And another epoxy fretless thread

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Whacked, May 22, 2005.

  1. Whacked


    Sep 21, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    OK, first I spent some time searching and reading but still have a few unanswered questions.

    I have a MIM J bass rosewood w/ fretlines that I want to epoxy. I am just not entirely sure of the process so want some more info before I do this.

    1) Leave the nut in or take it out? I am also guessing that the nut height will need adjusting afterwards regardless to compensate for the epoxy.

    2) apply the epoxy with the neck flat or hang it up?

    3) will I need to tape the sides to help prevent run-over or will that just level the epoxy resulting in having to sand the radius back?

    I'll be using System Three Mirror coat, 220 grit sandpaper between coats and 00000 steel wool for finish. I also plan on very light use of sandpaper prior to applying first coat to help smooth and remove the gunk. Just not sure if wood cleaner will leave deposits that may react badly to the epoxy.
  2. Since you've never done this before, I suggest you try applying a few coats on a scrap peice of wood so you know what your in for. This way, you can plan the application better and be aware of the properties of the epoxy.

    1. Take the nut out 'cause you don't want it glued in the slot with the epoxy - it will probably seep into the slot or around it. If you need to take it out later when the epoxy is hard for some reason, then you'll have fun...

    2. I don't know the consistency of the epoxy you're using. If you hang it up, you should have a very thin coat that you know won't run (eg. apply with material or very thin sponge brush). I apply epoxy to the fingerboad with the neck flat. It's much easier and you don't have to worry about the runs. Dust will settle on it anyway, whether you hang up or not

    3. Taping the sides has it's own problems and can be messy at times if not taped properly and the epoxy not applied with care 'cause some people tend to rely too much on the tape stopping any runs. Though this is not always the case. I don't use tape since I do complete necks from scratch. If you're careful, maybe the tape will work for you. Just test it

    I use various grits of wet and dry to sand between coats, and for the final coat.
  3. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    1) leave the nut on only if you want it epoxied onto the board (you don't)

    2) the finish is going to run on a radiused board no matter what you do with it. It will run and pool up on either the fb edges or at the fingerboard end. Then you will have to deal with the runs. Since it's a bolt-on, I'd probably let it dry for a couple hours and tack and then hang it up. Maybe ask the dudes at System 3.

    3) Definately tape the edges. The mirrorcoat is going to flow much more than regular epoxy and if it runs over then you will have some interesting finish work to do.
  4. yes! remove the neck, the nut and mask the whole neck up, not just the edges. Consistency of system 3 brand is very liquid and will take a long time to fully cure (24hrs). Epoxy is naturally self leveling, so unless you're applying extremely thin layers (like with a credit card or plastic scraper) you don't wanna hang it. It's best to apply very thin coats (3-5) to get a nice build so that you can level sand later (that's because of the settling dust particles).

    If this is your first time, maybe you want to get a piece of wood and coat it with epoxy first to get a feel of what you'll get.

    Oh, and if you're using clear coat, I just measure using the bottle caps. They are the same ratio needed for mixing, so 1 cap of hardner and 1 cap of resin will get you the correct mix.
  5. Whacked


    Sep 21, 2004
    Stockton, Ca
    thanks for the input. I scrounged around and have a good "test" board i'l practice on. I have used epoxy before on a much different application, but that was years ago.

    Guess on the flip side, Warmoth is a click away if I do a horrible job.