The Fret Tang Tool Set includes our Fret Fitter and Fret Barber, specialty tools for advanced fret work. Developed by master repairmen, they resize a fret's barbed tang to help make installation easier in harder woods or oversize slots, to control fret compression and stiffness in the neck, and to help prevent or relieve backbow.
The Fret Fitter: Our 2-in-1 fret tang resizing tool, prompted by repairman Frank Ford's advanced technique of “mashing” or “crimping” a fret's barbed tang for a custom fit. The hardened steel Fret Fitter has custom jaws for flattening the barbs to fit a tighter slot, or for pressing a slight scallop into the tang to fit an oversize slot. You simply vary the pressure of the tool as needed. Overall length 7" (178mm); jaw width 13/32" (10.24mm), with comfortable rubber-coated handles.
The Fret Barber: Take a little off the sides! Fretting expert Dan Erlewine designed this ingenious tool. It quickly and precisely removes some (or all) of the fret tang barbs, to help control excess fret compression, relieve backbow and make fret installation easier. Pull the tang of the fretwire between the adjustable file jaws as needed for the desired fit. Complete instructions and eight gauged shims are included. The Fret Barber is designed for preparing longer lengths of fretwire; use the Fret Fitter for individual pre-cut frets.
Works on stainless frets, too! All of our tools are suitable for use on stainless-steel fretwire, with the exception of our Fret Tang Nippers and Fret Cutters. Modern stainless-steel fretwire is known to be harder than the traditional nickel-silver blends, but our own shop experience indicates the wire does not cause premature wear of files or sandpapers.