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Thread: Klein nibble tool for fret tang cutter on eBay

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Klein nibble tool for fret tang cutter on eBay

    The original fret tang cutters sold at StewMac were Klein #76011B nibbler tools which had been modified by adding a half-round groove directly in front of the cutter blade for the fret crown to rest in. This tool was been discontinued by Klein awhile back and StewMac is now selling a completely different tool mfg'd in China for $64.93 + s/h which IMO is not made as well. The Klein tool also uses a replaceable cutter blade, some of which are still available for about $12.

    Here is a link to an eBay Buy It Now listing for 2 nibblers for $40 each plus $4.16 s/h. I bought one that I modified in 2014 that works great and just picked up a spare a few months ago so I don't need another one.

    EDIT: Done gone! (New listing posted in comments.)




    Here is the link to the fret tang cutters at StewMac:

    Fret Tang Nipper | stewmac.com

    If someone here decides to buy one I will take pictures of my modified nibbler and post them here for reference. (The older catalogs and the webpage had a picture which I used for reference.)

    BTW I had originally done a similar modification to a cheap generic $6 nibbler tool which worked but did not have as much leverage (if the bumps on the tang were lined up just so the tool could not cut it.) I mention all that in case someone wants to practise on a cheapie nibbler first...

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Steve Ahola

    P.S. I'll delete or update this post once the nibblers are gone. In case it wasn't clear it is not me selling them - I'm just posting this as a public service announcement.

    P.P.S. As an alternate source for a used Klein nibbler you might want to check with the local HVAC firms which install heating and cooling ducts- show them a picture and they might have one around that they are not using anymore and might sell for a song. Or not. While they use electric tools on job sites there has to be a starting hole and the Klein nibbler is great for that...

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    Last edited by Steve A.; 09-13-2016 at 04:49 AM.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    I just now checked and it is still for sale on eBay so I'm not deleting this thread just yet. This tool has been discontinued by Klein and IMO makes the best tang cutter with a very simple modification. (You really need some kind of tang cutter if you are going to refret a guitar with binding or "canoe-style" fret slots which do not go completely across.)

    Steve

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Here is a $25 alternative to the $65 StewMac tool. I made one of these using a $7 nibbler tool which I could not find locally so I ended up paying $6 for shipping. Ouch! It kinda worked but not as well as the one I made from a Klein nibbler (which was basically what StewMac was selling before Klein stopped making them.)

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/GeetarGizmos...r/141352092722

    The cheap fret tang cutter did not have the power and leverage of the Klein tool. If the "bumps" on the tang lined up in a certain way the cheap cutter did not have the power to cut it (I'd have to cut a little bit of the tang with diagonal pliers to be able to use the cheap tang cutter on that piece of fretwire.) Also with the cheap tool I spent more time filing the bottom of the crown flat.

    Steve Ahola

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Here's a new listing for $45 plus $4.99 s/h...

    Klein Tools Nibbler Cutting Tool No 76011B USA Made | eBay

    Steve Ahola

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    don't forget the joker g1's Avatar
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    Could you post a pic of the mod just to have it up here for reference?

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    The voices in my head are idiots!

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    What's your technique with the Klein tool? I find that both of mine still leave behind a ridge that needs filing flush. Also, taking a large nibble twists the fret so I end up taking a number of smaller cuts.

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    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    What's your technique with the Klein tool? I find that both of mine still leave behind a ridge that needs filing flush. Also, taking a large nibble twists the fret so I end up taking a number of smaller cuts.
    Do you have the modified Klein tool sold by StewMac or did you modify them yourself? Just wondering...
    I use a file or Dremel tool to make sure that the bottomside of the crown is ridge-free. FWIW I put Franklin Liquid Hide glue (from Titebond) in the fret slot and wick in some thin CA on the fret ends. And yes I use both a belt and suspenders to hold my pants up...***

    Steve A.

    P.S. I will post some pictures showing how I modified the stock Klein tool. BTW they have not shown up on eBay for quite some time now. You might want to check with your local sheet metal or HVAC shops to see if they have one they'd want to sell.

    I'll do a shootout comparing the modified Klein tool to what StewMac is having made for them in China these days...

    *** That was true when I was an HVAC service tech wearing size 48+ jeans instead of 34/30's.

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    Mine are StewMac, one for medium and the other for jumbo frets. Neither seems to fully support the fret during the cut. Maybe it's the way the original tool was modified for fret use.

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  9. #9
    Supporting Member Steve A.'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mick Bailey View Post
    Mine are StewMac, one for medium and the other for jumbo frets. Neither seems to fully support the fret during the cut. Maybe it's the way the original tool was modified for fret use.
    Hmmm... I made mine after looking at pictures from an old StewMac catalog. My first prototype used not the expensive Klein tool but the cheap $7 nibbler available for years at hardware stores. It worked to some extent but was not particularly strong and if the bumps on the tang were lined up in a certain way conveying strength the tool would not work (you'd have to move the fretwire a little bit left or right to cut the tang.)

    So perhaps my hand-cobbled tool is not quite the same as the real StewMac ones...

    I see that LMII sells a tool with a different approach- very innovative but not exactly the straightest line between two points so to speak...



    Fret Tang Filer

    Steve A.

    P.S. Perhaps at your convenience you can post close-up pix of the business ends of your tang cutters and I will do the same with mine and with new StewMac tool that a friend bought...

    Science- I love it!

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    Last edited by Steve A.; 05-22-2017 at 11:09 PM.

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    Here's one. Photographing it gave me the opportunity to study the cutting action in detail and I can see why the fret wire twists and bends slightly sideways; The shearing action places torsion on the axis of the fret due to it being unsupported on the tang side (where the rectangular cutout is in the die block that takes the moving cutter). The tolerances on the tool and position of the fret slot are the reasons for the ridge being left.

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