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Home : Tools : Special tools for Fretting : Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Read 38 Reviews   |   Write a Review

A fretting factory on your workbench! Our veteran fretting experts developed this unique system for speed and accuracy.

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Fret Arbor Press System

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  Item# Description In stock Price Quantity
4481 Fret Arbor Press System
  • Heavy-duty cast steel arbor press
  • Self-leveling pressing caul
  • Five radiused/grooved brass inserts for the caul
  • Table/fence attachment
  • Hardwood neck support
  • Instructions

5-7 days

4480 Arbor Press only, with table
  • Heavy-duty cast steel arbor press
  • Table/fence attachment
  • Instructions

5-7 days

Selected currency  


Related items

Fret Press Inserts

StewMac Wide Fretwire

Fret Press Caul

Neck Support Caul

Dual Fret Scale Templates

Fret Press Inserts
StewMac Wide Fretwire
Fret Press Caul
Neck Support Caul
Dual Fret Scale Templates

You won't find a more thoughtfully designed and efficient arbor-based system! It's far more versatile than generic tool catalog arbors. It can fret an entire unglued fingerboard, a bolt-on neck, and most of an attached neck, quickly and consistently.

Why press frets? Faster and more consistent than hammering (and a lot quieter!), arbor-press fretting is preferred by many guitarmakers. Pressed-in frets have fewer loose ends and more uniform heights, because there's none of the recoil produced by hammer blows.

The complete system includes:
  • Heavy-duty cast steel arbor press
  • Self-leveling pressing caul
  • Five radiused/grooved brass inserts for the caul
  • Table with fence attachment
  • Hardwood neck support
  • Instructions

Designed and refined by StewMac fretting experts. Four interchangeable 2-1/2" grooved brass inserts match standard fretwire radii (7.25", 9.5", 12" and 16"), and a special 6"-radius insert holds down the fret ends when you're using glue. Additional insert radii are available separately. The arbor has an adjustable steel pinion for firm pressure.

Built-in lever return spring. The pressing caul won't fall down and dent your work—makes fretting much easier and less cumbersome. A StewMac exclusive, this is the first half-ton arbor press to feature this innovative spring recoil.

Pinion locking screw. Locks the caul down for clamping a glued-in fret (a handy feature suggested by luthier Bryan Galloup).

Versatile table attachment. The system now includes our 24-3/8" x 3" table attachment with fence, for fretting unglued fingerboards. Adjustment screws move and rotate the table forward and back, to center the fingerboard and precisely align the frets beneath the pressing caul. A thumbscrew locks the table to the arbor.

Faster fretting for production work. The table fence has a retractable indexing pin that works with the notches in our Dual Fret Scale Templates. Attach a slotted unglued fingerboard to a matching template with double-stick tape, and the pin aligns each fret directly beneath the pressing caul. A real time-saver!

Fret glued-on fingerboards, too. Simply remove the table and use the contoured 12" x 2-3/4" x 1" cork-lined hardwood neck support included with the system. (Tip: it's also a handy lower clamping caul for gluing a fingerboard on a neck.)

Already using our Fret Press Caul in your drill press? The arbor press with table is available separately—save money and upgrade your shop.

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 Ratings and reviews
Fret Arbor Press System
Fret Arbor Press System
4 out of 5 stars
Based on 38 ratings Write a Review
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Displaying 31 – 38 < 1  2  3  4
2 3-15-2011
Fret Arbor Press System

First i give it 2 stars for the Idea, Great Idea Awefull Execution!

I Would like Stewmac to understand that this is a direct representation of their quality of work I don't care if you have it made somewhere else!

the press: ok as soon as i pulled it out of the box i could something wasn't right,after a few seconds i noticed the face plate of the ram that holds the guide and lock down was upside down,the face would not sit flush on all 4 sides, after flipping over and seeing that's what was wrong i noticed the paint drips now go up! "NICE". I'm not going to even get in to all the red paint chips i have. Thats right it looses paint like a dog shedding hair, the knob that house's the spring looks like someone grabbed it with pliers!

