I work for a national home improvement warehouse so I'm always thinking of things to do while at work. After reading the thread about de-fretting today I decided to take a shot.
Last week I bought a Musicyo Kramer plywood P. It sounds great, plays great and I dig the neck. I figured this $50.00 bass would be perfect to experiment on. Truth be told my projects usually end up with the subject ending up in the dumpster or relegated to the parts bin so I'm pretty darn proud at the way this turned out.
Total investment in parts:
1. Flat edged pliers to pull frets $6.00
2. Wood filler: $2.99
3. 100 grit, 280 grit and 600 grit sandpaper $8.00
The frets came out very easily with the pliers. If this was a better bass I would have invested in a soldering iron to loosen them a bit more but all in all this worked fine.
Next I sanded with the 3 grits of paper until the fretboard was nice and smooth. Cleaning it with a damp rag to see the progress. It turned out very nice.
Once it was smooth I worked in some oak colored wood filler with my finger. It made a holy mess. But it worked in very well. you can see some splinter bleed but from a foor away it looks nice. I like the oak color a lot. Not screaming white but a nice mellow color.
Sure looks ugly now, a bit worried this might not clean up nice but it does. I sanded again, all 3 grits, and washed up again with a damp micro fiber cloth. Then when dry appiled 2 nice coats of lemon oil.
I plan on putting flatwounds on tomorrow and will see how they sound. I predict finishing the fretboard with poly will not go well for me, perhaps tung oil.
Not bad for about an hour and half.