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I have a question about fret wire (Read 4146 times)
Acabooe
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I have a question about fret wire
Apr 9th, 2008 at 4:30am
 
Hi everybody,

I have started to work on the fretboard.
I was wondering if the fretwire used on a guitar is the same size as that which is used in Ukulele making?
I am trying to save some time, because there is a music shop a few miles away that sells guitar fretwire.
Getting it there ( as oppesed to waiting for it to come by mail ) would save me some time.

Also, I was wondering.
The Hana Lima Construction manual says to use a .022" fret saw and miterbox.
I was wondering, first what would .022" be in 64th of an inch? And second, I was wondering if my STANLEY Contractor Grade Flush Cut Pull Saw would do the job just as well?
Again, I am running up against a deadline, and I am trying to finish this Ukulele soon. ( Before I move )

If there is anyone that could help me with these questions, I would really appreciate it.

Mahalo
Bob 8)
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unkabob
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #1 - Apr 9th, 2008 at 6:12am
 
Bob:
I assume that you do not have a micrometer handy. If you do, measure the thickness of the blade at the teeth. This will take the set of the teeth into account.

Mini-hacksaws come with thin blades which might work but you have to measure it to know.

You can build your own miterbox to fit the fretboard (2 inches wide) but make sure that your saw cut is "dead square". I set one up to cut all fifteen frets for a 17 inch scale length but that takes a lot of careful measuring.

The cut width of 0.022 inches is equal to 1.408/64 . It is unlikely that you can estimate this without a micrometer.

Details on fretwire are included on the Hana Lima store page.

Bob
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Uncle_Bill
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #2 - Apr 9th, 2008 at 6:48am
 
Aloha Bob - I just read Uncabob's reply to you re: fretwire size. Everything he says is correct. I thought I would elaborate some on his comments, however. 1/64th of an inch  is equal to .01526". The saw thickness is .022". The difference is.00674". The average human hair measures about .003". Two times that is equal to .006". What all this means is that 1/64" is equal to that plus two human hairs! The .022" width is critical because the width of the wire between the crown and the tang is .022". If the slot is wider than that, the fretwire cannot fit snugly. If it is loose the fret can possibly move in the slot which means you will never be completely in tune. Also, looseness could cause string buzz. Check out the dimensions of the fretwire on  the Hana Lima store page, write down the dimensions, then find someone to help you measure the wire at your music store before you buy it It would be a shame to use the wrong wire at this stage of the game.
Uncle Bill
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Acabooe
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #3 - Apr 9th, 2008 at 8:00am
 
Thanks for the advice guys, after reading your posts, I decided that I will just order it, and do it right the first time. ( even if it may take longer. )

Aloha
Bob 8)
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lefty
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #4 - Apr 9th, 2008 at 12:32pm
 

Bob,
I don't know where you live, but I usually get my stuff from Hana Lime to my house in Riverside, Ca. in 4 days. 

I think you will be happier with the Hana Lima fret wire.  The guitar stuff would really look odd.  Just my opinion.

Keep us posted,
Lefty
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obmissy
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #5 - Apr 14th, 2008 at 5:08pm
 
Aloha,
You night want to order a zona fret saw from Asa also.  I used to cut all me fretboards by hand before I bought a fret blade for my table saw.  You don't really need the miter box.  Just mark your frets before you taper the fretboard that way you will have a square edge off of which to work.  Then take a 1 inch thick block of wood and clamp it to your fretboard precisely where you marked the fret location.  The block of wood will be your guide to put your saw blade up against.  Also put a piece of masking tape on your saw blade to mark the depth of your cut so all your cuts will be equal in depth.
If you don't have the means to accurately measure fret location, order a pre slotted fret board from Asa and use that as your guide or use that on your project.
Aloha,
Lori
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Acabooe
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #6 - Apr 15th, 2008 at 10:48am
 
Aloha everyone,

I just received my order from Hana Lima today.
I got the Zona fret saw, and miter box, and some fret wire.

I noticed that the ukulele fretwire is smaller than I would have gotten if I had gone with the guitar wire, so thanks for the tip.

I will start cutting my slots tomorrow, and I will keep you guys posted.

Incidentily, I was still unsure about measuring the fret spacing, so what I did was to trace the blueprints exactly, and then spray mount adhesive the paper to a cereal box. I cut it out, double stick taped it to the board, and then used a straight edge, and pencil to mark it. Worked like a charm.

I'll keep u guys posted.

Bob 8)
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Matt Blacka
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #7 - Apr 15th, 2008 at 12:38pm
 
Hi Bob,

If you haven't started cutting your fret slots yet, I would recommend that you check your markings first. If you go to the stewart Mcdonald website they have a fret calculator http://www.stewmac.com/FretCalculator/ which you can use to get the measurements of your fret spacings. Just chuck in the number of frets you want measurements for (say about 19), the scale length (17" for tenor), select the instrument box to ukulele, and then you are in business.

Measure twice and cut once  Wink

I have seen photocopiers and plan printers do some funny scaling stuff to pictures in the past without realising it initially, so its always best to check your copies off something else independant if you can.

Matt
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MAKAIO Ukuleles, Australia www.makaioukuleles.blogspot.com
 
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Acabooe
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #8 - Apr 16th, 2008 at 9:15am
 
Thanks for the tip, I didn't think about that.
Unfortunately, I cut the slots this morning.
O well, it is all a learning process.
Here is a pic.

...

Take care,
Bob 8)
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Acabooe
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #9 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 4:01am
 
Well, I finished the fretboard session, now I am on to fitting the sides to the sound board.
Here is a pic of the fret board how it looks now.
Thanks for eveyone who is showing intrest in my first build.

Aloha
Bob 8)

...
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lefty
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Re: I have a question about fret wire
Reply #10 - Apr 22nd, 2008 at 7:45pm
 

Bob,
  Looking good.

Lefty
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