Luthier tools

 

Semi hemispherical fret end grinding tool

Scroll to the bottom, click the link and pre order

 

This video gives a brief demonstration of the tool:

 

This video goes into much more depth – which tool to buy, how to use it and how to get the best out of it:

 

It was American luthier Harry Fleishman who came up with the idea back in the 90s. Back then, Harry did the whole process by hand. You can find his instructions in American Lutherie magazine #53.

I’ll be honest, even with this new tool of mine, semi hemispherical fretting still takes time, much more than regular fretting. But this neat diamond grinding tool does speed things up and make the results more consistent. The “rounding over” part of the job is far quicker.

After using this for the last 18 months I can tell you – it works really well. More accurate and quicker than any other way of round the fret ends over I’ve seen.

 

Fretboard prep:

Before you even try semi-hemi fretting you need to learn how to prep and fret a neck so well that your frets require NO levelling after they are installed. You can learn how to do that by buying the Michael Bashkin fretting course that Robbie O’Brien sells. Michael covers fretboard prep, fret installation and even covers how to do semi hemispherical fretting by hand.

Since making the video Michael bought one the semi hemi wheels, so his process has speeded up, but you’ll learn much of what you need to know from his video.

 

The wheel:

I use Evo Gold fretwire and have no signs of wear to the diamond cutting surface. The tool has not been tested with stainless steel fretwire. As we all know, SS wrecks tools far quicker, so expect the same if you intend to use SS frets. However I’ve now sold several wheels to makers who use SS wire and I’ve had no complaints. It’s up to you

Run the wheel around 1450-1500 rpm on your drill press, the tool is too heavy for use in a hand held drill.

The wheel itself is steel, with a machined groove that fits most common fretwire. The groove is diamond coated.

 

Fret size:

The standard wheel fits 2-2.7mmmm wide wire.

3mm and 4mm wire are also possible. Just send me a message via this site when you pre order.

 

P1040306
semi hemi fret end
P1040302
semi hemispherical fret end
arbors
both arbors
IMG_7697 2
standard arbor
IMG_7622
heavy duty arbor

Arbor:

The standard arbor and fits a 1/2″ hole. and has a 1/4″ shank. The heavy duty arbor fits a 16mm hole and has a 1/2″ shank. The standrard arbor is pressed or stamped. They’re not as perfect as the turned heavy duty arbor. You may get a slight wobble or vibration from the standard arbor, but the tool is still perfectly useable. It just isn’t as pleasant to use as the heavy duty tool.

If you want the best, buy the heavy. If you only need the tool once or twice a year, buy the standard.

 

Ordering:

 

The tool is currently out of stock, but new stock is coming in March 2024.

You can pre order now. Your tool will be shipped March 2024.

 

CLICK HERE TO PRE ORDER A STANDARD DUTY ARBOR AND DIAMOND WHEEL. THE PRICE INCLUDING WORLDWIDE SHIPPING IS US$180

 

The tool is currently out of stock, but new stock is coming in March 2024.

You can pre order now. Your tool will be shipped March 2024.

CLICK HERE TO PRE ORDER A HEAVY DUTY ARBOR AND DIAMOND WHEEL. THE PRICE INCLUDING WORLDWIDE SHIPPING IS US$230