Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

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Sarah93003
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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby Sarah93003 » Sun May 23, 2021 6:16 pm

That is awesome Austin!
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1965 Mosrite Celebrity Prototype with Vibramute
1972 Mosrite Celebrity-III
1977 Gibson MK-53
1982 Fender Bullet
1994 Gretsch Streamliner G3155 Custom
2005 Gibson Les Paul Standard Plus
2006 Jude Les Paul 12 String

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101Volts
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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby 101Volts » Mon May 24, 2021 1:43 pm

Thanks, Sarah.

- Austin
1966 Ventures II (German Carved, B670,)
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1,
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2,
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10,
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI.

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SouthernVersion
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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby SouthernVersion » Sun Sep 05, 2021 4:52 pm

101Volts wrote:Since there's no topic specifically for the Mosrite Speed Frets that I'm aware of and their size, I've decided to create this topic.

My Early 1966 Ventures II still has its original frets, and I measured them in thousandths of an inch. Their height tapers from one side of the fretboard to the other:

.070 Wide
.022 High on Low E side
.015 High on High E Side

They also taper even further near the end of the fretboard by the High E, probably under .010.

My question is, is this actually the standard fretwire size (both in width and height) that Mosrite used to make Speed Frets in the 1960s? I know they changed to thicker fretwire later, but that's not the point.

Also, did Semie get the idea from Les Paul, who used "Fretless Wonder" necks in the 1950s? I suppose that's where he got the idea, knowing that he was a fan of Les Paul.

There's a chart below which shows that Dunlop had a size called "6350," and it would have been the correct width, but I'm not sure if Mosrite used that exact fretwire or not. As of this date, that's not a fretwire that they make.

As for replacement fretwire, the closest currently manufactured sizes I found are Dunlop varieties 6250 and 6270. Each one is .075 wide. 6250 is 0.030 high, so it's not too far away to sand it down right. 6270 is taller, at 0.040. Here's a link to their sizes, wiht more details:

jimdunlop.com/content/manuals/DUNLOP_FRET_WIRE_CHART.pdf

Dunlop 6340, if you can find that discontinued size somewhere, is a bit closer at 0.072 wide. (It's near the bottom of this old chart which I sourced at the link below.)

http://www.lutherie.net/fret.chart.html

Image

- Austin




So im trying to build an accurate neck for a Ventures II slab body. Along with the thin neck, I’d like to get as close to speed frets as possible. I’m going to go with the stewmac narrow fretwire, which has a crown height of 0.037. Would I be able to file down the fretwire even further to get closer to the height of a Mosrites speed frets.

Having seen your Ventures II Carved the frets are dead flat.

-Matthew
Eastwood Mach II w/ Hallmark Pickups
2019 Fender MIM Precision Bass
1970's Encore Short Scale Bass
1966 Intermark Cipher Ranger
Squier Affinity Stratocaster with a Ventures I pickup

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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby 101Volts » Wed Sep 08, 2021 9:00 pm

SouthernVersion wrote:So im trying to build an accurate neck for a Ventures II slab body. Along with the thin neck, I’d like to get as close to speed frets as possible. I’m going to go with the stewmac narrow fretwire, which has a crown height of 0.037. Would I be able to file down the fretwire even further to get closer to the height of a Mosrites speed frets.

Having seen your Ventures II Carved the frets are dead flat.

-Matthew


Yes; if you want the frets to be Speed Fret Size, you can do that. Your filing has to be true to the neck wood, though. I'm not sure if you've tried filing a neck down before or not?

However, mind, Speed Frets are amazingly low to the fretboard. They can be used, but compared to taller ones, they don't have as much life before you need to file them down. Also, since they're .015 on the High E side (and they taper down to nearly nothing at the edge, I think I read .003 near the edge before it just goes off to the tang) and .022 on the Low E side? They're great for playing chords, and they're great if you want to avoid feeling the frets as "speed bumps" up and down the neck, but they do make it difficult to bend strings. If I ever bend strings on this guitar, I usually just get 1 note higher. Any bending below the 5th fret on the G, B, and High E strings is hardly even possible.

Also, I mentioned this already in Discord, but I noticed that the High E side of the fretboard wood is actually a bit taller than the fretboard wood on the Low E side.

- Austin
1966 Ventures II (German Carved, B670,)
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1,
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2,
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10,
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI.

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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby Greg_L » Thu Sep 09, 2021 6:14 am

SouthernVersion wrote:


So im trying to build an accurate neck for a Ventures II slab body. Along with the thin neck, I’d like to get as close to speed frets as possible.

-Matthew


Why though? Don't you want to make the guitar playable? Those super-low Mosrite speed frets are cool for a quirky vintage novelty, but honestly they pretty much suck to play. You're not restoring a vintage Mosrite - you're building a copy from scratch, right? Why not pay homage to all the good things about Mosrites, and fix the little things that weren't so great....like the frets.

