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Fretting With Steel Rods


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Somewhere on the internet I've seen guitars fretted with stainless rods rather than fretwire. (And no, not the Stick) Any thoughts as to how to cut slots for something like a 3/32" rod? There are Dremel router bits that small (I think), but I don't see how to guide a Dremel to make fret slots.

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Were is this craze for bar frets coming from? This is at least the third thread about this in a very short time. Before that nothing…

I recommend to stay away from bar frets. There is a reason most (all) manufacturers moved away from that some 80 years ago. Frank Ford has an interesting article about bar frets here:

http://www.frets.com/FRETSPages/Luthier/Te...5barfrets1.html

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I like your thinking perhellion! want to start a private club?

I agree that bar frets from the past arent really worthwhile but now glues are alot better I think the idea has some merits hardened sainless steel comes to mind.

You only need to look at parker guitars produce extremely "old fashioned" instruments construction wise but use extremely modern materials. And there are other companies who obviously see some merits in the idea of using rods.

I hope you realise you have opened up a can of worms!

Swedish luthier this is in no way a slight on you if i could build guitars like yours i'd be a happy man!

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It would seem that CNC would be the only accurate way. The rod would also have to be bent at the precise curve too. I'm not sure what would hold the frets in though. It might have to be some special adhesive that could flex with the wood and yet maintain a bond with the rod. I'm sure it's possible to make slots without CNC, but any jigs etc. probably would have to be very accurate.

Rods for frets might be an interesting look too. Other than looks, why rods?

By the way, I see nothing at all wrong with bar frets. The only thing I would ask myself is why be tormented by a project that's supposed to be fun? :D

-Doug

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It's supposed to be fun?! :D

Totally agree on the accuracy front my thoughts were on using flat pieces of stainless steel into a flat bottomed slot

held with some superglue or eopxy or even araldite for the impossible to refret finish haha but they would mainly be held by the wood itself! as for rods i can't think of a way of doing it without relying on glue.

josh.

Edited by joshvegas
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Swedish luthier this is in no way a slight on you

No problem man, I’m only soo curious to why this have popped up right now. And yeah, I misread it as bar frets. He asked for rods…My bad.

The Chapman stick is fretted with stainless steal round rods:

http://www.stick.com/

http://www.stick.com/instruments/construction/

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It's supposed to be fun?! :D

Totally agree on the accuracy front my thoughts were on using flat pieces of stainless steel into a flat bottomed slot

You're initial post was for 3/32" rod at least implies round... I was stuck in the curved fingerboard rut so a flat fingerboard just wasn't though of.

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doug this isn't my thread i was just adding my opinion and how i thought about doing them.

you could tie the frets on sitar style! lol

Edited by joshvegas
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What is the point of using a square bar and then lots and lots of precious time to make it round? When standard fretwire is available all the time... And you also have to get those fret slots a little bit larger..

I don't get it. Maybe I'm missing something here. It can be used on a guitar that's been refretted a thousand times, and the fret slots are too wide to use standard fret wire. On a new guitar? I don't think so...

Edited by MescaBug
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Wow, lots to answer.

1. Yes, TK instruments

2. Again, not the Stick

3. Yes, if anyone has a source for Parker half rounds, please reply.

4. Bending to radius not important, as fretboard will be flat. I love classical necks.

5. I had no idea there were other threads on "bar frets", but I'm talking about rods, not bars.

As for why, rods are easily available bigger than any frets. For example, Yngwie sig guitars use 6100's and a scalloped fretboard. The same vertical distance from fret top to fingerboard wood could be accomplished with a taller fret, but since frets that tall aren't made, in come the rods. And a stainless rod that big should last a long time.

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for half rounds you could get regular frets and grind off the tangs! :D

sorry i couldn't resist but seriously i think stainless steel rods semi circular profile would be fairly easy to get hold of, maybe try the phone book? also why not the stick it's a different shape but surely the fret requirments are the same?

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