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Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Item # 4481
In stock, ready to ship!

List Price $238.30
Your Price $219.24

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Fret Arbor Press only, with table

Fret Arbor Press only, with table

Item # 4480
In stock, ready to ship!

$140.92

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Fret Arbor Press System

About This Item

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

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 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 Fret Arbor Press with Table is available separately—save money and upgrade your shop.



CALIFORNIA PROPOSITION 65 WARNING
WARNING: Cancer and Reproductive Harm - www.P65Warnings.ca.gov.


Video

Instructions

Product Instructions

Stewart-MacDonald Fret Arbor Press

Setup instructions and useful tips for getting the most out of our Fret Arbor Press System.

Customer Reviews

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4.0
  • 4.11 average rating from 73 reviews
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5.0

ALWAYS GREAT QUALITY

By

Verified Buyer


HAVE NOT USED IT YET BUT EXCITED TO DO SO THIS NEXT WEEK

5.0

Press

By

Verified Buyer


press for pressing fret wire into slots

5.0

Excellent

By

Verified Buyer


Excellent quality as always with anything I have purchased from stewmac

5.0

Quick and effortless!

By

Verified Buyer


I am starting up a guitar shop and gathering tools up. Having a bit of wrist issues, this helps me out a ton!

1.0

Sub standard product lacking any level of quality

By

Verified Buyer


I was taken back by the extreme poor quality and high level of defects in this product. After receiving the Fret Arbor Press and struggling to follow the incomplete and confusing instructions, I was taken back by the overall poor quality. Machined surfaces are unlevel, paint runs are all over the part, rust is coming through very thin and obviously unstruck sub plating, there are large chips chips and material voids in the casting, severa holes severely off center and poorly located. I could go on, but suffice it to say, I wish I had read the other reviews first. I usually defend the higher price I pay for Stewart McDonald tools by knowing that have purchased something that is going to be of high quality, accurate and long lasting. That is certainly not the case with this item. It is a cheap Chinese import that will require a substantial amount of rework just to get it to the adequate level if that is even possible. Very disappointing!

Response from StewMac


Hi Charles,

I know that we already sent you a merchandise return label so that you can send the Fret Arbor Press System back free of charge for a refund, but we also wanted to thank you for sharing this excellent feedback with us and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. I've placed your comments with our Quality Assurance and Product Development Teams in hopes they can address those issues as quickly as possible -- customer comments like yours have been the catalyst to many changes to our products.

3.0

Disappointing, but functional I guess. Feels like a hacked-together solution

By

Verified Buyer


My experience and opinion is sadly similar to "Christopher from Fort Mill, SC"'s review. This tool doesn't live up to StewMac's reputation -- it feels like harbor freight quality at the Stewmac premium-quality price. The press arrived filthy (grease and machining chips) requiring a disassembly & cleaning before being put to service. The individual brass cauls are nicely machined, but the rest of the set has a sort of hacked-together feel to it; a striking contrast. The wooden neck rest is used for bolt-on necks. The plastic bare-fretboard tray is held in place with a clamp but feels like an afterthought as it cant be used on a benchtop unless the user makes some sort of stand/bracket to elevate and make room for the clamp screw, or bolt the whole thing to plywood and let the clamp hang off the end of your bench while you work. (you can see this in Dan E.'s demo youtube video) Further, I don't think the press can reach upper frets on most assembled set neck guitars (too shallow), so keep your hammer. That said, it has worked well on new builds but I've needed to change my procedure to fret the neck assy. before gluing to the body -- not my preference. I purchased this tool on sale for $206. I would not buy again in hindsight; too many shortcomings.

Response from StewMac


Hi Jon,

Thank you for sharing this excellent feedback with us, we genuinely appreciate that. We are sorry to hear that the Fret Arbor Press did not work for you as expected. If any of our products fail to meet your expectations, you are welcome to send it back for a refund, exchange, or store credit. If you can, give us a call at 1-800-848-2273 so that we can further assist you. We look forward to hearing from you.

4.0

Bought it because it was on sale!

By

Verified Buyer


The Fret press came somewhat damaged - I had to pull it apart mechanically and re-enginner it a bit!!!

I like this fret press, it works (now) as it should... I would have prefered it perfect out of the box for the price.... I should mention that this is the first product/tool that I have purchased from SteMac that I have had an issue with - honest to God!!!

I still highly reccomend it if you are in the market for a nice arbor style press - one of the nicest features is its portability... Pack it up and take it on the road if needed....

5.0

how did I do without this?

By

Verified Buyer


I used my drill press for years when fretting and always thought about modding a small arbor press. I bought just the press as I already had all the other accessories. The cost of this press is about $40.00 more than a standard arbor of similar build but then you would have to do machining and drilling on it in excess of that $40.00. Pretty straight forward to set up and use. Have already used it to install jumbo frets on a Jaguar and it was the fastest I've ever managed. Great tool, highly recommended.

5.0

Fret Arbor Press

By

Verified Buyer


Has a certain pro look to it, sure beats my wooden handmade press. I was taking too much time piddling with fretting new necks only to have sub-par quality. This thing is precise, easy to set up and make builds go smoothly

5.0

Excelent tool

By

Verified Buyer


Easy to use and very helpfully

Showing 10 of 73 Read more reviews >>