Fret Wire Decision Time - First build (with photos)

Toy Sun

New member
Messages
15
Homing in on my parameters - so many!
Me: not really picky (ouch, bad pun), I'm the kind of player who picks up a guitar and either loves it or goes "meh" but I also put most challenges on me, not the instrument. I'm actually a bass player, but have played guitar longer, like for 45 years. I am a Fender guy, like rhythm and bluesy lead a' la Steve Cropper, but I'm a Jazz musician and I play standards, too, though not building this instrument for that.

The goal is the mythical Strat Partscaster that my friend owns, likely Warmoth parts. We call it the "John Raymond Guitar" and John, if you see this, chime in!

Neck will be either roasted maple with ebony or all rosewood.
The Model - see attached photos. Per my friend who measured, nut width is 1-9/16th, but I think he mis-measured and it must be 1-5/8" - vintage narrow.
Here are some photos of the frets, I'm thinking these must be Vintage Wide?
Full photo is to just show the relationship of the fret wire width to the neck - I bet some of you can determine what this is just from the visual. Looks like wide "old Gibson" to me.

My trepidation is that I really don't like Gibson feeling guitars, and I'm leaning to the 9.5" - 14" compound radius, because I like Fender feel - what I think of as "fight back" where the guitar feels tight and strings aren't moving around on the fingerboard, unless I'm bending them. I'm a strong player, so lightness isn't a requirement. But... the John Raymond has a slinkiness that I like.

I sincerely hope the above is helpful in getting some guidance or opinions. This is a crazy exercise for me!


Thanks,
John
 

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Spud

Senior member
Messages
476
They look like 6100's that have been worn down/dressed a few times to me. But someone else may have a different take so stand by. On the nut width, best thing to do is measure nut with calipers so you aren't guessing, or you may not get what you are hoping for. Also, if you like a Fender feel you probably want a straight 9.5 radius, not a compound.
 
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Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,150
All right, whose John Raymond?
That said, what you need are some measuring tools, what are you doing with a tape measure? Home Depot is open tomorrow, get these three things: a small metal ruler that begins at zero, get an 18 inch metal ruler for a straight edge, get some calipers for measuring the neck you like.

Guessing will indeed make you crazy. Don't do it.
 

Spud

Senior member
Messages
476
All right, whose John Raymond?
That said, what you need are some measuring tools, what are you doing with a tape measure? Home Depot is open tomorrow, get these three things: a small metal ruler that begins at zero, get an 18 inch metal ruler for a straight edge, get some calipers for measuring the neck you like.

Guessing will indeed make you crazy. Don't do it.
Word!
 

Toy Sun

New member
Messages
15
John Raymond played for many years with..... Kenny G (running for cover now)

I have a caliper, a great ruler, great straight edges, but my buddy lives on an island (literally) and that's where the guitar is. I already felt like I was bugging him to get the tape measure done :)

To make this even more guessing, I'm going off my memories of this guitar, so our tolerance is about 10' at this point. Not 10", 10'

I'm just going off the rough measurement and look and thinking that I may like a wider/lower fret than I'm used to, because none of my current guitars give me the feeling that I'm hoping to get from this first build.

I did put in the time and measured all of the guitars in the house (mine, my wife's, my daughters - fun house, right?) and I think I know what I want, but I'm a bit nervous:
I think I want 6130 but on a 9.5" to 14" compound. That is something I've never experienced - low wide frets on a small radius neck.

Thoughts?

Thanks,
John
 

Rick

Senior member
Messages
4,150
Cool jazz .. nice

As to the neck … Only way to know if you like it is to try it. Just go for it.
 
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Toy Sun

New member
Messages
15
You are right. I don't want to wear out my welcome here - it's so daunting and the nature of this exercise, the Warmoth site, and Internet Information (and opinion) overload is a very real thing.
That said, all of the input I've been getting has been super helpful and I realized that I am trying to create something that is new for me, not another version of a guitar I already have or that I could buy - if so, then why put together my own?
I have my concept and I'm solidifying my decisions, I will continue to use my build report/progress thread to document it.

Thanks again,
John
 

stratamania

Senior member
Messages
8,907
@Toy Sun you are welcome and we are happy to help answer those things that we can. Though, those subjective choices are finally down to the individual.

Perhaps also take a look at the Welcome to the forum link in my signature, that thread has links to lots of tips and other useful threads, builds etc that you may find useful.

I suppose one tip I could give is for a first build, it is tempting to try to make a universal perfect Swiss army knife and strive for a possibly unattainable balance of aesthetics and function etc. But it is perhaps better to start with the basics and build from there.

Perhaps make a checklist and cross off those things of which you are certain and then we can possibly help you zero in on other elements.
 
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