Dont have a press to get the frets in? Even if I had one I'm not sure I would use it!
Hammering frets in is SUPER nerve racking at first, but I assure you, it is extremely easy to do.
Scroll to the bottom to watch a short video showing how to hammer the frets in, or follow the text below.
What you need:
A sturdy block of wood
Everyone recommends end nippers, but these didn't work at all for me:
My wood block:
The one most IMPORTANT thing to remember: A fret should take three hammer blows. Three firm hits. Dont tap it, or ease it. It is frightening to
hammer like that, but it's the way to do it. By the third fret, you will have it down.
Make sure your neck is snug, and supported underneath. This is how I did it, a combination of wood blocks, towels for padding, and a few bungee cords wrapped to hold it in place.
First, take your piece of fretwire, which should be cut 1/8 - 1/4" longer than the slot, and put it in the slot by hand. You wont really be able to push it in
but you should be able to get it snug enough that it stays in place. It should be arched so the ends are in the slot, and the middle it raised. This is becaues you should
have preradiused the fretwire to a little smaller radius than the fretboard.
Now take your wood block, and holding it in one hand, place the end of it over the edge of the fret, making sure that it's laying as flat as
it can on the surface of the fret. Dont push down on the wood or the fretwire will pop up.
Now, with one firm blow, hit the fretwire into place. It should pop right in.
Next, make sure the opposite end of the fretwire's tang is still in the slot. Place the wood block over that end the same way you did on the first side.
With one more firm blow, pop that end into the slot.
Last, place the block over the middle of the fretwire, and pop that in the same way.
Now I said it should take three hits to get it in. This is mostly true the fretwire should pretty much be in place. You can NOW take a few smaller hits if needed to fully seat the fret.
Don't overdo it. If it's in, it's in, don't keep hitting it.
That's all it takes! Once you get a few in, you will have it down, and you should be able to get through all of them in no time at all.