Coating a fretless with epoxy?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by the pieman, Jun 17, 2005.

  1. the pieman

    the pieman

    May 22, 2005
    Durham, UK
    Around 6 months ago, I finished defretting an old P-bass copy. I only applied some linseed oil to the neck, and strung it with flats, but now I'm interested in putting roundwounds on it, which would mean coating the fingerboard with something.

    Now I've done a search (!), and found lots of people mentioning epoxy for this purpose, but the only epoxy I have ever heard of is the two-part stuff that comes in small tubes, used for glueing - I wouldn't have thought it could be used for coating a fingerboard, but perhaps it can? Could anyone please provide a method as to how to do this, or direct me as to what kind of epoxy is required, if the type I have isn't suitable?



    Edit: I think I might have to somehow get rid of the linseed oil I applied earlier, what could I use for this?
  2. heavyfunkmachin


    Jan 21, 2005
    i know nearly nothing about these. but i guess it could be marine epoxy, whitch was used by jaco to cover his fretboard after defreting...

    by the way, i was thinking about epoxing my fretless "el cheapo" jazz bass (yesh, its sundburst and yesh , im a mith maniac.... :bassist: ), is it any good? should i try something better? any kind of recomendation?
  3. I wouldn't use hand-dispenser 2 part epoxy like you're describing...

    I'd use the marine-grade stuff like Jaco did, if you're going to bother. This stuff doesn't get "tacky / sticky when it's really warm out. Apply light coats. Sand between. Wear a mask because you don't want to breathe in epoxy dust, trust me. Build it up...let it cure solid in open air, for at least a week or a bit more...then so that final sand & buff out and play it mad. Bear in mind, the epoxy is going to make the playability improve (it'll appear faster) but will change the tone of the instrument.

    Take this to the luthier's forum, or do a search. I've seen many threads on this.

  4. the pieman

    the pieman

    May 22, 2005
    Durham, UK
    Thanks, I've just searched the Luthier's forum, I only looked in Setup before. Anyway, I think I might coat it with mylar instead, it seems a lot easier and cheaper, from what I read, plus it should be possible to undo if I don't like the result. The only problem now is finding some in the UK...
  5. Don't do it. It will ruin the sustain and playability. Also it will lock the knobs in position.

    On the other hand, if you take the strings off, and just coat the fingerboard with epoxy, it can work very well.... :rolleyes: Sorry, couldn't resist....

    Do a search of the board, I seem to remember some threads about this, and there were links to some people that do that for you, in case you get cold feet about experimenting and would rather have it done by a pro.

    I think the surface prep (getting rid of the oil) would be crucial to get right so the epoxy sticks. Or you may end up with a detachable epoxy coating on the fingerboard. I did some marine epoxy work on some window sills/frames that got wet and rotted, it worked great. But if it doesn't stick to a surface, it comes RIGHT off, and you'll have a perfect epoxy mold of your fingerboard instead of an epoxy coating ON the fingerboard.

    I took advantage of that, used some plastic strips to make a little "mold" of the windowframe after I smeared the epoxy in place to shape it the way I wanted. Really minimized sanding afterwards, kept the epoxy out of hinges and stuff in super tight spaces. Plastic made perfect barrier to protect something, then popped right off when the epoxy dried.

    Epoxy sticks agressively to stuff it sticks to, and agressively RESISTS sticking to stuff it doesn't bond to.