MODULAR GUITAR WORKSTATION / FRET PRESS
The Guitar Workstation / Fret Press is a comprehensive fret pressing system and fretting station for all guitar types. The workstation is manufactured from high quality materials including stainless steel, oak, beech and treated marine plywood. The system employs many unique and innovative features.
Integrated modular guitar workstand.
Curved body support for acoustic guitars.
Adjustable angle support for solid body guitars.
Cork covered 'C' shaped neck rest.
Detachable neck clamp jaws.
Screw operated press system with 9 fret press inserts.
Quick change fixing plates for easy removal and storage of the press.
Side docking and clamping position for workstand.
Angular adjustment of caul/insert for multiscale instruments.
Innovative fretboard tongue support for pressing over the heel.
Soundhole edge protector.
Soundboard protective mat.
Heel screw jack
ASSEMBLY & SET UP
Please see the Fret Press / Workstation Overview page for short videos of assembly and setup.
BASIC CONCEPT OF THE PRESS
An open tenon design keeps the workstand central underneath the press. The fret is aligned with the press caul by sliding the workstand left or right. Two round clamps lock the workstand in position for pressing.
BASE CONSTRUCTION & DESIGN
The base is manufactured from 18mm thick marine plywood and is a stretched hexagon shape - 820mm long by 460mm deep. The angular shape allows easy re-orientation on the worktop. The base can be canted allowing the workstand to be docked outside the press. The round clamps are used to secure the workstand to the base in this position.
SCREW ACTUATED PRESS
The fret press screw is operated by turning the top mounted handle. This pushes the press insert downwards and applies pressure onto the fret. The screw pitch is 1.5mm - approximately the same as the fret depth - thus a single turn of the handle will press in the fret. In comparison to a lever operated press, the high mechanical advantage of the screw thread (20:1) plus the additional torque of the handle arm provides a substantial pressing force. Less effort is required and a higher degree of control is maintained.
The workstand features a robust solid oak base rail. The base rail has mounting holes for the different body support options and is fitted with the guitar neck rest. Two support legs with rubber feet are provided and these should be attached to the workstand when used outside of the workstation. For ease of assembly, the legs are fitted over the top and locate in the rebate at each end of the workstand.
GUITAR NECK REST PLATFORM
The guitar neck rest is 285mm long x 20mm thick made from solid beech and covered with cork. The rest incorporates a shallow 'C' shaped neck location groove that provides support for the neck without being over restrictive when handling the guitar.
ACOUSTIC GUITAR BODY SUPPORT
Height adjustment is made by rotating the support pad on the central screw until the neck is level and supported. The support pad is made from marine plywood and covered with firm neoprene foam on both upper and lower sides. The support pad has a flat central portion with kerfed ends that form an approximate 15' radius. The pad is reversible for use when a flatter or domed suface is required. For stability, the designed screw height adjustment range is 25mm. The support comprises of an aluminium baseplate with the screw mounting and 3 additional 25mm thick oak packing blocks to give a total range of 100mm.
SOLID BODY GUITAR SUPPORT
The solid body support has an adjustable mechanism that will accommodate different neck angles and body thicknesses. Both height and angle of the support are adjustable via independent screw jacks at the heel and body positions. The solid body guitar body support is made from marine plywood and is covered with firm neoprene foam. The supporting structure is made from aluminium and stainless steel components. The solid body support offers improved support for thin bodied guitars and reduces strain on the neck join when pressing.
FRETBOARD TONGUE SUPPORT
The press includes a support to reduce strain on the soundboard and the end of the neck.
The support hangs off rails inserted through the bridge. The assembly is easily fitted and removed from the cross beam via 2 allen screws.
To use: Hook the lower protruding edge of the tongue support underneath the end of the fretboard. Apply light pressure to the underside of the tongue via turning the top thumb nut. After pressing each fret, release the back pressure from the thumb nut to allow positioning for the next fret.
Correct use of the unit will ensure that pressing forces are self contained and deflection is minimal.
The tongue support has a 2mm rubber wrap around for instrument protection.
SOUNDBOARD EDGE PROTECTOR & MAT
The soundboard edge protector is a flexible thick 'U' section rubber that fits around the edge of the soundhole. Fitting and removal is straightforward and quick. The mat is placed over the protector providing protection against potential accidental damage.
HEEL SCREW JACK
The screw height is adjusted until the guitar heel is contacted under light pressure. The screw jack has a cork covered contact face.
GUITAR NECK CLAMP JAWS
The neck clamp jaws provide extra stability for working. The clamp jaws are sprung open and tightened via a thumb-wheel. The height of the jaws can be adjusted to suit the neck thickness. The jaws can be lowered clear of the neck support when not required and the complete unit is also easily detached from the workstand. The clamp jaw blocks are made from walnut to ensure soft clamping and are specially shaped to cater for both tapered neck angle and parallel clamping. The blocks have rubber coverings to provide a soft grip on the neck. Please note the jaws should be removed for pressing over the heel and tongue on acoustic guitars.
FLAT CROSS SECTION PRESS INSERTS
The press is supplied with stainless steel flat cross section inserts (9 piece set) - 7.25", 9.5", 10", 12", 14", 16", 17", 20" & Flat.
Brass grooved cross section inserts are also available from the webstore.
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.
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.