What in earth is semi hemispherical fretting? Well, it is shaping a fret end like a bullet, so it’s very smooth to the touch. It feels nice, and you get a fraction more fret “real estate” than conventional fret end treatment. It really does feel nice. Not kidding. It was American luthier Harry Fleishman who came up with the idea back in the 90s.
The down side is, semi hemi fretting takes a lot more time. Not only in making and polishing the frets, but in fitting the things. So I do charge quite a bit more over and above my standard price for doing it.
Fretting seems.a lot more complex than it used to. When I worked for Sobell, there was certainly nothing wrong with how we did it, and it was perfectly functional, but the fretting we did certainly wouldn’t do well in a modern day fretting beauty pageant. These days I spend a lot more time prepping the fretboard, prepping the fretwire, and fitting the frets so they are so well fitted they need no levelling.
To grind the bullet shape, I use a diamond coated wheel shaped to fit my fretwire.
For luthiers, I’m putting in an order with a machine shop for 20 of these semi hemi fretting wheels. The wheel is diamond coated and makes short work of that all important initial “bullet” grind. The wheels work well with nickel and Evo Gold 2mm wire. I’ve not tried stainless steel. I’m sure it’ll work, but as luthiers know, SS wrecks all cutting tools eventually. I’ve been using my grinding wheel for a year or so now without a hint of wear. If you’d like one, prices are HERE.