View Full Version : Improved self-made fretting tools

10-28-2016, 03:37 AM
When I flew to South America last week I had, for the long flights, a single piece of reading material with me. It was the Stewmac catalogue and I studied it more thoroughly than usual. I find it to be a great source of inspiration. Yes, their tools are expensive and it's possible to buy Chinese knock-offs on eBay but I like Stewmac.

I realised I wanted a fretting press with a zero radius caul, such as their Jaws, and a fret end bevelling file.

But buying from the US to Sweden is slow and expensive, the custom charges add a slap in the face and a frantic grope into your wallet.

So when I found a good quality single cut file in the hardware store I thought I'd make my own knock-offs.

Here's what I made:

And a couple of pics for those of you who don't like links to blogs.



Yesterday I tried the improved fret press. It works wonderfully.


Once more, pics.



I am very poorly equipped to do metal work. I could handle the brass caul but even that would have turned out a lot neater with the proper machines and tools.

This morning I fretted three boards in ten minutes and I don't expect to use the levelling side of the fret file on those.

Cheers / Sven

10-28-2016, 07:14 AM
Nice fret press. I really like the fret markers made up of all the small dots

10-28-2016, 08:39 AM
Nice fret press. I really like the fret markers made up of all the small dots
Ten spots for 10th fret and twelve spots for .....I get the idea ;)

10-28-2016, 11:36 AM
I have had good luck using this type of clamp by removing the pad on the side that presses the fret into the fingerboard, moving as needed until set.

10-29-2016, 12:00 AM
I think I need to attempt to make one of these.
Thanks for the Blog Sven.

10-29-2016, 01:07 AM
Fanx mates, with these tools I think fretting just took a leap upwards on the list of fun steps of building. The ease with which the tang sinks in, what a difference.