I've already got a 1-ton arbor press that I'd like to use for press-fitting frets. I was going to order Stew-Mac's arbor press caul, but noticed that there is a fitting on the bottom of the ram, which the caul attachment fits into and secures with a set-screw. I contacted Stew-Mac to see if they sold the fitting seperately, but they were zero help, saying their arbor press is custom made for them and their fitting won't work on other presses (total bulls**t I think, since every 1-ton press I've seen has a 1" ram like mine). I've looked at Grainger's and a couple of other industrial supply sites, hopin to find an off-the-shelf fix, but since I don't know the technical term for the fitting, it's like looking for a needle in a haystack. Any ideas on where to find this fitting, or ideas on how to manufacture one, or possibly a work-around that wouldn't require a fitting at all? Any ideas are appreciated.

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Dear Larry, your one-tonner will do just fine, the Stewmac fitting has a half inch shaft but the set screw at the head of the ram on most presses will accommodate the Stewmac fitting. buy the Stewmac one, it works well and the range of brass radius cauls for it are extensive and cheap (also available individually from Stewmac). I have no affiliation with Stewmac they just do stuff well.

Note to all those thinking about getting a press - myself and my colleagues use the two-ton press which has a larger throat and will accommodate full refrets with a bit of manoeuvering of the instrument towards the upper frets - it also, strangely enough, provides better feel when putting in the frets (I used to have the one ton press).
Hi Russell,
Thanks for the fast reply. Unfortunately, my arbor press doesn't have a 3/8" hole into which the Stew-Mac caul will fit. Infact, it's just a 1" square ram (.975" per side), no hole, no set screw. I suppose I could take the ram into a local machine shop and have them bore the holes and tap for a set screw and be done with it, but that's likely to be expensive. I agree that Stew-Mac's stuff works well, but I don't want to buy their whole arbor press outfit. I guess what I was thinking was that there is a fitting, or square tubing with a 1" inside dimension, that would slip over the ram, that I could then jury-rig to accept the Stew-Mac caul. Thanks again. Larry
Umm, sorry about that - the only stuff I've seen has the bore but that probably is a function of only using one brand down here. My appols - I think your machine shop option is still the better idea as these things need to be secure so as not to want to lean over under pressure. R.
No appologies needed, Russell. I'm thinking you're probably right, the machine shop route is the way to go. But, if anyone has dealt with this situation themselves and figured out a cheaper way to go, I'd like to consider it.
I use my drill press to press in the frets I can't get at with the jaws system..I'm not sure how many tons of pressure my arm puts out, but it's enough to get them there frets in real purty..
Yea, I was wondering how that caul would work in a drill press. I've got a Jet drill press that I had a heck of a time getting to work with minimal runout and I am a little reluctant to start using the chuck to lever in frets. But maybe, as you say, it takes only a minimum of pressure to get them seated properly. Who knows, maybe it would help correct the runout... That would definately be the least expensive way to go though. Thanks, Larry
I have a small arbor press like you without the hole or fitting. I plan on drilling it out for one my self and tapping a set screw on the side. You could do this on a drill press yourself. The square ram is removable on most arbor press.
Thanks for the input. I have come to the conclusion that drilling out the ram like you suggest is probably the best way to go. I don't have much experience with drilling deep holes in metal, which is why I'd probably farm it out to a machine shop. Let me know how yours turns out. Thanks again.
Here's how I use my drill press and Stewmac arbors...The red and white thing is a piece of pvc that has a cork on one end...I snug that up to the top pf guitar or the wood base on my drill press, the other end has a curve cut out to fit over the ball of my drill press arm...
Cool pics! What's the purpose of the pvc with the cork? I'm guessing you leave the arbor pressed down while the glue dries?
EXACTLY!...I forgot to mention I allways glue my frets...I Do this where Jaws...( Too cool tool ) won't work..When work lines up right, I can go back and forth between Jaws and the press....Refret two at the same time....Gotta love when that happens!...P.S.....Can anyone identify my subject?..A very cool 60's Kay that had an original lipstick tube pickup!...There is a little tiny cutaway on the pickgaurd that HAS to be original!...The cutaway is for the lower mounting screw and it's only cut away for half the screw diamiter...I'll see if I got pic's..
Excellent!! How do you power all those amps out on the boat, and doesn't all the noise scare the fish away?
BTW...The St. Croix River is one of my favorite spots in Wisconsin/Minnesota. I taught my son to swim there back in the '70s at Interstate Park. Of course, that was back when we could still dive off the cliffs. Not as much fun now, but still beautiful!


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