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Question about fret tang nibblers

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
Why do you have to cut a notch at the end of the fret wire?
Thanks Dave

May 22, 07 | 1:39 pm
Ken Hundley

Total Topics: 40
Total Posts: 2169
If you don't, then the fretwire ends will show at the edge of your wood. usually not a problem, but some people put a binding on the edges of their fingerboards. If you leave the tang of the fret all the way tot he ends, then you will cause plastic bindings to bulge out and deform right where the tang is, and wood bindings will splinter and crack. Bound fingerboards look cleaner than unbound ones, but they are more difficult to do. Even with unbound ebony, you can nip the ends of the fret tang, and then before finishing, you can fill the fret slot ends with black laquer burn in sticks and give the edge of your freboard a perfectly clean look....un slotted from the frets.

May 22, 07 | 2:08 pm

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
Ok, the fret work that I have seen shown an open edge.
how far from the edge do you nip?
and how much longer do you cut your fret wire? maybe about an eighth of an inch over on both sides of the board?
Thanks Dave

May 22, 07 | 2:30 pm

Total Topics: 34
Total Posts: 567
I cut out the minimum needed to clear the binding on a bound fingerboard. You want to keep the cut as small as possible to minimize the possibility of the end of the fret lifting a little and then catching on things. The standard binding is approx. .080" thick so the I would estimate that the amount I remove from a finished fret end is around .1". If you have an unbound fingerboard and you just want to hide the fret tang by cutting and drop-filling, I would remove even less, probably somewhere around .05". The easiest way to measure this is by holding the fret against the slot and marking where I want the cut. Because the fret is going to be longer than the fingerboard width, your actual cut will be fairly big. I usually leave about 1/4" extra on both sides of the fingerboard before installation so I end up removing around 5/16" of the tang off each end. Of course after they are installed, I clip the excess of the fret off. That is why fret tang nippers are such a great thing.

If you look in the tools and jig section, there is a post about where you can get a nibbler tool cheaply that does this job easily. It is a lot less expensive than the stewmac and LMI nippers!

My Blog

May 22, 07 | 3:50 pm

Total Topics: 25
Total Posts: 58
Thanks David, I did pick up a nibbler from radio shack.
$4.00 or about that.
I saw some of your pictures and it looks like they work.
Just wasnt sure why I would want to do the nip.
Thanks Dave

May 22, 07 | 4:16 pm

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