The Table: Total P.O.S. screws not countersunk even,oil spots everywhere,the item was just dirty it looks like it has been in use for years!!!! Missing parts the arm was missing the screw that holds the press arm. With in 20 minutes of cleaning and setting it up the Stewart macdonald Emblem fell off, just fell off tink tink that was probably the only justice i got out of this. Could i have called stew/mac yes! but i chose to write this instead.

This item looks like someone got a new one and they sent me there used one honest to god that's why i am writing this. Stew/mac need to be more reliable with there equipment, bottom line when i spend 200 Bones on equipment BRAND NEW Equipment I'm going to be the one to scratch and dent it, not the pathetic quality control in ChinA. I have found similar Arbor press's on Ebay for 40$, Stew/Mac I spent 250$ last week and 250$ this week if you dont want me to go somewhere else i suggest YOU LOOK AT YOUR PRODUCT! You are not the only guitar Co. out there nor are you the most affordable. You might have it made in china but its still your PRODUCT

smokie  IL, Read my reviews (5)
StewMac responds

We are truly sorry you had this experience with our Fret Arbor Press. You are correct, every item we ship is a reflection on us and in this case we really let you down. Please accept our sincere apology (and, of course, a full refund or replacement.)

We do our absolute best to check the quality of all the items we offer, but we do sometimes make mistakes. Thank you for speaking up, and rest assured we're already working hard to correct this problem.

4 2-27-2011
Quality is not what you expect... but it does the Job

Waited a month and I got it today. First thing i noticed when i opened the box was Made In China. Then red flakes of paint throughout the box. As I went to set it up i noticed that the hex bolt for adjusting the ram had been stripped(not a big deal i just tapped in a star head bit with a little larger head and adjusted the arm. It works fine and definitely makes the job faster then hammering them in. I pressed 24 frets in in about 30 minutes and i am not what you would call a person who hurries. I like to take my time make sure it done right the 1st time.

Okay that said, Stew mac is a great company I just hope to see less made in china stuff in the future.. and will continue to buy my shop tools and supplies from them. Their customer service is unbeatable and they are some of the most honest people i have encountered. They don't push what you don't need. As my shop grows i may purchase another press
i just hope the next says the next one is made in the USA or Just better made..... God Bless and Best wishes

DT Hawkins-Custom Guitar Tech  Clarksburg WV Read my reviews (11)
5 12-12-2010
Fret Arbor Press.

I've always set frets with a soft hammer, but when my fret arbor press arrived I had three 24 fret necks ready to go with frets radiused and notched.

I knew the factories used arbor presses and now I know why. What a wonderful easy to learn tool. I had all three necks fretted perfectly inside an hour and a half, including cleaning the slots. There is no bounce, you never get a loose end, and all radiuses are perfect, especially when the "fret bender" is used.

The arbor press itself is off shore manufactured and as such there are a few small issues with quality control and finish but these are things I can fix or deal with in trade for having an affordable system. The table, neck support and cauls are all first rate as I've come to expect from StewMac.

Tim Johnson
New Star Guitars.

feetup  Vancouver Island, Canada
4 11-30-2010
arbor press

It is very good

Sergio Prozzo  Italy Read my reviews (2)
3 11-25-2010
The Fret Arbor Press

This is a great method of installing new frets and while the arbor and the other accessories of excellent quality. The build quality of the Press itself is not up to Stewmacs normal high standard.

GrahamL  Australia
5 11-25-2010
Best press ever

I don't think it could be better than this, in a small shop like mine!

Zeca Salgueiro  Brazil
5 10-31-2010
Great tool!

I got it today and with no practice whatsoever I installed all frets for a new guitar in less than 20 minutes. It's fool-proof, accurate and very easy to use. I'll never sit frets without this again.

Paulo  Seattle, WA
5 10-10-2010
The Bomb!

Skip the this! Flawless, idiot proof fret jobs on new fretboards. No danger of chipping the fretboard

Mason R.  CO Read my reviews (6)
Displaying 31 – 38 < 1  2  3  4 /\ Top of Reviews

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