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Monday, July 20, 2009

Build you own guitar fret bender

Apparently, if you try to fit fretwire into frets without bending it first, the ends have a tendency to pop out of the frets. Even when you hammer it in really hard. And then add some superglue too.

The wonderful StewMac sell a fretwire bender, to bend the straight fretwire that they also sell. But they want $90 for it. Add shipping, and then ParcelFarce and the UK customs will add their bit, so it would probably cost the best part of £100 by the time it arrived. £100 seemed like a lot for a fretbender ... but the straight fretwire really didn't work so well.

So I made one.

With a little help from a design published a ...
And now I can transform straight fretwire into nicely bent fretwire.

One of the wheels is adjustable, which changes the degree of bend ... the first one was a little too tight, but the next lot should fit nicely into the fret slots, without too much hammering and superglue.

This is the first neck that I made, now de-fretted. As you can see, the frets are still pretty straight, more or less as they went in. All the hammering, clamping and supergluing didn't make a whole lot of difference. At least it was easy taking the frets out.
I'm now going to clean up the fretboard, re-profile the neck (it was a bit chunky) and then re-fret it ...
The cost of the bits came to a few ££s, so I just saved myself about £95.
And in future, my frets should stay there they need to stay without quite as much superglue.

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