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Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:39 pm
by Gordon Bellerose
Yes. That is also my question.
I buy wire from stewmac that has a tang of .023

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:59 pm
by Barry Daniels
I am using the wide and tall Stew-Mac #154. It matches the wire that was originally on this 7-string, and is what the client wanted.

I don't know why, Mario, but I have sometimes struggled a bit with getting fretwire fully seated. Just about any fretwire pressed into a .023" slot is just too tight of a fit in my opinion. So I came up with the approach to widen the slot with a tapered dremel bit that has a maximum width of about .027". But that is a bit overkill and I have worried if it is really secure enough. I thought I would try the approach of removing a bit of the fret barb. So far, I like the results.

Keep in mind that I am installing frets in a board already glued to the neck. Also, this is an archtop so I don't have the ability to use a fret buck under the fretboard extension. I need to be able to press these frets in pretty easily.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:00 pm
by David King
Barry,
I'm really impressed with the quality of the Jescar wire and have long since replaced all my stewmac sizes with the equivalent Jescar which tends to have thinner tangs (.020"-.021") and shorter barbs (.032"-.036"). I'm sure you probably have a collection of both. I still have large spools of Dunlap wire which have been hanging around my neck for a couple of decades but were unusable due to poor quality and twisted spooling.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:09 pm
by Barry Daniels
You are not the first person to tell me that. I will check it out. Where do you buy your Jescar?

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 1:40 pm
by Barry Daniels
I see that LMII has it. I did not realize that their tang width was so much less. That is exactly what I needed. Thanks David!

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:08 pm
by David King
I buy it in the 3LB rolls right from Jescar's US website. They now sell in 2 foot straight pieces for folks who can't wrangle a coil.
Here's the dimensions page https://www.jescar.com/fret-wire-specifications/
They sell a lot of other handy lutherie related items like flannel buffing wheels, Manzerna sticks, Summit tools and the double-priced CA glues with pictures of guitars on the labels.
I'm quite happy with their evo-gold wire which is nickel free but not quite as hard and brash-sounding as the stainless wire.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:31 pm
by Mario Proulx
Also, be sure to slightly bevel the fret slots' edges a bit. A small square needle file works great...

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Sat Aug 26, 2017 3:49 pm
by Barry Daniels
Thanks Mario. That task is already part of my normal routine.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:47 pm
by Craig Bumgarner
FWIIW, I've been going through this too, frets hard to drive and too much back bow. To mitigate, I've been using a cheap fine tooth back saw with the teeth dressed down to .025" to open the slots up a bit for fret wire w/ .023" tang. Also, I'm using the Stewmac Fret Barber to trim the tangs down some. I ordered Jescar stainless wire with .020" tang. We'll see how this goes.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:03 pm
by Barry Daniels
I sent a note to Stew Mac. Their circular fret saw blade is sized to cut a .023" slot, yet their fretwire has a tang width of .025". I think those are incompatible specifications.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:09 pm
by Craig Bumgarner
Agreed! I'll let you know how the .020" Jescar goes in a .023" slot. My guess is it will be good.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:32 pm
by Barry Daniels
I may beat you to it, or at least a tie. LMII has put my Jescar in the mail.

Stew-Mac refunded my fretwire. But I think they need to make some adjustments to the blade or wire.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Mon Aug 28, 2017 8:24 pm
by David King
I did a bit of research a few years back and figured out that there only something like 4 fret wire mills in the world. Stewmac and Dunlap I think have the same source in the Northeast. There's a mill in Russia (Sintoms) and another in S. Korea and then Jescar in Germany is probably the largest.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Fri Sep 01, 2017 6:16 pm
by Barry Daniels
The airport finally opened up yesterday and I got my Jescar fretwire in. It looks good. The tang measures about .022" thick. It is going in with just the right amount of pressure. Thanks again David.

I will probably still need to use my fret barber on the fretboard extension.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Tue Sep 05, 2017 7:56 pm
by Barry Daniels
Trimming the fretwire down for the fingerboard extension worked out great. It tapped in with the right amount of force. Not too much and not too little. I am happy with the Jescar and the way it turned out.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:26 am
by David King
Stunning work.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 12:01 pm
by Barry Daniels
Thanks David. I am always trying to find ways to do things better. One issue that I had been having increasing trouble was getting a good buff on the frets. For several decades I have sanded my frets with 320 grit wet or dry paper and then gone to a 8" diameter buffing wheel with gray compound. In the last few years it seemed like the level of gloss achieved was getting less and less. I hadn't changed anything. So I started adding in a final sanding with 800 grit paper before buffing. Still no joy. So I was recently reading a thread over on the OLF about Menzerna compound bars dying after a certain number of years. Hmmm. That bar of gray compound I'm using is probably 35 years old. Could that be the problem? So I pulled out a bar of tripoli that is probably only 10 years old (relatively young for my shop) and it worked. One quick pass and high gloss.

Now I just need to rebuild my old buffing machine because it is rattling pretty badly. I inherited it from my grandfather so it is probably nearly 70 or 80 years old. I can't replace it due to sentimental issues, so I will need to replace the bushings. Another job for the list.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 5:24 pm
by David King
I used to buff but I got lazy applying all the tape to the board and taking it off so now I do 400 grit Norton 3X, 1200 3M Imperial silicone carbide both on a fret shaped handle and "buff" using 00000 steel wool with a steel eraser mask over the fret to protect the board. I clean up the board with a white plastic eraser and move on. It's definitely a workout for the hands so I limit myself to one fret leveling a day. A big magnet wrapped in a plastic baggie is handy to gather the steel wool flakes.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Wed Sep 06, 2017 7:52 pm
by Barry Daniels
Yeah, the tape is a pain.

Re: Burns Gear-O-Matic Truss Rod

PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 1:13 pm
by Barry Daniels
In order to bring completion to this project here are photos of the finished repair.

IMG_0596.jpg


Installed new TV Jones Supertron pickups and wiring harness which includes a tone selector switch. These are blade pickups which works with the string spacing of the seven strings.

IMG_0597.jpg