumped on the stainless bandwagon too.

To top it all off the assertion that when stainless frets are installed no fret dressing will EVER be required made me feel like I missed out even more.....


So what do you guys (men and women) think of using stainless frets and the assertion that it eliminates the need for leveling, crowning and future fret dressing? 

And if you can't stop laughing because you only thought that stainless would last longer I know how you feel...... ;)  Such magical properties for this stainless wire - who would have thunk it.....


Views: 1794

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I've wanted to know ever since SS frets came out, if they can be made harder by repeated bending and straightening, like nickel silver fret-wire can.

I did do that process to EVO fret-wire since it's mostly copper, but didn't send any off to a lab to test the hardness. 

Sure, bending back and forth counts as cold working.

The problem with using this method with SS is that once hardened you may find it very difficult to get the fret to sit in position without spring back.

I did some hardness tests on nickel silver fret wire some time ago and , if I remember correctly, the hardness only varied between 225 and 260 Brinnell.

Thanks for that. I've brought up the question more than once, and you're the first one to give me an answer.

I prefer to bend the wire the same radius as the board, so this might work out for me just fine. 

Why would you want a stainless fret even harder than it already is?

This is an honest question, not a comment.

Because SS frets, as they are, are not totally wear proof. If I can make them a little more wear proof with not a whole lot of work involved, I will.

Thanks for the reply, Robert.

After reading all the miracle claims of SS frets, I installed them (extra jumbo for that scalloped feel) on my '62 Stella "Actionzilla" student model acoustic. Given that the action at the 1st fret is 1/8", no leveling, as claimed, was required.

It's still a terrible playing instrument, but my dandruff went away and my cats' coats got shinier!


I know this is late, Paul, but I laugh out loud every time I see this.


© 2024   Created by Frank Ford.   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service