Need fret pressing tips

hoji

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I've graduated from hammering to pressing in frets. Currently using a fret-press caul in a drill-press, but planning on getting an arbor press soon. Works fine except for one issue I wondered if anyone had any tips on.

The fret wants to tip forward/backward while I'm trying to press it in, meaning the tang won't go in readily so it flops down and won't stand up straight to be pressed in. I got the side-to-side alignment issue solved using a piece of making tape. But I can't figure out how to prevent the tipping. The one thing I thought of was filing the tang sides a bit so the leading edge is sharper. Never heard of this, so I'm wondering.

I should mention I'm doing semi-hemispherical fret ends into a bound fretboard, so the fret is exactly the correct size prior to installing, so there's no "extra" to hold onto while positioning. Also, I'm using the smallest fretwire available, which probably exacerbates this issue.
 
I've graduated from hammering to pressing in frets. Currently using a fret-press caul in a drill-press, but planning on getting an arbor press soon. Works fine except for one issue I wondered if anyone had any tips on.

The fret wants to tip forward/backward while I'm trying to press it in, meaning the tang won't go in readily so it flops down and won't stand up straight to be pressed in. I got the side-to-side alignment issue solved using a piece of making tape. But I can't figure out how to prevent the tipping. The one thing I thought of was filing the tang sides a bit so the leading edge is sharper. Never heard of this, so I'm wondering.

I should mention I'm doing semi-hemispherical fret ends into a bound fretboard, so the fret is exactly the correct size prior to installing, so there's no "extra" to hold onto while positioning. Also, I'm using the smallest fretwire available, which probably exacerbates this issue.

I know exactly what you are talking about. I also use a drill press and fret cauls. What I do to prevent the flopping over is to ever so slightly start one corner of fret into the slot using light taps with a fret hammer. With a little practice no more fret flopping. Well it does happen occasionally. Nobody is perfect.
 
May I suggest you file the slot itself with a triangular needle file, just a couple of strokes so the tang can enter easily, then tap in with the hammer before finally pressing in.
 
I run a sharp scriber point down the slots to open them out a bit …if you stick a bit of tape on the end of a length of fret wire like a flag you can judge the orientation of the tang so you can tap it in at one end of the slot with a plastic hammer before you press it in.
 
I overbend the fretwire on the radius roller, or by hand, so that I can lightly tap in both ends before pressing. I also cut fret slots slightly wider than some builders by using a .025 blade instead of a .023.
 
I agree with using a small triangular or square file to bevel the edges of the fret slot slightly. Helps the fret go in straight, and if it is ever re-fretted helps prevent chip-out when the old fret is pulled.
 
Excellent. Sounds like the beveling is the way to go. I tried this before when hammering only, and I thought it made the flop-over issue worse. I'll try again, though. Thanks
 
Excellent. Sounds like the beveling is the way to go. I tried this before when hammering only, and I thought it made the flop-over issue worse. I'll try again, though. Thanks

Yes, I forgot to add to my advice that I always take an old worn small screwdriver and use it to widen the slots a bit. Nothing radical, but it helps. Kinda takes that sharp edge off of the slots.
 
Yes - that was it. Widen the top of the slot just a bit. I;m using a triangular needle file to sort of press it open, not really grind wood away. Then get one end started by pressing down with a soft mallet. Going in nice now!
 
I've graduated from hammering to pressing in frets. Currently using a fret-press caul in a drill-press, but planning on getting an arbor press soon. Works fine except for one issue I wondered if anyone had any tips on.

The fret wants to tip forward/backward while I'm trying to press it in, meaning the tang won't go in readily so it flops down and won't stand up straight to be pressed in. I got the side-to-side alignment issue solved using a piece of making tape. But I can't figure out how to prevent the tipping. The one thing I thought of was filing the tang sides a bit so the leading edge is sharper. Never heard of this, so I'm wondering.

I should mention I'm doing semi-hemispherical fret ends into a bound fretboard, so the fret is exactly the correct size prior to installing, so there's no "extra" to hold onto while positioning. Also, I'm using the smallest fretwire available, which probably exacerbates this issue.

I can sympathize. Yes, wider fret wire seems to be easier to work with. Some builders put a bit of super glue into the slot. A press, store-bought or homemade - is the way to go.
 
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