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No Cost Fretwire Bender

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Guitarnut, Dec 12, 2009.

  1. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    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.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Just wanted to share.

    Peace,
    Mark
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2009
  2. CptRyg

    CptRyg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    39
    588
    Nov 23, 2009
    Clarksville, TN
    This jig is way above my skill level!!
     
  3. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    "jig"...that's a stretch. :)

    Peace,
    Mark
     
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  5. CptRyg

    CptRyg Tele-Holic

    Age:
    39
    588
    Nov 23, 2009
    Clarksville, TN
    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?
     
  6. gagidlof

    gagidlof Tele-Holic

    966
    Jun 3, 2009
    Marysville, WA
    That's freakin' awesome. I love it.
     
  7. rubis

    rubis TDPRI Member

    72
    Sep 14, 2011
    Plymouth, UK
    I'll be buying one of those
     
  8. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    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!
     
  9. mowcheeba

    mowcheeba Tele-Holic

    896
    Jul 31, 2005
    Santiago, Chile
    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.
     
  10. jkingma

    jkingma Super Moderator Staff Member

    Admin Post
    Someone showed me that trick after I bought the Stew-Mac unit.
     
  11. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    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.

    [​IMG]

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

    [​IMG]

    Peace,
    Mark
     
  12. Engraver-60

    Engraver-60 Friend of Leo's

    Age:
    64
    Jan 6, 2008
    Franklin, TN
    Great tip, and excellent beautiful builds, from another Mark. You are a true craftsman.
     
  13. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

    421
    Mar 22, 2011
    Livingston, Texas
    Bumping this archaic thread because that is just too cool.
     
  14. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 12, 2011
    Scotland, UK
    Thanks dr_zaius - you bumped it at EXACTLY the right time:D
     
  15. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

    421
    Mar 22, 2011
    Livingston, Texas
    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.
     
  16. dazzaman

    dazzaman Tele-Afflicted

    Aug 12, 2011
    Scotland, UK
    Not fretting (just yet), but fretwire bending.

    +1 on TDPRI saving the day though.
     
  17. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    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. :oops:
     
  18. Guitarnut

    Guitarnut Friend of Leo's

    Jun 29, 2009
    USA
    :):):)
     
  19. Warnz

    Warnz Tele-Meister

    268
    Dec 31, 2010
    France
    Should have patented that one when you had the chance :lol:
     
  20. dr_zaius

    dr_zaius Tele-Meister

    421
    Mar 22, 2011
    Livingston, Texas
    I dont see why, this jig worked like a charm.
     
  21. sjohnbruton

    sjohnbruton Tele-Holic

    845
    Aug 13, 2009
    Mobile, AL
    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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