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Fret Nippers Cutting Too Much.


MP63
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I have some Stew-Mac fret nippers. The kind that cut the tang for fretting over binding.

After going through about 6' of fret wire to get just ONE fret right, something is wrong.

The tang and some of the head is removed also.

The cutter is for small-med fret wire, which I have.

I am using curved fret wire.

Might that be the problem?

What is used when the fret nipper isn't available?

I need to go old-school to get this right.

To much variables with this cutter.

Thank you,

Mike

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If the fret crown is sitting down in the groove you shouldn't be able to damage the crown at all. Maybe there is something wrong with your nippers. Does the fret stay flat in the nippers or does it roll over when you start to cut? Talk to Stew-Mac, they will probably swap out your nippers no questions asked.

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They roll over.

Sometimes it'll cut on different edges and very seldom does it sit snug and cut right.

It is useless for me.

I have been using wire cutters and filing the rest down.

But, now I don't have enough fret wire, as I've been "practicing" on 12' of wire.

Of the hundreds of "practice" cuts, only two were the way they shpould.

My fret nippers cut better than the tool. With my old fret nippers, I still file them down after cutting them, but the fancy tool didn't deliver as advertised.

That's how inconsistant this thing is working.

I need to buy more wire.

With the way things are going, maybe I should get the 100' roll.

Before this tool was made, what was the norm for fretting on the binding?

Thanks,

Mike

:D

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I've been "practicing" on 12' of wire.

I don’t intend to be rude but after the first couple of feet or so you should maybe considered the tool faulty and stopped. I have that tool and it is possible to get the wire into the nipper a little wrong, and that will take too much off. But that only happens when I am in a hurry and need to slow myself down. Otherwise the fret tang nipper is a wounderful tool that works like magic. If you have the problem all the time, call StewMac and tell them that they need to replace your. I don’t think that they will argue with you about that. But they will not replace 12’ of wire that you have destroyed. The only shows that the most important tool you have as a Luthier is patience.

Before this tool was made, what was the norm for fretting on the binding?

The Gibson way of doing things is was to cut the wire flush to the actual fret board and let the plastic binding stick up over the surface of the fretboard. Then the binding were scraped flush with the fretboard AND the frets, if you get the picture. A binding with bumps were the frets are. So it was actually the binding that was the end of the fret! So for refrets the fret ere removed, the binding scraped / sanded flush and the frets were installed as on modern guitars.

Edited by SwedishLuthier
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IMO, the Gibson way is the most idiotic possible way to do bound fretboards. Rather grind the frets to shape manually.

As for the tool, it should work simply, easily, effectively. Send StewMac an email about it, get a replacement that's not faulty. Should get to yours within a couple of days.

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IMO, the Gibson way is the most idiotic possible way to do bound fretboards. Rather grind the frets to shape manually.

I agree. They have moved away from that a long time ago and cut away the tang like everybody else

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Yeah, I was a bit frustrated.

I don't expect them to replace the wire, just the tool.

The fact that it came apart tells me something was wrong to begin with.

12' of wire sounds like a lot, but I was cutting the wire to about 2"-3" sections, so it added up quick.

I didn't cut 12' by the inch. Now that's a lot of cutting!

Wire's cheap, patience isn't.

Thanks for the info.

I feel better now.

Mike

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