Fret Barber guitar fret tang resizer

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Dan Erlewine demos the Fret Barber: a tool that will "take a little off the sides" of fretwire, making it fit fret slots that would otherwise be too tight.

Video Transcription

Dan Erlewine: Here's a serious fretting tool with sort of a silly name, the Fret Barber. We call it that because, like a barber, it can take a little bit off the sides, the sides of the fret tang, that is. It shaves down the diamond shape barbs so that a fret goes into a tight slot easier. This is especially important on the fretboard extension or tongue of an acoustic guitar like this Gibson L-1 from 1917, which is very delicate. We don't need a tight fitting fret up here, and you don't have to hammer too hard. The file teeth face forward away from the pole, and we space them apart with the Feeler Gauge. Start with the set screw loose, and tighten it gradually as you pull the wire through, like this. Switch feeler gauges to remove more and more barb and measure with calipers as you go. This fret has not gone through the barber, and it's too tight. These three have. I've cut their overhang and they're going in like butter. They're actually snapping right in place with a very light hammer blow. The Fret Barber took a little bit off the sides.



Dan Erlewine

Guitar Repairman and Builder

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