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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:03 AM   #1 (permalink)
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No Cost Fretwire Bender

I've been thinking about making a fretwire bender for some time now and just haven't gotten around to it. But, while my wife was wrapping presents for a recent office party, I noticed her running a length of ribbon along the edge of the table to curl it. I thought hmmm, thet's an interesting technique.

So, this morning I wanted to try it with some fretwire and the obvious first step was to use a tiny groove to guide the tang as I ran the wire along the edge of a scrap of maple. I used a small triangle file to make the groove.

Son of a gun if it didn't work like a charm. I just held the wire firmly and ran it along the groove with my other hand keeping downward pressure on it about 3" above the edge of the scrap. I started in the middle of the wire and worked to one end, then flipped it around and ran the other half. Very nice, even arc with no twisting. The ends need a bit of bending with fret nippers, but the rest curved very nicely. No crank, grooved pulleys or offset cams needed.





Just wanted to share.

Peace,
Mark

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Last edited by Guitarnut; December 13th, 2009 at 09:39 AM.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:13 AM   #2 (permalink)
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This jig is way above my skill level!!
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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This jig is way above my skill level!!
"jig"...that's a stretch.

Peace,
Mark
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Old December 13th, 2009, 01:07 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Wow I just looked through your Texas Project! That is a heck of a nice build!! How long did it take you to carve down the top?
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Old December 13th, 2009, 02:58 AM   #5 (permalink)
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That's freakin' awesome. I love it.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 06:17 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I'll be buying one of those
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Old December 13th, 2009, 07:19 AM   #7 (permalink)
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It just goes to show that sometimes necessity is the mother of invention. What a neat idea. Guitar builders come up with great tricks out of need- I used brass screws/washers on a dreadnought bridge a few years back-next month a major company was selling the same idea. Just goes to show you can build or make up ways to resolve situations. Dan Erlewhine did for years, his books are full of simple tricks.Cheers from Downunder where it's summer!
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Old December 13th, 2009, 08:12 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Great way of bending frets, let's see how much fretwire I'll destroy
while trying to get a fine arc like yours on the picture.

Thanks for posting.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 08:47 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Someone showed me that trick after I bought the Stew-Mac unit.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 09:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow I just looked through your Texas Project! That is a heck of a nice build!! How long did it take you to carve down the top?
Thanks! If I remember correctly, it took about 4 hours. It went pretty fast considering the grain in the quilted maple runs in crazy directions. An area carved real smoothly for about 3 to 4 inches then the grain would change directions and start burring up.

That project is done except for clear coats.



I plan to finish it along with my current build Maple Thinline



Peace,
Mark
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:13 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Great tip, and excellent beautiful builds, from another Mark. You are a true craftsman.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 12:00 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Bumping this archaic thread because that is just too cool.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 04:13 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Bumping this archaic thread because that is just too cool.
Thanks dr_zaius - you bumped it at EXACTLY the right time
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Old April 26th, 2012, 04:27 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks dr_zaius - you bumped it at EXACTLY the right time
I guess I wasn't the only one who decided to do some late night fretting. I actually built one of those wire benders at my old shop but it has since been lost and I didn't have the parts to build another. Looks like TDPRI saves the day again.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 04:32 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I guess I wasn't the only one who decided to do some late night fretting. I actually built one of those wire benders at my old shop but it has since been lost and I didn't have the parts to build another. Looks like TDPRI saves the day again.
Not fretting (just yet), but fretwire bending.

+1 on TDPRI saving the day though.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 05:39 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Wow, this is an old one!

One additional tip...if you hold a piece of dowel with a corresponding notch for the top of the wire in the palm of you hand, it guides better and is easier on the hand. A long 1/2" or 9/16" socket works, too.

I have to admit though, since I posted this jig, I bought a Stew Mac bender.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 05:40 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Bumping this archaic thread because that is just too cool.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 11:49 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Should have patented that one when you had the chance
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Old April 26th, 2012, 02:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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I have to admit though, since I posted this jig, I bought a Stew Mac bender.
I dont see why, this jig worked like a charm.
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Old April 26th, 2012, 06:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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I have to admit though, since I posted this jig, I bought a Stew Mac bender.
Well, do you prefer the store bought bender? Was it worth the $$? And are the results (the radiused wire) similar in quality?
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