An interesting defret experience

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Hambone, Jul 19, 2001.

  1. Was sitting here last week amid the boxes destined for our near future move and decided to try to defret one of the loose necks I have around here. I can't really do any other heavy work on the next bass so the little things will have to amuse me. At any rate, I have 2 take-off maple/maple necks that I'll be using in my next creations and I am prepping one to be modified from a P width to a J width. I have just gotten a neat little pair of flat wire nippers. These are the type that have the wide faced jaws that come together precisely along their width. They are an Ohio Forge product and are the smallest of their kind I've ever seen. I just grasped the fret and rocked it back, very slowly and the fret eased right out of the slot! All it took was shifting the nippers down to the next section, repeating the action, and the fret came out without incident. Some of the nibs on the tangs brought out very tiny splinters of the maple but this was very limited in the area just under the fret - never any longer. The finish is completely intact and I even intend to re-use the fret slots after the neck is narrowed and re-shaped. No heat, No gouges, No problem!!

    Get one of these little tools if you really want to have the perfect instrument to de-fret with.
  2. jasonbraatz

    jasonbraatz Supporting Member

    Oct 18, 2000
    Milwaukee, WI
    i had some nippers like that when i attempted to do my sterling....

    attempted being the key word. i got ONE out before i realized i was trashing the fingerboard. maybe they were too big...

    man...there hasn't been ONE good thing about that basses defretting process...but i think that doesn't have much to do with it being defretted...

    ok i'm rambling now. :D

  3. There could have been some other differences that would have affected the success of your job. My work was on a maple fretboard - pretty tough wood compared to a rosewood fretboard. I'm sure that the rosewood splinters more.

    You might also be right about the size of the side cutters. The ones I have are only about ½" wide and nearly as sharp as a knife. They took, literally, no effort to grasp the fret and rock it out.