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Change fretted to a fret-less on a Fender J

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Da_Niet, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. Da_Niet


    Jan 23, 2003
    Anyone know some good advice(personal anecdotes) to share on changing from a fretted, round-wound string J-Bass, to a frettless one? Also, what is a good flat-wound string brand(s) to look for.
  2. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    first of all, be sure you have a good fret remover. One that won't damage your fret(less) board. you want to have a temp and humidity controlled environment, too. Then you remove the frets, and then fill their slots with a proper filler. Colored, black or white, epoxy is the best choice. Then you just fill in the slots, and let it dry. Then if you have a bit of roughness, fine sanding will usually take care of it. Be sure to have some oil to replenish your fingerboard, or some good board conditioner. The work is usually done best with the neck off, and in a jig that will hold it steady. Stew-Mac is a great place for all the materials. but remember, when in doubt, send it to a luthier!
  3. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    lol...you just blew me out of the water tmo33. I defretted my bass but i think I did it the cheap ghetto way. At any rate it turned out pretty nice.
    I basically heated teh frets up with an iron, then knocked them out with a small screw driver and aneedle nose pliers. I filled teh fret holes with a carpenter's wood filler to match board, then sanded it down with some 400 grit once it dried. I finished it off with a few coats of polyurethane coating that is normally used for harwood floors and let it dry a few days before using it. It looks quite nice and plays nice too, nice fast neck. I did it during the winter as well..i hope it doesn't all die when it gets really hot, lol! Colorado is very dry and killer on instruments.
  4. 5stringDNA


    Oct 10, 2002
    Englewood, CO
    Oh and for strings, D'addario chromes sound great and play very nicely! I would definately check them out!
  5. You don't necessarily have to use flats on a fretless. If you like the extra definition that roundwounds give, you can use compression wound, half rounds, or ground wounds to minimize the fingerboard decay and maximize tone.

    If this thread gets any deeper into strings, it's going up into the Strings forum. Be warned.
  6. knight


    Nov 3, 2002
    If you've got a little more money to spend on it, get a Moses graphite fretless neck like I did with my J. This way you can switch back to fretted when you want. The neck sounds great by the way.