6100 size frets on a 7.25" neck

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by Reissueplayer, Jul 24, 2008.

  1. Reissueplayer

    Reissueplayer Member

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    I have a great neck that's currently sitting on its own in need of a refret. It was a big part of the sound of the guitar it was attached to, so I'm thinking i should do something about it.

    I really like 6100 frets and I've seen that the "Lenny" replica by Fender CS also has rather big frets. Is there any reason not to put big frets like the 6100 on a neck with vintage dimensions?
     
  2. RvChevron

    RvChevron Member

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    Not at all. If you like it, that's all that matters. Do it.
     
  3. testing1two

    testing1two Gold Supporting Member

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    You would probably be happier if you had the fingerboard sanded to a 9.5" radius during the refret (very easy to do). Virtually every notable guitar with jumbo fret wire has a flatter fingerboard radius including Lenny, which evolved into a compound radius of sorts from the refretting process. YMMV
     
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    you could do the minimum in that direction like i did with my 62 RI tele neck, namely compound radius it so it stays at 7 1/4" at the nut and flattens out to 9 1/2" at the other end. for me this was just enough to let me set the action low with my big 6100 stainless frets and not have it choke out on bends.
     
  5. DOMINIC

    DOMINIC Member

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    so if i had a rosewood neck thats 7.25 and i want it to be 9.5 it could happen?
     
  6. Eagle1

    Eagle1 Member

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    Yes no problem.
    I played a new Highway One strat the other day and they are now shipping with 6100 size on a 9.5" radius and it felt great.
     
  7. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    If you like the 7.25" radius then 6100's will be fine. I do this to my 7.25" necks. After I glue the frets in I level and spread the radius of the frets out a little and finish up with a 9.5" radius block at the heel end. Then I crown and polish the frets and bends are no problem at all. There's plenty of meat on 6100's to tweek the radius some. PM me if you're interested in that type of fret job.
     
  8. jackaroo

    jackaroo Member

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    No reason at all that you can't do it-


    I just did this with a '57 AV RI strat from 86. It needed frets and I usually avoid "Jumbo" 6100 size frets. But I played a bunch of guitars, and after talking with my tech- I went with the big wire. I must say it's better for me than the much touted 6105 that I've had on several other strats. Those actually feel taller to me, and feel more (speed bumpy") -perhaps it just visual- than the wider "jumbo" wire. I love them, though they take some getting used to if you're more of a vintage fret guy, or have the tendency to grip really tightly.

    I have a maple board and wasn't into the though or messing with the radius and then refinning, as the guitar has so cool patina on the FB. I've planed 2 rosewood strats though and wouldn't hesitate. It did take a few tweaks and a new nut to get things right, but this little Strat is quickly out pacing my 335 as my favorite guitar.

    As for the radius, my tech said that the radius is rarely 7 1/4 and that it sometimes is much tighter- like 6". So that's been my experience, and I hope it helps.
     
  9. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    me too. the skinny-but-tall 6105 has what amounts to vertical sides, which i feel too much when sliding around. the same height (but wider and rounder) 6100 feels much more friendly and smooth when sliding up and down.
     
  10. Dana Olsen

    Dana Olsen Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, what Walter said.

    One great thing about the 6105 fret is that it LOOKS like vintage wire, but plays more like modern wire. It can feel 'speed bumpy' if it's left too high when the frets are leveled I've discovered, and so have a ton of other players. I like my 6105's milled down a little ....

    Nothing at all wrong with 6100 wire, and radius, especially if the leveling process is tailored to give a little compound radius like Mike9 does. That mitigates any possible height issues.

    Both 6100 and 6105 frets are pretty tall, and height is 'the issue' w/ respect to radius. Both 6100 and 6105 will work fine on a 7.5 radius if it's well leveled. Bottom line, choose whatever feels more comfortable to you. There's no reason in the physics of it to choose one over the other.

    Dana O.
     
  11. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    I like a wider wire like 6150, or 6100. By the time you level them to crown you can knock a couple thousands off. When I crown 6105's I like to use a large file and really round the fret over - I think they play better and so do guys that play my stuff with that wire.
     
  12. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Supporting Member

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    I believe StewMac sells a wire that like 6105 but just a little less tall, developed at Dan Erlewine's suggestion.

    Al
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it would make way more sense to do the compounding to the board before the frets are put in, so you don't waste fret material by grinding away the middles of all your higher frets (right where that height is needed the most, for grip on high bends).
     
  14. Mike9

    Mike9 Supporting Member

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    In a perfect world that would be so, but doing a perfect compound on a straight board its time consuming. Then you have to hammer your frets in and I like to press mine & leave them clamped for a few minutes while the glue sets. Actually I find I have to resaw my fret slots when I start changing, or truing up the radius of the board. It's not that big a deal, but in reality most folks don't understand what's involved - ergo they don't want to pay for the extra labor.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    true enough. i keep wishing for some sort of "universal" fret press caul that conformed to whatever the radius under a particular fret was. maybe some sort of articulated thing like a windshield wiper that distributed force evenly over a range of curves.

    until then, like you say i'm stuck hammering in my compound radius refrets.
     

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