Fret Tang Nipper: undercut fretwire for bound fretboards

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Todd Sams demonstrates this clever tool for clipping fret tang to fit over neck bindings. Insert the fretwire to the desired depth in the guide notch, squeeze the handle, and the wire is quickly and cleanly undercut—no bending or crimping.

Video Transcription

[on-screen text reads: StewMac tools + ideas for guitarmaking]

How to use the Fret Tang Nipper

Todd Sams: When fretting a bound fretboard, the binding covers the ends of the fret slot. Therefore, you need to clip the tang of the fret wire below the crown, which will allow you to press the fret into the slot and the crown will ride overtop of the binding. Here's how the Fret Tang Nipper cleanly removes that tang to solve that problem. To get a clean cut with a Fret Tang Nipper, you need to make sure that the underside of the fret crown rides up against the face of the cutter head. Come down slowly and make sure the fret wire is square to the head.

Changing the tables out is easy. You squeeze the handles together to bring the head down into the table. You're going to keep the handle squeezed throughout this whole procedure. Use the two and a half millimeter supplied hex key, loosen the screw. You may need to wiggle the table side to side a little to get it off of the indexing pin. You set the new table down over the head, tighten the screw back down, and that's about it. The interchangeable tables make this StewMac Fret Tang Nipper a must-have tool for your shop.



Todd Sams

Guitar Builder and Tech

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