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Fret Tang Nippers For Unbound Necks


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I'm thinking of getting a fret tang nipper, even though I'm not making a bound neck --but I've read that they make it easier to trim the fret anyway--there's less to cut through.

The nipper I'm interested in buying looks like a pre-modified nibbler so it's half the price of the Stewmac model (and it's the same price as a nibbler would cost me anyway).

Does anyone use a nipper this way --just to trim the fret?

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All the time. It’s my preferred way of doing it. In Sweden the winters are very dry (and cold) so the fretboard wood shrinks some during winter and expands during summer. By undercutting the fret wire a tiny bit there are less risk for sharp fret ends. If the fretboard shrinks a tiny bit it is very easy to file the end flush if the tang isn’t protruding.

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I've never fretted a neck without nipping the tangs first. You cut to length, trim the tang, fret, and use a regular nipper to cut flush. OK, so most of mine are bound (I like the look and feel), but I like the fact you can 'hide away' the fret ends perfectly, and like Peter said, if the fingerboard shrinks at all, there's less material (on the ends of the frets, not the tangs) to file off.

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