Chip Stoppers, Set of 2

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Chip Stoppers, Set of 2

Item # 1158
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Chip Stoppers, Set of 2

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.

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.

Customer Reviews

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  • 3.87 average rating from 15 reviews
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Chip Stoppers

(Customer's Reviews)

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!



(Customer's Reviews)

First of all you have to round off the edges because they dig into the fingerboard and scar the wood. You can use a little sandpaper to round off both sides. Your fret pulling pliers have to be really really flat and sharp in order to get under the frets with the chip stoppers under the frets. They do help though but not 5 stars worth. Probably half way worth the money.


nice idea but not an improvement

(Customer's Reviews)

These seemed like a good idea but did'nt really make any difference apart from slowing me down. They made a normal refret more awkward. It might be an idea to make them out of some very thin pfte or other hard heatproof thin plastic as a fingerboard protector instead.


Disappointed with these

(Customer's Reviews)

I love new tools and gadgets and when I saw these on the SM website I added them to my existing order. They arrived just in time to try them on a re-fret job I had on the bench. I found these to be a good idea in theory but disappointing in real use.

I like to run my soldering iron down each fret just behind the nippers as I remove frets. It isn't possible to hold the iron, the nippers, and the chip stoppers all at the same time. Using the chip stopper requires heating the frets and then putting the iron down. Using the nippers and the chip stoppers didn't seem to produce any better results than just using the iron and the nippers. In the image, the slot on the right is from my usual method. The slot on the left is using the chip stoppers. Same results except the normal method is twice as fast when you factor in putting down the iron, sliding the chip stopper under the fret, and then working both the nipper and the chip stopper under the cooling fret.

I rarely get chips anyway, so I'll save the stoppers for a future job with a really dry, brittle fretboard and maybe they'll help. But for my average re-fret jobs I'm sticking with the tried and true method that works well for me.


Chip Stoppers..... Two Thumbs Up!

(Customer's Reviews)

I'm always looking for easier ways to do things (and who isn't, especially when it comes to tedious fret work?), so when I saw these inexpensive little gadgets, I just placed them on my existing order, and boy, am I glad I did. These Chip Stoppers really help to minimize chipping when pulling frets. In the picture,notice just a few areas where I needed to use filler (and some of these were pre-existing wear divots and workmanship flaws on this old Dano neck). You need to develop the knack of pushing the tool through under the fret while you are simultaneously lifting it with your pullers (and I HIGHLY recommend heating the frets first, to loosen up sap resins and finger-funk), but once you do, and see the results, you will be pleasantly surprised with only a few chips here and there, instead of a "fretboard jigsaw puzzle". Just get these and put 'em in your toolbox for your next refret. You'll be glad you did.

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StewMac PDF Catalog, page 15 See Chip Stoppers, Set of 2
on page 15 of our StewMac Catalog PDF

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