It's time to stock my shop with common sizes of fretwire. Can you recommend a good source with reasonable prices and consistent quality? Quantity discounts would be good too.
Jescar makes great wire in a variety of sizes and the EVO gold wire is much harder and longer lasting than the regular nickle silver wire but much easier to work than stainless steel. http://jescar.com/
I'll second the Jescar recommendation. They make the best, most consistent fretwire I have found, and useful sizes. Price is relatively unimportant, really. Their EVO alloy wire is pretty pricey, but worth having a pound of .080" wide at least.
me likey EVO...2
I use a guy up in New Hampshire -- CB Gitty. He is our supplier for frets for the CBG world. I use his frets exclusively as I like the way they go in. .024 tang if I am correct. Plus I use a modified Japanese Flush Cut Saw from Harbor Freight and a home made jig to do my frets.
Check out my stuff at http://www.cigarboxnation.com/profile/WesYates
Can you describe the modified saw and your home made jig?
Sure, Now this isn't the right way to do frets or even cut the slots. When we build CBGs (Cigar Box Guitars), we make most of our tools, templates, parts and pieces. That said when we find a tool that works, we share it with the community. I can't tell you how many of us have arrived at the same idea independently.
The pics below show my Harbor Freight Japanese Flush Cut Saw ($9 online) and I added a piece of oak to the blade. This will stiffen the blade so as to prevent bending and create a 'stop'. The jig as you see can be mounted in a vise with the piece at the bottom and the fretboard can be secured into the channel. I mark where the frets need to be and align the marks with the miter is. I will adjust the stop down to where I need the blade to stop. Voila.
If you need any more of my ideas, go to the cigar box nation site above and look at my blog OR read my posts in the Secrets of the CBG Underground.
I also found that the kerf on the saw is .025 which is .001 over the CB Gitty fret wire tang. Not enough to make any difference. In fact, my last fret job went real well. I like StewMac fretwire, but I did one a month ago and it was quite difficult to set.
I don't know if they still do, but Martin used to sell wire with different tang widths. .021-.026
Jescar has that now. A .080" wide by .037" tall crown with 0.0185",0.0205", 0.0225", 0.0235", 0.0245" tang widths.
I hope they add more crown sizes to that. Would be nice for those wide slot import necks.
Brilliant, Thanks for sharing, I'll check out your site.
Don't get me wrong, I bought some wire off them too, it was a no name NS highest medium jumbo, turned out perfectly and very hard and I didn't expect that. But I was wondering do they carry genuine Jescar frets? Have you ever checked that out? I'm only asking, because I want to try EVOs. I mostly source stuff on ebay so I want to make sure. They are the only one listing Jescar frets with international shipping.
Brilliant - Thanks for sharing, I'll check out your site.