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PostPosted: Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:59 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
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Focus: Repair
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Hello all,

I'm hesitating between several fret setters of the hand held variety due to severe space limitations in my small shop. So I figured I might ask the experts. What's your experience with SM's original Jaws, Jaws 2 or similar devices, be they eekBay clones or any other variety?

If you’re of the opinion that nothing beats the hammer-on or arbor-press methods, please say so. After all, I'm trying to make an economy of space, nothing else, so every opinion is welcome.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:37 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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First name: Brian
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I use a hammer.... current choice is a 2 oz ballpeen. I used a small plastic mallet years ago but transitioned to the steel ballpeen as it is more efficient and sets a bit tighter.

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These users thanked the author B. Howard for the post: Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 6:52 am 
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Joined: Sat Feb 19, 2011 7:44 pm
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Location: Andersonville
State: Tennessee
Country: USA
Focus: Build
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My preferred is my arbor press, and a set of the excellent (forum sponsor) Birkonium cauls. Jaws ll, and if no other way a hammer (small antique brass)
I use stainless steel on everything unless the customer wants nickel silver. With Sainless Steel the press and cauls are money in the bank



These users thanked the author Clinchriver for the post: Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:12 am)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 10:38 am 
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Joined: Wed Nov 12, 2014 10:02 am
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First name: Daniel
Last Name: Petrzelka
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Country: United States
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I use an arbor press with the brass cauls whenever possible - carefully selecting a caul for the exact radius of the fretboard. Makes for a beautiful fit, no chance of hitting the fret board, and much less work leveling later. (I no longer use the fretting hammer in these photos, I've switched to a brass head dead-blow hammer for seating just the very end of the fret before pressing)

Image

Image


If the arbor press isn't an option then its the Jaws II and a small brass head dead blow hammer.

Image



These users thanked the author dpetrzelka for the post (total 2): Pmaj7 (Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:34 am) • Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:11 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:14 pm 
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Cocobolo
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First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks all. Do you think you could ever get by with just the Jaws 2? Nobody using the original Jaws?


Pierre Castonguay


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 4:44 pm 
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Cocobolo
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B. Howard wrote:
I use a hammer.... current choice is a 2 oz ballpeen. I used a small plastic mallet years ago but transitioned to the steel ballpeen as it is more efficient and sets a bit tighter.

A man after my own heart. I've used an ordinary carpenter's hammer for over 50 years with no complaints.



These users thanked the author jshelton for the post: Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:02 pm 
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+1 hammer...

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These users thanked the author sdsollod for the post: Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 7:00 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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+2 hammer...since '70's



These users thanked the author Haans for the post: Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:24 pm 
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Koa
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Smylight wrote:
Thanks all. Do you think you could ever get by with just the Jaws 2? Nobody using the original Jaws?

Pierre Castonguay


Absolutely not. I fret everything from mandolins to guitars, Weissenborns to electrics. I do a fair number of refrets on all kinds of instruments. When I have a choice on a new fretboard I mostly use a StewMac radiused caul in my drill press (I know the quill isn't designed for that but I haven't bought an arbor press, yet). When I have to work around neck heels and fretboard extension and square necks and compound radii and all the other things that wander in, I just use a hammer. Spending a hundred and twenty bucks for jaws2 just isn't in the picture.



These users thanked the author Freeman for the post (total 2): Bri (Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:47 am) • Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Sun Oct 07, 2018 8:43 pm 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
I made my own jaws2 using a big C-clamp. It comes in handy when refretting an acoustic. But when building a guitar, nothing beats an arbor press. About the only time I will use a hammer anymore is putting in replacement frets on the upper register of an archtop because there is no way to get a support under the fretboard extension. So I open up the fret slots there and tap in the frets using light blows and a bit of glue.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post (total 3): Clinchriver (Thu Oct 11, 2018 6:06 pm) • Bri (Thu Oct 11, 2018 8:47 am) • Smylight (Sun Oct 07, 2018 11:08 pm)
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 12, 2018 3:27 pm 
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:42 pm
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First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
Thanks all. Looks like I'll go the arbor press route. I'll find a place to hide it when not in use. As for the home brewed Jaws-2 clone, I'll be forever grateful if you'll share info with me about making one. I have a few clamps that look identical to the one SM uses, so I figure I can make one with the help of my machinist brother-in-law. Not trying to reinvent the wheel, so any info will be greatly appreciated. Maybe start a new thread on how to build one?


Pierre Castonguay


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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 10:15 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
It is pretty simple. I took the swivel pad off the C-clamp screw and removed the screw. Then I drilled a hole in the end of the screw to fit my Stew-Mac fret caul holder.



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Smylight (Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:16 am)
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 13, 2018 11:18 am 
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Cocobolo
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Joined: Fri Mar 17, 2017 8:42 pm
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First name: Pierre
Last Name: Castonguay
City: Québec, Qc
Country: Canada
Focus: Repair
Status: Semi-pro
Barry Daniels wrote:
It is pretty simple. I took the swivel pad off the C-clamp screw and removed the screw. Then I drilled a hole in the end of the screw to fit my Stew-Mac fret caul holder.

Well, who would have thought? I figured I'd have to have something machined without having even tried dismantling the swivel. I'm going to dismantle that Bessey clamp this very afternoon then, thanks an awful lot for all this input, I appreciate very much all of it!


Pierre Castonguay


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:24 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Location: The Woodlands, Texas
First name: Barry
Last Name: Daniels
FYI, the hard part was drilling a centered hole in the clamp screw. I don't think you could do this freehand. A drill press would be a minimum requirement. I was fortunate to have a horizontal drill press for this task.


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 25, 2018 7:01 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Thu Feb 12, 2015 6:04 pm
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I just use a radius sanding block and a neck support. The support goes under the fret slot, the fret goes in, I put the block on the fret, put the whole assembly on the floor, and then stand on the sanding block with my heel right over the fret. It works great. And I can be sure I'm applying the same force every time. Just make sure you use the end of the sanding block and orient the block so the unused part is over the part of the neck you haven't fretted yet. You can use a shim the height of the frets at the other end of the block, just to square up the force you're applying, but it really makes no difference. Hell, when you get to the upper frets, you have to turn the block around anyways, so it sits on frets you've already seated, but as long as you apply your pressure right at the edge of the block, everything still works out fine.
I'm sure a press is better, but this is cheaper. And I find it way better than hammering on the frets


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