Soundboard Unit.JPG

GUITAR FRET PRESS / WORKSTATION

GMC Luthier Tools Guitar Workstation Options provide a range of complete guitar press systems with an integrated guitar workstand. The workstation is designed to fret all positions on a guitar in a single set up. 3 versions of the workstation are available:

1. Acoustic Guitar Workstation.

2. Set Neck / Through Neck Guitar Workstation.

3. Universal Guitar Workstation.

The following is a comparison of the application for all 3 versions. For specific details on each version, please refer to the above links or click on the images below.

Luthier guitar repair fret press | Acoustic guitar workstation

1) Acoustic Guitar Workstation.

Luthier guitar repair fret press | Solid body guitar workstation

2) Set Neck / Through Neck Guitar Workstation.

Luthier guitar repair fret press | Universal guitar workstation

3) Universal Guitar Workstation

QUALITY CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN

The workstation frame is constructed from oak, stainless steel and aluminium. The framework incorporates a sliding/open tenon on the base which interlocks the fret press and guitar workstand together.

The design provides excellent utilisation of workspace. The raised guitar support places the instrument above the work area creating a comfortable working height and leaving more space on the workbench for tools.

 

INTEGRAL GUITAR WORKSTAND

The workstand provides a strong, secure guitar platform for working. It can be used independent of the press for everyday tasks including fret levelling, fret crowning, guitar setup, neck setup and general repairs/maintenance/cleaning.

The Guitar Workstand can also be purchased separately with 3-versions available.

PRESS INSERTS

Each workstation is available with the option of insert type:

1- Stainless Steel Inserts with flat cross section (9 piece set) - 7.25", 9.5", 10", 12", 14", 16", 17", 20" & Flat.

2- Brass Inserts with grooved cross section (11 piece set with holder) - 7.25", 9.5", 10", 12", 14", 15", 16", 17", 18", 20" & Flat.

Luthier guitar repair neck | fret press inserts
Brass Full Set and caul.JPG

BASIC OPERATION OF THE PRESS

The guitar is secured onto the workstand and transferred underneath press. The beam is lowered to pressing height and locked in position on the pillars. The fret is aligned underneath the press insert by sliding the workstand left or right. The workstand is easily positioned between the frets and can be locked in position using the two circular clamp discs on the base. Operation of the press is made via turning the top handle.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Acoustic guitar fret press
Luthier tools guitar repair | solid body guitar fret press

NECK SUPPORT

The neck support is substantial to withstand fret pressing and is covered with 3mm hard neoprene rubber. The length of the support varies dependent on workstand option chosen.  A removable cork mat - essential for guitars with fine or vintage finishes - is provided. The cork is a wear item and is provided loose for easy replacement.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Acoustic guitar neck support

Universal Guitar Workstand.

Luthier tools guitar repair UK | Solid body guitar neck support

Solid Body Guitar Workstand

NECK CLAMP JAWS

A strong central neck clamp provides provides stability and secures the guitar onto the workstand. The outside of the clamp jaws can also be used to spread the strings.

 

The clamp jaws have soft contact pads and can be raised/lowered to suit individual application. The contact pads are specially shaped to cater for clamping the neck angle and also parallel clamping at the heel/neck join. The clamp jaws are sprung open and tightened via a thumb-wheel.

The jaw height position can be lowered clear of the neck when not required.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Neck claming system for guitar workstand
Luthier tools guitar repair | Clamp jaws used to spread strings

WORKSTAND GUITAR BODY SUPPORT

When using the press, the guitar neck must sit flat along the length of the neck support. To achieve this the guitar body support height is adjusted until the neck is level along its own support. The body support is covered with 5mm thick firm neoprene foam.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Acoustic guitar body support

Acoustic Guitar Support

SOUNDBOARD PRESS UNIT - (ACOUSTIC GUITAR WORKSTATION)

The majority of frets for an acoustic will be straightforward. When close to the sound hole, extra measures to avoid stress on the instrument are needed.

 

The soundboard press unit is designed for pressing frets over this area of the guitar. The point at which it should be used will be determined by each individual application.

 

The soundboard press unit is clamped in position using the main bridge press. A flat rectangular clamp plate is fitted to the main press screw for this purpose. The unit should be clamped as close to the neck support as possible. The cross beam is raised to accommodate the supplementary press unit.

 

The soundboard press slides in a separate channel/sliding tray that allows for alignment with the fret when the main press is unclamped. The slide tray has rubber grooves on the underside to protect the fretboard.

SOUNDHOLE BRACE SUPPORT – (ACOUSTIC GUITAR WORKSTATION)

The brace support can be attached to the unit when close to the soundhole. As the objective is to avoid structural damage, small adjustments are necessary when using the support and the fretting process is slower for this area.

 

Light back pressure is applied to the underside of the instrument brace by turning the top adjustment thumb-nut.

 

Correct use of the unit will ensure that compression is self contained and deflection of the soundboard wood is minimal.

 

Please note that the effective support will decrease for frets that are further away from the soundhole. It is essential therefore that the fret slots are cut to correct depth and cleaned out if necessary using a suitable tool to reduce deflection and to avoid any overstressing of the instrument. The system includes a rubber mat for protecting the soundhole and rosette.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Sold body guitar tilting support

Solid Body Guitar Support

Luthier tools guitar repair | Acoustic guitar soundhole fret press
Luthier tools guitar repair | Acoustic guitar soundhole brace support

GENERAL GUIDELINE - FRET SLOT & PREPARATION

1) The fret should be pre-bent for the radius of the fretboard.

2) When viewed from above, the fret should be straight and not twisted.

3) Ensure correct tang/slot fit.

4) Ensure the fret slots are free of any dust or obstructions that would prevent the fret from seating.

The press utilises a manual lever and screw mechanism. If the frets do not seat fully or excessive force is required then the fret tang width and slot condition should be checked and remedied. This is a useful check/control of fret insertion force (and helps to guard against subsequent wood compression which can accumulate along the board and cause back bow).

 

With the above satisfied, the frets will be pushed perfectly home.

WORKSTATION SHIPPING

The workstation is fully assembled and tested before dispatch. The modular elements are easily separated and this requires a small amount of re-assembly before use. Full instructions on assembly and use are included.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Universal workstation assembly

 Universal Guitar Workstation - Dismantled for shipping

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION

The press frame is supplied on a sub-base as part of the modular assembly. It can also be separately removed from the sub-base whilst allowing the workstation base to remain in position on the workbench. This is useful when the press itself isn't required for longer periods and also simplifies storage of the press.

 

Each pillar is connected to the base via 3-allen head screws at their respective rectangular baseplates. A tie bar is supplied for frame stability and this also assists with the base fixing hole alignment when re-fitting the frame. Allen keys and screws are provided

The workstand can still be used in conjunction with the base - the extra weight being advantageous and the sliding/clamping facility retained.

Luthier tools guitar repair | Fret press removal
Luthier tools guitar repair | Fret press framework