Chip Stoppers

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Pull frets without chipping the fingerboard.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: Dan Erlewine - Stewart-MacDonald]

Dan Erlewine: Pulling frets would be easy if it wasn't for the chips. Even when you go slow and careful, those barbs are going to make little chips along the edge of the slot as they pull up and out. When you get chips, then you have to stop and spend a long time gluing them back in and smoothing them out so the customer doesn't see them. It's not the easiest thing to do.

The Chip Stopper tool

These Chip Stoppers that Don MacRostie came up with are the best thing yet. They slide under the fret and hold the wood down and make it easier for the fret pullers to pull the fret upward. You got a clean slot when you're done.

Different fret wires need different thicknesses, so we give you a 10 thousandths and a 20 thousandths. You can stack them up and get 30 thousandths, and that takes care of any frets I run into.

Heat the frets for easier removal

Here's a tip you probably already know, but if you don't, you'll want to try it. You heat the frets before you take them out. That's especially good if there's glue in that slot and it just juices everything up and they come out easier. I file a groove into the tip of my soldering iron, and that keeps me centered on the fret as I draw it across and I don't slip onto the fretboard.

It's an old cliche, but this is one of those, "Why didn't I think of it tools?"



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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