General tech questions

Zero Fret

1

I play down zero frets very fast as I have several zero fret guitars and have to replace them often.

I am looking for the tallest Stainless fretwire I can find, but it seems the tallest out there is 0.057". Measuring some of my zero frets they are taller than 0.058". Some are around 0.064" !

Where did these guys get that tall fretwire to use as zero frets? or has anyone a source for very tall stainless fretwire ?

I would hate to stand an 0.057" up out of it's slot to get the proper height and would rather want to find a very tall fretwire I can insert flush with the fretboard.

The zero fret on my gretsch must come out now as it will start divitting after a year as all my zero fret guitars does if they dont have stainless or evo zero-frets.

Any help will be appreciated.

2

Make one from a solid piece of stainless, although can't imagine why you want it so damn tall? Think about it, if it still fretted fine with the divots worn in it, it doesn't need to be that tall.

3

It needs to be that tall as the original fret removed and the crown height measured with calipers shows it is that tall. Wont work if smaller. The divots makes click noises when you bend close to the first three frets. To me that is unacceptable and at that point I start replacing them.

4

Anyone know where I can get fretwire taller than 0.057"

5

I get that the clicking is unacceptable, but I still think it only needs to be the same height as other frets or just a tick taller.

6

It just cannot be the same height as the other frets unless the fretboard is raised at the zero fret, which it isnt. It will buzz if the zero fret is the same height as the other frets as the zero fret takes the place of a nut for setting string height.

I take out the fret and MEASURE the crown height. It is more than 0.057". Clearly I need to replace with similar. That is what the fret is or what is required to be playable .. period.

7

Calling Curt Wilson! Oh Mr. Wilson!!

8

What height are your frets? What I'm getting at is, most people dress and recrown the zero fret when it's worn and the height is still fine.

9

There's too much gap between the nut and the zero fret which lets the strings move around and wear into the fret.

10

Also the fretwire alloys are shite anymore, way too soft compared to the old days when nickel/silver meant something.

11

Mine are soo grooved they don't pop anymore

12

All true, but anyone know where I can find fretwire taller than 0.057" thanks.

13

I tried to ask Jescar, rather than on usergroups, but they seemingly lapsed their domain and it was taken by someone else. http://jescar.com/

14

Actually, your link works fine & shows the home page of a company that sells fretwire & related tools, etc. But it says they are closed between Christmas & New Years.

Have you measured the height of the first fret, in addition to the zero fret?

If so, is it also taller than 0.057"?

15

It just cannot be the same height as the other frets unless the fretboard is raised at the zero fret, which it isnt. It will buzz if the zero fret is the same height as the other frets as the zero fret takes the place of a nut for setting string height.

I take out the fret and MEASURE the crown height. It is more than 0.057". Clearly I need to replace with similar. That is what the fret is or what is required to be playable .. period.

– retnev

It CAN be the same height as the other frets assuming you have the correct amount of relief in your neck. In fact, that's where I would start if it were mine.

The distance between the zero fret and the first fret is greater than any other fret distance. Unless you did some crazy custom fret work, all your frets are the same height and do not diminish in size as you move down the neck. If those frets work with less distance between them, it should work on the zero fret as well, especially since the "clicking" should be gone as the new fret won't have divots. If your neck has the correct relief and your frets are level, then it should work just fine. I would also take Billy's advice and check the distance between that zero fret and the nut, even with non-stainless frets, they shouldn't wear that fast.

I think that you said some zero frets you measured were .058", only 1/1000" taller. If you're engineering or setting up wooden musical instruments to have a tolerance of just a single thousandth, you're going to be in trouble.

Building harps and hammered dulcimers was my job for years. Whenever someone tried to design something that exact without room for adjustments, it never worked on more than one instrument. This isn't to say that we didn't measure to the thousandth, it's just that there had to be tolerances because no piece of wood is the same and your suppliers have tolerances, too. I bet you some of that .057" fret wire is actually.058".

16

I know the OP just wants someone to find him a fret taller than 057. Sorry to pile on the side discussion,...

  • I recall working on Gretsches in the 70's and 80's that had pieces of plain steel strings under each side of the zero frets - to add the altitude one may want.

  • "Nickel Silver" frets are mostly copper (or copper-zinc , aka Brass) and they work-harden. So strings bed into the zero fret reducing its initial height, then the fret hardens in that local spot remaining stable for a remarkable period of time.

  • But if the zero fret is leveled to the other frets, the bedding in will result in a lower zero fret.

17

Actually, your link works fine & shows the home page of a company that sells fretwire & related tools, etc. But it says they are closed between Christmas & New Years.

Have you measured the height of the first fret, in addition to the zero fret?

If so, is it also taller than 0.057"?

– geoguy

Hi geoguy:

It doesnt work here.

jescar.com gives me the following site as the photo attached.. Clearly the DNS server I am using is broken! or.. maybe the NSA doesnt want me to buy large frets. Must be secret stuff.

See attached photo of what I get for jescar.com

I will have to change my DNS.

18

Huh, that's weird. Maybe try clearing the cache in your browser?

Here's what I see from your link:

19

They should be the same height as the rest of the frets. That's the whole point. It's like playing with a capo.

20

Hi Cirecc, I do not use relief in my necks. If I do it is just a little after everything is set up as a straight neck. I keep them as straight as possible with a slightly higher zero fret unless they are like my 60's strat that developed heel bulges. The enormous amounts of relief most people use is just to hide crooked necks that should be fixed and shoddy fretwork. If I cannot dead straighten a neck, I either fix it plane it and refret or level it until it does or discard it unless it is vintage. Lots of tuning problems comes from relief or most plastic nutted setups. zero fret is the way to go. Don't worry, I have been doing fretwork since early 80's, and I know what I need. Just look at a dead flat Ramirez 1A classical guitar neck, that has great action, zero buzz, higher nut and great intonation. Although classical guitars are definitely technically inferior in some regards to modern guitars, the use of a dead straight neck is great and not really taken up by modern players (except e.g. Allan Holdsworth) . The classical guitars only vary nut height, neck angle and bridge height and dont fiddle with relief. A classical neck with relief is a clunker.

All I am really interested in is if someone know of suppliers with frets with crowns taller than 0.058 or 0.057. I have two guitars here with zero frets which are factory made taller than 0.060" (measured after I took them out of the fretboard). (Everyone seemingly choose to ignore this fact) That is the unfortunate fact and I have to deal with that. It is the first time I see tall zero frets like this.

They exist, I need to find who makes them. One of those guitars is a Zero fret Carvin, the other a long-scale zero-fret manouche. I never bothered as I do not play them that often. I will do my Gretsch at the same time as it needs a smaller zero-fret.

As for the zero fret wear. If they are not stainless or Evo they wear within a year for me. the reason is that I always play with Tremolo in my hand while I fingerpick to add small nuance. after ayear of "small nuances" it sawed the zero fret. It is my playing style that destroys the zero fret. Once I replace them with stainless I have no problems ever again.

21

Kinda makes sense to me that; doing a fret job with a zero fret, you don't really work the zero fret down. The rest of the frets get knocked down. First with sandpaper and a radius block, then with files,even polishing takes a little.

Even then, It wouldn't be too big a deal to get some .058 Evo for zero and give the rest of the frets a nice dressing. Don't you wish you could get UHMW frets? [Link](http://www.craftechind.com/materials/uhmw/) A self lubricating bearing surface that doesn't wear. It's like those white cutting boards you can't mark up with a knife.

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