Alternatives to HG Thor for epoxy fretless?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by groooooove, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. sorry if this is the wrong forum.,

    I know HG has a huge reputation and is known for being the best in the buisiness.

    however -

    i was just quoted a wait time of as long as 8 years, and that he "doesn't even know if i'll still be doing this by then"


    the market has room for competition. is there anyone else out there? i'm hoping someone else comes up, it seems to be in demand if his wait is that long...
    Bob_Ross likes this.
  2. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    The 8 year wait time doesn't surprise me, nor would it put me off from putting down a deposit and getting in his queue. (Says the guy who not too long ago took delivery of a custom handmade bicycle that took more than 8 years from time of order.)

    But the notion that he would even just take your name but then say "I don't even know if I'll still be doing this then" is insane. You're either in or you're out. If you don't want to do this anymore shut down the website, finish up the orders already booked, and retire. Quit taunting us!
  3. Michael Dolan put a nice coat of epoxy on my Cliff Bordwell 4 string. The price wasn't bad and he didn't take very long.

    Michael Dolan Custom Guitars
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  4. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music. Supporting Member

    Eight years.
    It's a ONE man business.
    groooooove likes this.
  5. Bob_Ross

    Bob_Ross Gold Supporting Member

    Dec 29, 2012
    I've never seen Michael Dolan's epoxy work, but he built a custom (fretted) neck for one of my basses ~10 years ago and it was very nice, and he was a pleasure to do business with.
  6. The work was good quality. I requested a satin finish. It doesn't stand out visually like Thor or Pedulla.
  7. thanks for the input guys!

    and i want to go on record that thor did not come off jerk-ish or anything like that in his "i might not still be doing this" comment - he is 100% super cool and i want to make that clear! i'm not bashing or even really looking for an alternative for my personal instrument in question, i'm just looking to establish as a community who does/can do this type of work.
    Bob_Ross and Snaxster like this.
  8. so i went ahead and emailed a host of luthiers.

    the conclusion -

    the only person i found who was willing to do this job was pat wilkins. he uses polyester rather than epoxy, in his words "it is more durable and sounds better than any epoxy i've ever used."

    his quote to me was $175 + shipping, and 4-5 weeks. so, i will be sending my insturment to him.

    every luthier I asked had the highest respect for Thor, and i wish i could have him do my fingerboard since he appears to be the michaelangelo of fingerboard coating, but it was just not worth it for this particular instrument unfourtauntely.

    will definitely post pics once my instrument is done. i hope future TBers see this and don't go through all the work i did to find someone who will do this!
  9. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    Hello. That is good news. I can vouch for Pat Wilkins's impeccable and beautiful finish work. And he is a great guy.

    Thanks for this thread. I look forward to seeing photos of your coated fingerboard.

    (P.S. - For the record: I own a neck with a Thor coated fingerboard that I bought 13 years used, and I am very happy with it.)
    groooooove likes this.
  10. Keep us posted. Did you check Dolan? I wonder if he'd refinish mine if/when it needs it. If not, I'll need to find someone else.

    The polyester seems reasonably durable. I'm not the best person to gauge this since I switched between a "few" basses and now mostly play acoustic guitar (due to lack of bands).
  11. update,

    I heard from pat a few days ago. my bass neck is done and will be shipping today.

    with the 3% charge for using paypal, my total including shipping (he's in CA, im in NY) is $216. I think that's very fair.

    will post pics and more info once i have the neck. i'm sure the work will be every bit as good as others have said it will be.
    mikeswals and kesslari like this.
  12. the bass is assembled and sounds fantastic.

    the poly finish is really, really hard. it does not have ANY marks after 2-3 hours of hard playing with roundwound strings. it is as reflective and cool looking as the Thor finishes we've seen photos of. pat's work is impeccable and the process was really easy. highly reccomended. I think i'll send another neck to him when i get the chance.

    Photo Mar 26, 2 05 34 PM.jpg
  13. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Mr. Wilkins has a solid reputation here as one of the reigning wizards of finishes (among other things), I have to say this just bolsters that rep further. Duly noted. :cool:
    groooooove likes this.
  14. MEKer

    MEKer Supporting member

    May 30, 2006
    So Wilkins did it and you're happy. No doubt it'll stay keeping you happy for as long as you have the bass. Anyone telling me I have to wait almost a decade for something---pssh---no way in H. Don't care who it is. You can just plain get swamped with LIFE and forget obligations within that time frame. In other words, I don't trust a bunch of years of waiting for something.

    Quality work can come from many sources. Looks like you found it.
  15. in thor's defence, he was super polite and professional about saying he basically can't take orders due to the long wait - i have no problem with how he runs his buisiness and our interactions were pleasant and professional.

    that being said, yeah, nobody wants to wait that long. pat's finish is really fantastic.
  16. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Is doing an epoxy coat that complicated?
  17. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Nope easy as can be, also really, really easy to screw up catastrophically. ;)
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  18. IamGroot


    Jan 18, 2018
    Sand it off and start over?

    One of my bass instructors did his.
  19. Jared Lash

    Jared Lash Born under punches

    Aug 21, 2006
    Denver, CO
    Looks great - and you definitely cant go wrong with Pat Wilkins. He does great work.

    Just as a side note, Marty Bell will also do a polyester coat on a fingerboard for a very reasonable price and with a fast turnaround. His overall finish work is also fantastic.

    Here's a shot of my upcoming fretless that he did a gloss finish for as well as coating the fingerboard.

    jared bass.JPG
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  20. mark beem

    mark beem Wait, how does this song start again?? Supporting Member

    Jul 20, 2001
    Alabama, USA

    Thinking of getting the fretboard on my customized Lakland Skyline 55-01 coated.

    Last edited: Mar 27, 2018