colored fretlines for fretless bass

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by fourstring44, Feb 12, 2004.

  1. fourstring44


    Jul 22, 2003
    St. Louis
    Quick question:
    I pulled the frets out of my bass and would like to fill the slots with a colored filler. Is there a product you can recommend? I would like to use something like plastic wood or wood filler of some sort and then topcoat it with poly or epoxy.

    thanks, Curt
  2. Markdezy


    Jan 24, 2004
    Maybe use a tad bit of food coloring in your epoxy? I don't know.
  3. I've never done this, but I would suggest trying solvent based wood stain to tint the epoxy. I think the food coloring would be water based and might react negatively with epoxy. I've never mixed any of these concoctions with epoxy, so if you have any ideas of your own, experiment first. My son just suggested to try clothing dye, Rit, with the epoxy.
  4. Since epoxy is a catalyst hardened polymer, introducing solvent based materials can thwart the hardening process. Water based materials will do the same. There are specific products designed for tinting epoxy and fiberglass resin. You can get them from boat suppliers. If you want black you can use the plastic toner from a copier. You can also use powdered tempera paint pigment for more color selection. Just keep it dry and you should be fine.

    For more natural colors, sawdust from different woods works great. I'm talking real FINE dust - the kind you get from sanding with 220 grit and up. Filling the slot with dust and then putting CA in the slot will work great. Be warned though that adding the superglue will darken the sawdust. Just plan ahead.

    Go to the local hobby store and get .025 thick styrene plastic in colored sheets. Cut it into narrow strips and glue in the slots. Sand back and that should work well also.

    Hope this helps.
  5. fourstring44


    Jul 22, 2003
    St. Louis
    Thanks guys. I appreciate all the information.

  6. Skips


    Feb 19, 2003
    Mixing solid pigments with epoxy seems to be the recommended way to do it on MIMF. Someone there recommended ground coffee....