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Timbuck
10-14-2017, 06:16 AM
I already have about 8 or 9 presses set up for various jobs...and I have been using my bench drill press for fitting frets...But the constant pressure on the drill table is knocking it out of square (they are not really designed for that type of work are they ?)...So! Iv'e put my hand in my pocket and ordered another 1/2 ton Arbor Press from Axminster Tools just for fretting....All I have to do now when it arrives is modify it and make a new fret caul to fit it....More to follow ;)
https://farm5.staticflickr.com/4495/23838737018_00782dbf4a_b.jpg (https://flic.kr/p/CjxKZd)press (https://flic.kr/p/CjxKZd) by Ken Timms (https://www.flickr.com/photos/150702140@N02/), on Flickr

Pete Howlett
10-14-2017, 06:33 AM
Rig it up with a spring return and use a torque wrench to pull the rack down - works a dream. I rarely need to fret dress.

Timbuck
10-14-2017, 06:44 AM
Rig it up with a spring return and use a torque wrench to pull the rack down - works a dream. I rarely need to fret dress.

Pete you are reading my mind ;)

sequoia
10-14-2017, 08:52 PM
I also am using my drill press as a fret press and I can feel how it wants to slide a bit to the side. Basically using a tool that is not designed to do the job it was designed for. Also I use my drill press as a spindle sander. Another job it wasn't designed for. Hello worn bearings? The way I look at it is that sometimes you have to use the tools you have at hand that are less than ideal. It is a shame to have to use a tool to do a job that it wasn't designed for, but sometimes we have to do what we have to do because that is all we have. I lust after a real press like you showed and a real spindle sander. The reality is that with a band saw and drill press you can do amazing things and build ukuleles. Until you ruin your tools that is.

Pete Howlett
10-14-2017, 11:03 PM
+ router Sequoia and you have the full kit. I made over 200 ukulele with these basic tools before I got a dosc sander (made from a motor and a large pullley acting as faceplate....) and afurther 200 before I made my first thickness sander.

BTW, these presses are $45 over here in the UK. That's the cost a restaurant meal isn't it?

Kevs-the-name
10-15-2017, 05:42 AM
I am VERY interested to see how you convert this.
I too am using a drill press, and want to go down the Arbour Press route..

The only thing stopping me is not knowing how i’d attach the press caul.

Unfortunately, I really have NO engineering knowledge or nounce! I’d like to find out how you added the torque wrench as well Pete..

I hate having such little knowledge!

Pete Howlett
10-15-2017, 08:09 AM
You take out the rack - thats the bit that goes up and down and take it to a local engineering company to have the end drilled and side tapped to accept and fix the Stewmac caul I assume you are using. Will do a broadcast this week to show you the set-up I use. It is so simple.

Kevs-the-name
10-15-2017, 08:18 AM
You take out the rack - thats the bit that goes up and down and take it to a local engineering company to have the end drilled and side tapped to accept and fix the Stewmac caul I assume you are using. Will do a broadcast this week to show you the set-up I use. It is so simple.

Thank you Pete...Yes, I am using something similar to the Stewmac caul.
now to find the suggested engineering company ;-)

Pete Howlett
10-15-2017, 09:12 AM
Plenty of small shops where you live Kev.

jupiteruke
10-15-2017, 11:21 AM
For these cheap presses, the rack seems to be pretty mild steel. I just drilled mine with a fresh 1/4" twist drill on the drill press. A little oil on the cut, no problem. Made a caul body from some aluminum channel I had around, with the StewMac brass caul on the bottom between two glued pieces of Richlite to stabalize it. Works fine.

sequoia
10-15-2017, 06:12 PM
The only thing I can add to this thread is that hammering frets in with a hammer just does not work very well. No matter how skilled you are are, the frets are going to come out ever so wavy. If you like sanding and dressing frets, stick with the hammer. And nobody likes sanding and dressing frets unless you are a complete obsessive compulsive disordered person. Otherwise, get with the program and get a proper fret arbor. This is one have-to-have must have tool. I now use my "fret hammer" as a super expensive tack hammer for pounding tacks into the wall.

As far as the router goes, I agree Pete. Gotta have tool for the complete kit. However, I have resisted and still use thumb planes and sand paper and etc. to trim my tops and backs. Kinda dumb I know. I just spent the better part of a morning today trimming top and back waste which would have taken me minutes (seconds?) with a laminate flush router trimmer. Why to I persist? Mainly poverty and stubbornness I guess. Also I just love carving with planes. I love that skritch-skritch sound and feel. My patience however is not infinite. Plus I am a player and I really value my finger tips if you know what I mean.

DPO
10-15-2017, 07:30 PM
I have hammered my frets in since day one and see no reason to change. Works perfectly and I have never bent or damaged a fret.

As far as trimming tops and backs I do them on a pattern sander chucked in the drill press, works a treat and leaves about .25 of a mill to hand sand. Easy peasy.

Michael N.
10-16-2017, 04:57 AM
I hammer frets in. I only ever have to spot level, odd few frets but not across their entire width. I do cut a slightly wider slot than normal though and use fish or hide glue. Frets go in easily. You could probably do it with the face of a chisel handle if it came to that.