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Home : Tools : Special tools for Fretting : Chip Stoppers

Chip Stoppers

Read 14 Reviews   |   Write a Review

Fewer chips, cleaner refrets, less work. Tired of gluing back fingerboard chips after pulling up old frets? Our steel Chip Stoppers™ work with our Fret Puller to minimize chip-out.

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Chip Stoppers

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Chip Stoppers are a clever solution from Don MacRostie here at StewMac, and a big hit in our shops.

The problem with refrets is, any pulled fret might yank a piece of fingerboard up with it. Then if you're lucky, you'll manage to glue each chip back in.

Chip Stoppers press down on the fingerboard as the Fret Puller takes frets out. You get fewer chips, and cleaner refrets. Too bad we didn't think of this twenty years ago — imagine the hours we all would have saved!

Here's how they work:
Heat the fret as usual, with a chisel-tip soldering iron to soften glue under the fret.

Now lift the end of the fret, getting under it with the jaws of the Fret Puller. As soon as it starts coming out, slide the Chip Stopper into place; the .033" x 3" slot fits around the fret tang. Now you can walk the Fret Puller down the length of the fret, lifting it out as the Stopper protects the wood underneath.

Most often, you'll use the .020" Chip Stopper. Sometimes the .010" will suit you better, and you can also combine them for a .030" total thickness.

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 Ratings and reviews
Chip Stoppers
Chip Stoppers
4 out of 5 stars
Based on 14 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 1 – 10 1  2 >
1 3-12-2014
I'm not impressed.

These seemed like a good idea at the time, so I just had to have them. However, I found them to be more of a nuisance and simply slowed down the process without making too much of a difference in preventing chips or not. You actually need three hands if you use these when heating-up frets and holding the fret pullers as well. So, unless I can find a better way to used them with improved results they'll reside in the junk drawer.

JR H  Rochester, NY Read my reviews (3)
5 2-26-2014
Simple, practical.

Another nice option to have at our disposal. "Give me a lever long enough and a fulcrum on which to place it, and I shall move the world." - Archimedes. This is the fulcrum. And it doesn't leave a mark.

Maccaferri  Wisconsin, USA
5 1-29-2014
So simple yet so effective

These simple chip stoppers make such a difference keeping the damage to a bare minimum pulling frets. They are certainly worth much more than their minor cost.

Bob D&B Woodworking  Mass
3 11-25-2013
Seems like a good idea

Like others seem to have experience, Ive yet to find these useful. Most of the fret jobs I do are removing frets that are very small in exchange for medium or jumbo, or old frets that have been leveled so many times there is not much fret left. So as of yet they won't fit under any of the frets I've tried until I start pulling the fret out, which kind of defeats the purpose. I hope to try these on bigger frets on a wood like ebony, which is brittle, so it chips very easily. Its not that they are a bad tool, it just seems like they are only going to work on very specific applications. I think sliding them under the fret on a maple board once you start pulling could help with the pullers not denting the wood, which happens with too much pressure.

Pacific North Coast Guitars  Washington USA Read my reviews (39)
5 11-07-2013
Absolutely amazing

Rats! Having this tool a few weeks earlier I wouldn't have trouble with fretboard where I had pulled out some chips. Was lot of (unnessecary) work to repair. Great little helper. From Germany

Martin Fuerstenau  Unterfoehring Read my reviews (10)
5 10-31-2013
Chip Stoppers

These have come in very handy, i am very pleased i bought them.

Leary Guitars  Australia Read my reviews (3)
Customer supplied image for review
5 10-22-2013
simply amazing

Had a 90's ish bass my buddy brought over, was in bad shape and was a little apprehensive on chipping the fret board. Pulled out my new chip stoppers, gritted my teeth and went to work. When I was done, not a single chip (my friend almost fell over). Finished the fret job and got a huge tip for not chipping up his board :D

Kelly T  dededo,guam Read my reviews (13)
3 10-18-2013
Good idea but....

I ordered these straight away when I saw them since it seemed to be a good idea - but it showed to be just in theory. I have used them on some necks but the result isn't much different from not using them. It can't slide in all the way where the fret is about to lift - a fret puller will come closer to the fretboard. However I will evalute it further and I think it will be useful when pulling frets on a laquered maple fret board since it can spread the pressure from the puller which sometimes can leave marks.

dynaflux  Stockholm, Sweden
5 10-16-2013
Exelente ++++++++++++++

De 10ssssssssssssssssss +++++

zudaka  Argentina Read my reviews (17)
5 10-16-2013
Chip Stoppers

Eliminating chips when pulling frets - and doctoring the fingerboard up afterwards - is a constant worry (and time-killer). These little devices almost completely eliminate the problem. Love these tools!

John Standefer  Vancouver, WA Read my reviews (3)
Displaying 1 – 10 1  2 > /\ Top of Reviews

Shown on page 11 of our latest catalog.
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