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I dont know if you guys knew about this, but i was pretty annoyed by stew mac charging almost 50 bucks for one of these things. They are called metal nibblers. I got mine from klein tools and they were about 25 bucks. i know there are cheaper ones out there too.

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I bought Frank's fret tool at LMI and tossed those nippers in the drawer. I highly recommend it. Far better!

http://www.lmii.com/CartTwo/thirdproducts.asp?CategoryName=Fretting...

Frank's fret tang removal tool.

looks great, I will be getting one too...
I too was annoyed when I came across the Klien nibblers AFTER picking up one from Stew-Mac. The Stewmac IS a Klien tool as you will discover if you remove the black heat shrink tubing from the handle. Stew-Mac did however grind the notch on the bed of the tool for the fret to rest in. Dan Earlewine is out to make a buck, which I can't blame him, but geez doubling the price and try to hide the fact by covering up and original makers mark...terrible!
I know people would like to demonize Dan Erlewine, but the Klein nibbler was originally amended by Bill Collings, and Stew-Mac simply marketed the idea. I bought on of the first ones they ever sold and it has been serving me well for many, many years now. Buy a Klein, amend it yourself and make it work for frets, then try to market it for less, and see how far you get. Sheesh. What a bunch of ungrateful whiners.

Frank's LMII tool is basically what I did before the Collings/S-M tool came out. I detest SS fretwire - tried it and decided to give it a total pass - so I'm still with what works.
Paul,
I am not out to demonize anyone. I never said that the tool didn't serve me well. Is it not OK for me to be annoyed to learn that I could have saved $50 had I seen the nibbler in the hardware store a week earlier? Be careful of the name calling here because I am the most grateful, giving, non-whiner here...and that is all I have to say about that.
well said.
How did Dan E. get singled-out for the pricing on this tool?

Several years ago, I communicated with both Dan & Don McR. on a tool idea. They are both generous & encouraging gentlemen who championed my idea & got the tool into production.

Dan gives his professional opinion & input on which tools Stew-Mac should develop & distribute, but I think he has little, if any, input on pricing. He's a technical consultant; not an accountant.
Well said.
I have no problem paying for tools. I wish I would of thought of converting those nippers. Sure you can make many of the Stew Mac items, but they do a good job and stand behind their products. Many of their tools are converted from existing tools. That takes time and money... and an original idea. Their products are an easy sale on eBay if you are unhappy.
I tell ya, you guys in the USA are so lucky to have such a wide choice when buying tools. Here in Germany it's impossible to find special tools, like the fret nibblers mentioned here, or anything to do with lutherie at all, apart from one or two companies that sell a small selection of re-branded SM stuff, with German (expensive) prices. That's the main reason that nearly all my tools are from StuMac: I've spent hours (probably days), searching for somewhere to buy tools and material in the EU, mostly without success. So I bite the bullet, and order from StuMac or LMI, and accept having to pay shipping, customs duty and sales tax, which just about doubles the costs. An example? Hide glue for instance: In Germany I can only buy the stuff from Dick. the price is OK, but it dries brown, and not really glass-hard, I'm not happy using it for jobs where I put my reputation on the line. Or I can buy Behlens in England, no customs duty or sales tax, as it's EU, and the price is also OK, $ 23 for a pound. But over $ 61 for shipping? They're out of their minds, I won't support that kind of robbery. So I grit my teeth and order it from LMI: 4 lbs for $ 40, plus $ 52 for shipping with FedEx. Plus customs duty (3.2%) and sales tax (19%) of course. And here, they add the price of the shipping costs to the goods, and the total amount is then taxed. Welcome to Germany :-)
Makes my hide glue damned expensive, but I know it works, no taking chances when I'm charging € 40 an hour, a good reputation takes years to build, but only one or two bad jobs to destroy it again :-)
Good job I don't need Titebond at the moment: I have to order it from Dick in Germany,as none of the stores stock it here, and they couldn't send it at the moment anyway, due to the frosty weather here. Call us back in March or April....
All in all, I understand why the German guitar industry went down the tube, and why Christian F. Martin had to emigrate to America to be able to build guitars...
Thank your lucky stars that you live in the USA: Home Stores, Harbor freight, StuMac, LMI etc, etc
So, rant mode off, I feel better now!

Grahame
I too wish I'd thought of those nippers. I'd had an original in my tool drawer for years and it never occurred to me adapt it for snipping off the tangs. It was for nibbling holes in the middle of a piece of sheet metal. It was so clever and so useful and saved so much time that I was pleased to spend whatever they cost back then, $25 or so, as an admirable bit of ingenuity, a learning experience, as well as a useful tool.

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