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Fret size can dramatically change the way a guitar feels when you play it. The feel of different frets can depend on the material (nickle vs. steel), the crowning (edges) of the fret, and fret board material and radius. Fret wire can vary in dimension, and there is variation in the nominal measurements of different fret sizes. Fret size will also change with each fret dress and normal wear.


Good explanation of measuring fret sizes and related issues.

Very nice description, diagram, and specs of conventional fret wire

Basic definition of frets, explanation, variations, and other facts

Suhr's fret sizes:

Heavy - 0.051" Height   x   0.108" Width
Medium - 0.055" Height   x   0.090" Width
Jumbo - 0.057" Height   x   0.110" Width

Melancon's fret sizes:

Stainless Heavy  .104” X .051”
Stainless Medium .095” X .047”
Stainless Vintage Small .080” X .043”

Gibson's fret sizes:

Variation between 6130 and "jumbo" 6150 size. 
6130 = .036" (h)   X   .106" (w) "medium jumbo"
6150 = .046" (h)   X   .103" (w) "jumbo"

G&L frets:

Medium Jumbo (Dunlop 6100 fretwire) frets are standard on G&L instruments.

Vintage frets (Dunlop 6230 fretwire) are optional. Same as used on George Fullerton Signature Model.

G&L Bass Fret Sizes

Medium Jumbo: The standard frets on all G&L basses. A great balance.

Vintage: For players who prefer the slim frets of '50s and '60s Leo instruments

Stainless Steel Medium Jumbo: Stainless Steel version is extra durable for longetivity. A great choice for extensive touring or musicians with an aggressive playing style.

Stainless Steel Vintage: Feels just like a '50s or '60s Leo bass, but Stainless Steel will last significantly longer before a fret dressing is needed.

PRS frets:

PRS uses a medium jumbo similar to 6150 except for select models such as Santana, Hilland, Grssom, and 513 models, which typically use a slightly larger fret similar to the 6100.

FRETBOARD (Fingerboard)

Very nice explanation and measurements of common fret board radius

Fret board radius explanation and measurment

Care for your fretboard:

Fretboards are either finished with lacquer, poly, etc. (as with vintage maple necks) or they are unfinished (as with most rosewood and ebony fretboards). Finished fretboards should be carefully cleaned similar to other finished woods on the guitar body. Abrasives will scratch and remove finish, and normal playing will wear off the finish and expose wood. Cleaning old and dirty boards and frets without removing finish can be a delicate process. Raw or unfinished fretboards need to be hydrated or conditioned periodically.

Conditioning unfinished fretboards

Controversy surrounds the choice of oil for conditioning rosewood and ebony fretboards, but common sense dictates that an ideal conditioner is one that penetrates the wood, remains as long as possible, and does not damage or seal the wood. A more comprehensive discussion is found here

Absorption depends on the ability of the oil to be wicked into the cellulouse fibers that make up the wood. When wood dries, air enters the fiber structure and the wood shrinks. Like a sponge, the wood expands when hydrated. Oil is carried into the fiber structure by capillary action, so the oil should consist of relatively small particules (low molecular weight).

Most commercial fretboard conditioners named "lemon oil" are actually mineral oil with lemon scent. Mineral oil is a petroleum substance that has a relatively high molecular weight compared to some vegatable oils and with a relatively low vapor pressure. It doesn't absorb well, and it evaporates quickly leaving the fretboard dry.

Other products contain particles and polymers that clog and seal the pores in wood. Most commercial products probably do little if any long-term damage to wood, but some contain polymers, waxes, and siicates that fill the pores and are difficult to remove. A good rule of thumb is to avoid products that say "flammable" or "shake well".

Formby's Buildup Remover and 0000 Steel Wool can help unclog pores, and Fret Doctor can help hydrate and keep the wood aborbant.