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$4.45 Fret Press

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I was going to buy one of stew mac's fret press systems without the arbor press and use it in my drill press but they were out of stock so I decided I'd just buy the insert and see what I can make. I got the insert today and within 15 minutes I had a fret press. I found an old 1 inch spade bit that someone had broken the tip on and grounded the rest of it off. Then I found a block of maple and routed a 1/8" groove as deep as possible in one side and an 1/8" groove just deep enough to fit the insert (made for an 1/8" groove) I did this on the router table with a fence. then I took it too the bandsaw and cut the deep groove a little deeper. Now I could fit the spade bit in the deep groove, there is a hole in every spade bit close to the bottom that came in really handy I drilled a hole in the right place through the maple and put the spade bit and a piece of paper because it was a little loose in it and found a nail that went in and bent it on the other side. I ended up getting a fret press that works perfect for $50 less. It's not the best looking thing but it works great and that's all that matters right?

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http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/g...er/IMG_2703.jpg

http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/g...er/IMG_2702.jpg

http://i490.photobucket.com/albums/rr266/g...er/IMG_2701.jpg

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I was thinking about doing something like this, but being at school and not fretting too many boards, I decided I would hold off. Great to see that the idea works, I will have to do this as soon as I get a little more permanent of a setup. Thanks for posting it.

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I've got the StewMac piece that goes in your drill press ...

The difference between this and the one you made is that the StewMac piece pivots.

I personally find this to be a big advantage.

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That was my first thought DGW, that you need that pivoting action so the caul can center and balance itself properly when fretting. However, I think his caul does pivot just the same as the stewmac piece, instead of a rivot it just has a nail through a hole, which would allow it to move I would imagine. Not certain obvious, but it would seem like it could swing if needed, but I agree it is important. I'd also be sure to support the table of the drill press just to reduce stress on it. Obviously you don't need loads of force to fret, but regardless supporting the table would be a good idea. I think I have that same drill too, the 12" Delta and the table is strong, but I wouldn't want to stress it out if I could avoid it, even though I doubt it would snap like the smaller cheaper table top presses. Anyhow, glad it worked out for you. With that piece being maple you could probably bevel the bottom like the stewmac caul then drill a hole for a set screw, then tap the threads and add a set screw to ensure the brass insert is held in place. I might even tap the threads, take everything out, add a couple drops of thin CA inside the tapped hole, let it dry then tap it again, just to harden up the wood there even more. Just an idea if the brass insert starts falling out on you. Best of luck and nice job. J

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I've got the StewMac piece that goes in your drill press ...

The difference between this and the one you made is that the StewMac piece pivots.

I personally find this to be a big advantage.

That was just the last fret on a fingerboard I got for a strat I'm building I tested it on it's getting cut off anyways. This does pivot I didn't specify it. It's pretty sturdy and the brass piece will never fall out most likely (I had to use a hammer a to get it in). THatnks to who mentioned supporting the table I never thought about is so I'll do that too.

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You don't have feel alone. I do the same exact thing. I even use the same brass inserts from StewMac.

:D

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Now if I could just find a $4.45 fret bender.... hmmmm.....

I do it by hand but with this stainless steel fretwire I bought it from warmoth and it was pre-bended worked fine with the 12" radius. There is a tutorial stickied here somewhere to make one for $10 though.

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Now if I could just find a $4.45 fret bender.... hmmmm.....

I do it by hand but with this stainless steel fretwire I bought it from warmoth and it was pre-bended worked fine with the 12" radius. There is a tutorial stickied here somewhere to make one for $10 though.

Found it thanks!

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I have used several homemade fixtures to press in my frets. The only difference is I like to use an arbor press instead of the drill press. It doesn't have to be an expensive one. I have used a cheap one from china for 20 years or more. Back then I think it cost about $15 or so. One would be a little more now but not bad for a tool you can use for so many years.

Woodman3

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