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jay5

Jay5's $15 Home Depot Fret Bender

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costo    0

Thanks for the plans! All the parts cost under 12.00!

I had a problem keeping the fret tang from turning (diagonally) to the side, almost bending the wire into a spiral, because the middle fender washer I was using was too thick. So I just replaced it with the thinnest washer i could find to keep the tang straight up. Everything turns and bends perfect now! thanks!

bender.JPG

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Wats    0

I made this recently. It cost me $17 at Lowes because the handle was almost 5 bucks. I had to play with the washers, too, but over all it is very cool.

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I just bought everything to make this simple little tool, but I'll be darned if I could find ANY plastic or nylon washers! I was sent to the plumbing department by three different people working at the Home Depot. Found nothing is isle 26, (the plumbing stuff isle).

I suppose a coffee can lid cut into little washers will work in a pinch.

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Rick500    0

I found 'em at Lowes. I don't remember if they were on the wall 'o stuff in tiny plastic bags, or in the row of drawers of weird hardware. The latter, probably.

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I followed your advise and made my own bender instead of buying one from Stew. Mac. It works perfect! I already put the radius on my fretboard, so I set the adjustable wheel to where I thought it should be, bent the wire, but the radius wasn't enough. I adjusted three times before I got the right radius. Perfect.

BTW... I didn't put my handle on, and it works fine without it, you just push it through by hand.

Nifty little tool I must say.

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I have always assumed that the 'offset adjuster' was the clever part of the Randy Stockwell design, as opposed to the 'slot adjuster' which anyone would come up with right away. (obviously, the one this thread is about is the slot adjuster). I have benders with both types of adjusters, and prefer the offset (stewmac/stockwell), over the one with the slot adjuster if I'm trying to dial in a radius close to a pefect match. Pain in the ass with the slot adjuster, 'cause once you loosen that bearing, it's hard to keep it in place, and just move it a smidge.

http://usera.imagecave.com/soapbarstrat/SMbender2072.jpg

http://usera.imagecave.com/soapbarstrat/SMbender2073.jpg

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Setch    0

I can see how the offset adjuster works to adjust the radius, but how do you adjust it? Back of the nut a little, then move it around and re-tighten?

Sorry, I think that by trying to frame my question clearly, I answered it. Oops.

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I guess you got it.

Has a thin knurled tightening nut on the back

http://usera.imagecave.com/soapbarstrat/SMbender2071.jpg

What if I told you it had a USB jack on the side and I adjusted the radius on a computer ? (haha, you're the last guy who'd buy that)

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Setch    0

Neato. I'll run a dumb terminal and a USB port to my workshop :D

Looks like a very nice way to perform fine adjustments, but more involved to machine than I fancy. Looks like I'll stick with the quick'n'dirty adjuster when I make up my bender.

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Guest RavenT   
Guest RavenT

For most of you guys that do not know this about the fret bender. You can make a big jig and give you’re fret wire the radius and do it in one shot. But with the fret bender you bend in increments to the radius that is needed and in doing so you compress the wire making it stronger. A stronger fret will last longer then one that was not compressed.

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Musiclogic    0

you never want the exact radius of the board, you want the fret wire bent a little more than the fretboard to get the splaying effect when hammering or pressing in frets. This gives you a more positive seating, and better tang lock in the slot. So you can over bend without being concerned.

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Mender    6

If anyone in the UK has been thinking of making a fret bender like this, and hasn't found suitable pulley wheels for the job, try these http://www.meccanospares.com/shop/article_...%26aid%3D22a%26

1 inch diameter solid brass. The pulley groove is a "V" shape so suitable for any fret size. I've just made a fret bender using two of these, and it works very well indeed :D

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Rocket    0

I've been messing with this thing today. Parts cost me around $15 as stated. My problem is the same as another poster, the crank is wobbly. I can see why: it's because the bolt it's being attached to is not snug in the crank (handle) hole, so when the tiny set-screw is applied, the crank mounts on the bolt at an angle. So as I'm putting fretwire through it all, when the set scew is facing up, the tang wheel goes outward on the bottom.

Did any of you find handles that used some other method than a set-screw? When I was shopping around I assumed that it would just screw onto the bolt with threads, but I didn't see anything like that.

And if you used set-screw handles, how did you get it to catch onto the bolt? I found that just tightening set-screw against the threads didn't hold so I drilled a hole into the threads for the set-screw to go in a little, but I still have to tighten it after every pass. In addition to it wobbling all over the place.

I must be doing something wrong.

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Rocket    0

Futzed around with it some more. Two things helped: 1) using a thinner middle washer for the tang wheel, as someone else posted in this thread; 2) I drilled a 2nd hole in the handle crank 180 degrees from the stock set-screw hole, tapped and put a screw in the new hole, so now it's forced to mount on the bolt straight.

So yeah, I'm really glad I didn't spend the eighty or ninety dollars on the Stew/Mac one. Actually I was looking at some $35-$45 eBay ones some guys made and are selling but figured I'd give this a shot.

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Ripthorn    24

Just a tip for some who might be wanting to build this, I found I didn't even need the crank, I could just push the fretwire through and the two brass roller wheels roll along just fine. Worked great.

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