stainless frets (pics added)

Bill in SC

Senior Member
I guess I am rough on frets, thus my last two necks from Warmoth, I got with stainless frets. Well, as I was working on changing out my Strat neck to the new guitar body, I noticed that the stainless frets already had small dimples on the first three frets, with the second fret being the worse. This neck has been played on VERY LITTLE, and I was pretty much shocked to see ANY fret wear at all. Could it have been a "bad" batch of fret wire?
Bill in SC


The macro photo makes it look worse than it is. You can, however, feel it with your fingernail. I will tr and get some better pics after church when the light gets better.
Just curious, is it a maple fingerboard? If yes, did you clean the finish off the frets?
That's what I was thinking RLW. I'm using using Ernie Ball 10/46 strings. Never had any issues like that before with those strings.
I was thinking the same thing CB. I mess with a lot of metal, and they "look" like stainless. I guess brand new nickel frets would certainly look similar, and both being non magnetic, it would be hard to tell. I might could file a fret end and tell. I think I could "feel" if it were stainless or not as the file would not bite into the stainless as it would nickel. Pics will be up as soon as it gets daylight. BTW: I got my pau ferro neck BEFORE I got the Strat neck. The stainless frets on the older neck show -0- wear, and I play this guitar EVERY day. I'm beginning to think they may have erred with fret material on the Strat neck. Regardless of the fret material that it turns out to be, THAT neck hasn't been played enough to show any fret wear. There may be 40 to 50 hours playing time on it.
Stainless steel fret should never tarnish, it will look as shiny as the day you polished it, even if it's been sitting there for several weeks. Nickel fret will dull and tarnish in a few weeks...
Well, these are as bright and shiny as the day I bought it, so perhaps they are stainless. I'm just curious for answers and welcome any suggestions. Once again, maybe this fret wired came from a batch that perhaps was not annealed properly. Heck, I don't know. Really haven't a clue. I think the strings were changed on that neck about 4 or 5 times.
BB in SC
i would suggest steel wool, but it sounds a little pointless to me, the only other thing i can think of would be fret leveling.
you'll need some skillz and some diamond files for that, or enough dough to get a luthier or tech to do it.
LOL. It's not even near needing any work done. I just thought it odd for them to be worn any yet. It still plays perfectly.
BTW, there are magnetic, and non-magnetic stainless steels.  It is a complete misconception to assume that stainless=non magnetic.  You'll also find that heat treatment, and working the metal will alter its magnetic properties.  I just checked with an magnet - my stainless frets are non-magnetic as far as I can tell.
IF that is stainless, is it possible to have a bad batch?
I got SS6105's on a Strat neck for over 2 years no sign of wear - played 4-8 hours a week.
Those pics are unbelievable.
That does NOT look like stainless fretwire, from the wear patterns at least. 

I think your neck needs to take a trip to Puyallup.  May I boldly suggest you contact W about this.  You did PAY for stainless, yes?

And btw, ewwwwwwie, clean that fretboard!
I guess I will give Gregg a shout tomorrow and see what he says. It would certainly be better to send the neck back now. I've had it less than a year.
BB in SC
The fret shop writes on the back of the neck heel what fretwire the neck has installed on it.
Thanks Gregg. I removed the neck again. Yes, it is clearly marked SS 6105. Any idea as to why they might be wearing so fast?
BB in SC
Bill in SC said:
Thanks Gregg. I removed the neck again. Yes, it is clearly marked SS 6105. Any idea as to why they might be wearing so fast?
BB in SC
No. You can send it back for us to look at if you'd like. If it is confirmed as Stainless, I would doubt if we could tell you what is causing the wear. I haven't heard of any other stories like this so you'd think they'd be pouring in if there were something metalurgically wrong with a spool of stainless wire.
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