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Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Fret Arbor Press System

Item # 4481
Due 1-2 weeks
Email when in stock

List Price $251.70
Your Price $231.56

Fret Arbor Press only, with table

Fret Arbor Press only, with table

Item # 4480
Due 1-2 weeks
Email when in stock

$147.97


Sorry, this item is unavailable for purchase or backorder at this time.
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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 #4481 Fret Arbor Press System includes:
  • Heavy-duty cast steel arbor press
  • Self-leveling Fret Press Caul
  • Five radiused/grooved brass inserts for the caul
  • Table with fence attachment
  • Hardwood neck support
  • Instructions
    #4480 Fret Arbor Press Only includes:
  • Heavy-duty cast steel arbor press
  • Table with fence attachment

Note, the Fret Press Only option does not include the Fret Press Caul attachment, and is intended for those who already have the caul (commonly used in a drill press).

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.)



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
  • 4.16 average rating from 80 reviews
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5.0

Excellent for hobbyist like myself

By

Verified Buyer


It takes a few minutes to get it setup but once it is setup it is very fast and accurate. I did not have any quality concerns like I read in some of the other reviews. This arbor press system will last my lifetime and probably someone else's as well.

5.0

Easy to use.  Excellent results.

By

Verified Buyer


Not much more to say! I am a mediocre player and an hobby builder (9 so far). One thing that is clear regardless of one's skill is that if a guitar has a good fret job, many issues are overlooked or at least tolerated. This makes it much easier to do fretting.

tom schmitt
Atlanta, Georgia

5.0

It will up the fret game

By

Verified Buyer


After having 21 builds under my belt I feel I can safely review this arbor. I built the first 10 by hammering in the frets with decent results. I made the next 3 using a jaws system. Slight upgrade. HOWEVER, when I went to the press WOW. After fret install I need MINIMAL fret leveling, and everything seats perfectly. Its a great tool, and its the right tool. If you're building more than a few guitars its worth it.

5.0

Looks Good

By

Verified Buyer




I haven’t used this press but it will be way better than my hammer...stay tuned!

4.0

Pretty good; Definitely useful

By

Verified Buyer


I read all the reviews and decided to pull the trigger anyway at the sale price. I’m glad I did. I agree with the comments about the rough machining, inverted springs, sloppy paint job, etc.—it was a bit Chinese/Harbour Freight kind of ugly. (For example, the front plate was indeed upside down) But, for me at least, the amount of extra setup/cleanup/rejiggering work I had to do more than paid off in the result, which was a tight, efficient, quiet fretting job that needed minimal leveling afterwards.
Upshot: if you’re particular about manufacturing details and finishes, this machine may not be for you. But if you can get it at the sale price and you’re willing to mess around with it for an hour or two out of the box, this will do the intended job well. Lack of coherent instructions added maybe 15 minutes of “which threaded rod goes where...” kinda stuff, but if you’re building guitars, you oughtta be able to figure it out.
I just find myself wondering why Stew Mac wouldn’t put a little extra elbow grease into it, charge a little more, and make it something you’d be proud to have up on your bench. Just sayin.

Response from StewMac


Hi James,

Thank you for sharing your honest feedback with us, we genuinely appreciate that. We are sorry to hear that the Fret Arbor Press System did not work for you as expected. Your comments have been passed along to our Product Development team for their consideration. In the meantime, we have sent you an email with a few options for you to consider. Just reply to that message when you get a chance and our customer service team will take care of everything. We look forward to hearing back from you and can't thank you enough for this helpful feedback.

4.0

So Long Hammer!

By

Verified Buyer


The QC comments by others are not unwarranted. Yeah, its greasy out of the box and needs to be cleaned. Yeah, the setup instructions are incomplete, but the way I figure it, if I can't get my tools setup, I probably have no business building guitars.

In my case, I was missing a screw, and the small plastic clamp plate was drilled out of plumb too. It's frustrating, and of course I wish it worked perfectly out of the box, but a quick trip to Home Depot to get a new screw, and a minute drilling out the plate and it was good to go. I also got a longer threaded rod to accommodate my thicker workbench since the included one was too short (M8x1.25 BTW).

As usual, StewMac customer service was great. They offered to send me a complete new fence assembly. When I declined, they gave me a store credit anyways, which more than covered the cost of my Home Depot run.

As for the tool--what can I say? It's a lever. It applies a force. Looking forward to using this for better fretwork, for pushing in tuner bushings, and for pushing magnets into pickup flatwork to make my own bobbins.

5.0

Excellent Fret Arbor Press

By

Verified Buyer


I was a bit apprehensive having read some of the earlier reviews regarding quality issues. However, I decided to purchase it with the expectation of having to perform some corrective work to make it work properly. It would appear that StewMac have addressed all of the quality problems as mine came out of the box in perfect condition. It just needed a slight wipe over to clean off some oil in a few places.
This is a very solid & substantial piece of equipment which I'm sure will last forever & makes fretting jobs quick & easy. This is going to save me quite a lot of time in the future.
It is an excellent press & I'm so glad I made the decision to get it.

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

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