You ever play a Hallmark? Those things are like the perfect non-Mosrite Mosrite. They look and function just like a Mosrite Mark I. But the necks are a little bigger, like a normal neck, and they have normal frets. Beautiful guitars. Beautiful to play. You'd never know by looking at them that the necks aren't fretless pencils like original Mosrite necks.

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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby SouthernVersion » Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:06 am

Greg_L wrote:
SouthernVersion wrote:


So im trying to build an accurate neck for a Ventures II slab body. Along with the thin neck, I’d like to get as close to speed frets as possible.

-Matthew


Why though? Don't you want to make the guitar playable? Those super-low Mosrite speed frets are cool for a quirky vintage novelty, but honestly they pretty much suck to play. You're not restoring a vintage Mosrite - you're building a copy from scratch, right? Why not pay homage to all the good things about Mosrites, and fix the little things that weren't so great....like the frets.

You ever play a Hallmark? Those things are like the perfect non-Mosrite Mosrite. They look and function just like a Mosrite Mark I. But the necks are a little bigger, like a normal neck, and they have normal frets. Beautiful guitars. Beautiful to play. You'd never know by looking at them that the necks aren't fretless pencils like original Mosrite necks.



I get what you mean. I have an Eastwood Ventures II copy, while it’s not as nice as a Hallmark it’s pretty close. But I may never get to play a Ventures II Slab ever. While I commend Bob for what he does with those Hallmark guitars (which are beautiful by the way) no one makes a true accurate replica. So that is what I’m setting out to do. Even as far as fabricating the cheap tremolo. Part of the experience of owning an original vintage guitar, whether it be a Gibson, Fender or Mosrite. Is experiencing everything about it, the good and the bad. That’s why I want to build one with super small frets and a super thin neck.

- Matthew
Eastwood Mach II w/ Hallmark Pickups
2019 Fender MIM Precision Bass
1970's Encore Short Scale Bass
1966 Intermark Cipher Ranger
Squier Affinity Stratocaster with a Ventures I pickup

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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby SouthernVersion » Fri Sep 10, 2021 11:09 am

101Volts wrote:
SouthernVersion wrote:So im trying to build an accurate neck for a Ventures II slab body. Along with the thin neck, I’d like to get as close to speed frets as possible. I’m going to go with the stewmac narrow fretwire, which has a crown height of 0.037. Would I be able to file down the fretwire even further to get closer to the height of a Mosrites speed frets.

Having seen your Ventures II Carved the frets are dead flat.

-Matthew


Yes; if you want the frets to be Speed Fret Size, you can do that. Your filing has to be true to the neck wood, though. I'm not sure if you've tried filing a neck down before or not?

However, mind, Speed Frets are amazingly low to the fretboard. They can be used, but compared to taller ones, they don't have as much life before you need to file them down. Also, since they're .015 on the High E side (and they taper down to nearly nothing at the edge, I think I read .003 near the edge before it just goes off to the tang) and .022 on the Low E side? They're great for playing chords, and they're great if you want to avoid feeling the frets as "speed bumps" up and down the neck, but they do make it difficult to bend strings. If I ever bend strings on this guitar, I usually just get 1 note higher. Any bending below the 5th fret on the G, B, and High E strings is hardly even possible.

Also, I mentioned this already in Discord, but I noticed that the High E side of the fretboard wood is actually a bit taller than the fretboard wood on the Low E side.

- Austin


I’ve never filed a neck down before. I figure I could just use a radius block to sand down the frets, or just file them down one at a time by hand. I will probably do a test on a scrap piece of fretwire to see how difficult it would even be.

- Matthew
Eastwood Mach II w/ Hallmark Pickups
2019 Fender MIM Precision Bass
1970's Encore Short Scale Bass
1966 Intermark Cipher Ranger
Squier Affinity Stratocaster with a Ventures I pickup

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Re: Mosrite Speed Frets - Sizes & Replacement Fretwires

Postby 101Volts » Sat Oct 09, 2021 11:43 am

SouthernVersion wrote:I’ve never filed a neck down before. I figure I could just use a radius block to sand down the frets, or just file them down one at a time by hand. I will probably do a test on a scrap piece of fretwire to see how difficult it would even be.

- Matthew


It takes a while. It's best to tape off the fretboard, then use as coarse of a sandpaper as you can (make sure it has adhesive on the back) on a level block, until you get close to the desired height. Polishing out the sanding marks with finer and finer sandpaper will take a while.

- Austin
1966 Ventures II (German Carved, B670,)
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 1,
1970s "Not a Blues Bender" Body 2,
1976 Brass Rail Deluxe #10,
2013 Fender Pawn Shop Bass VI.


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