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Making my
Fret Expander Pliers
© Frank Ford, 3/1/98; Photos by FF, 9/296

Besides being the handiest power tool for small wood parts and bone saddles, my 1x42 sander is makes a reasonably good grinder. In fact, it'll get into corners and do some stuff that's not possible on a regular grinder.

Here I'm making the fret expanding pliers I mentioned in the article on
refretting. I start with ordinary small size (4.5 in. long) end nippers:

I've tried a number of different brands, and most any seem to work about as well for making this little tool.

The first step is to make the jaws narrow at the top. I just grind them on the edges until they're about 1/4" wide:

Here's how the jaws look after grinding:

The jaws have sharp edges that taper inward at the top, so I need to blunt them so there's a flush surface on the face, and about 3/32" wide surface as they meet. I'll just grind the cutting edge away:

This is how the blunted jaws look. The jaws won't meet now, because the handles touch near the pivot point:

I can grind the handles near the pivot so the jaws will close fully:



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