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de fret help!!!

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by bassplayajew, Jul 26, 2002.


  1. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    AHHH!!!!! This is not good. I left the hair dryer on the frets for a long time, so far I've only taken out one. But I tried hammering them out but that only split the fret in the middle then chipped out a lotta wood. Finally I took the screwdriver, to the space between the top of the fingerboard and the end part of the rump in the fret and got it out. More chips. What am I doing wrong?? Somebody please help.
     
  2. use a TOENAIL CLIPPER
     
  3. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    how???
     
  4. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Do a thread search if you really give a $#it. This has been done over and over here at TB.
     
  5. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    I did but they don't help me...
     
  6. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    thats where i got the courage and idea to do it in the first place...
     
  7. Get a tiny screw driver and a hammer and SLOWLY AND LIGHTLY TAP the fret out from one end to another.
    SLOWLY
    LIGHTLY
    SLOWLY
    LIGHTLY

    Also did you mask your fretboard? Its a pain, but put masking tape on either side of the fret, and have a bottle of superglue handy. When you pull out a fret, and a splinter of wood comes out with it, the splinter will stick to the tape, then you just put a dab of superglue on and stick it back in!

    Hey the toenail clippers isn't a bad idea! You could just grab hold of the fret and yank it out! You could try that too. Just make sure to do it SLOWLY AND LIGHTLY.

    -Spanky

    P.S. SLOWLY AND LIGHTLY!!!!!!
     
  8. I think I may have forgotten to mention in the last post to do it SLOWLY AND LIGHTLY.
    Its going to take a while, but it will save you all the pain of sanding, ect. later.
     
  9. jbay

    jbay

    May 23, 2002
    Singapore
    Oiling the fingerboard before proceeding would also help reduce chipping... :)
     
  10. Hammer and a Screwdriver?!?! We aren't building a house, we're defretting a bass! :D

    Defretting is a pretty delicate procedure to do it right, and not screw up the fingerboard. Go out and get a pair of large toe nail clippers, and a utiliy knife.

    Work the razor blade under the fret, please don't try it with a screwdriver that is 5 times the width of a razor blade, you'll be more likely to mess up your bass. Gently pry the fret up a tiny bit. Slip the clippers under the fret, squeeze a litle to get a good grip, then gently pull the fret out.

    I just did it this way on my last defret, and it is the best way I've found to do it.

    I find it hard to believe that a thread seach didn't help you. I have started/ posted in a least a dozen defret threads in the last 6 months.
     
  11. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    It will also make the wood swell making the joints "tighter"! I wouldn't recomend it.

    I can't believe you typed in defret and didn't get enough info for a a small book. Did you type it in the forum "set up". I believe that is where most of the Threads have been. There are some really nice links such as this one http://www.seangallagher.net/Miscellany/Defretting/defretting.html and a better one I can't find just now. A pair of hardware store "nippers" work well. You can grind the face of them to take out the bevel and make the jaws flush. Patience is the key to a successful defret!

    If I did it again I would use a pair of small wood chisels on opposing sides of the fret. I would put one on eack side of the fret, bevel edge against the fret board for leverage, and carefully work them under edge's of the fret on opposite sides of the fret. Then gently push down on both chisel's easing the fret out working your way across the fret lifting a little at a time and going back and forth tili it is lifted out. YOU definatly need to mask the fret board as close to the fret as possible to protect it from the tools you use whatever they be. Good Luck and try another search for tons of info.
     
  12. jbay

    jbay

    May 23, 2002
    Singapore
    Naturally just lightly oil the surface of the fingerboard to reduce chipping, and not soak the entire board, thus causing it to "swell". Anyhow, with the frets still on the board, it's not that likely that enough oil would sip under the fret to cause swelling of the wood at the slots. (Not like we're adding water, causing the grain to rise).

    Also, this method applies mostly for rosewood boards (oil wouldn't penetrate finished maple boards, and wouldn't have much of an effect on tightly grained wood like ebony). With rosewood being an oily wood, it's not gonna be taking in much oil anyway, much less enough to swell it... :)
     
  13. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    If it is oiled enough to make the wood less brittle, the joints will be tighter. Thats my story and I'm stickin to it!!! But it may also help ease the friction between the fret and the fret slot. Six of one, half a dozen of the other. The next time I defret a bass,( if I ever do it again) I will try a little oil it on half the neck. Don't get me wrong, "I" just wouldn't do anything to the neck that would even suggest make the joints "tighter". IN fact I put the neck in a slight reverse bow to help "open" the joints.
     
  14. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    Well I pulled out all the frets...a little more chipping than I had expected. I filled the slots with raw maple, last night. Today the excess maple crusted over so I sanded it down. Theres now only wood filler in the slots, BUT also around the chips. So bassically I don't have nice lines. Also after I sanded, It didn't feel to smooth. I'm afraid of sanding further because eventually there'll be no fingerboard left. I don't know what I'm doing anymore. PLEASE HELP AN IDIOT FELLOW BASSIST IN NEED?!
     
  15. What type of sandpaper are you using? At this point, try to get the highest grain you can find, or perhaps even some 0000 steel wool. I like to coat my rosewood boards, because they are a much softer wood than maple, and the strings can chew it up.

    Marine grade expoxy does the job very well (it's what Jaco used) but I use polycrylic. It's a polyurethane based acrylic that provides a very nice clear and durable coating with little to no sacrifice in tone.

    But sanding til the board is smooth is needed before you coat it.
     
  16. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    Clarification: The wood filler in the fret slots and fingerboard are not level. Perhaps I need to get a radiused sanding block with really 36 grit to sand to where the fret slots are nice clean lines? then sand up to a finer grit? would dipping stool wool in epoxy and "sanding" the neck be a good way to evenly coat the neck?
     
  17. You can get a radius block from Stewmac. Getting a heavy grit block to even off the lines sounds like the best plan of action, then sanding down smooth with a high grit.

    I apply epoxy either weith a small paint brush, a rag, or by hand. It's best to apply more than one coat (I usually do three or four). I wouldn't recommend using the steel wool to apply the epoxy, but I don't know. I've never heard of doing that, but it may work.
     
  18. Whoa, Whoa, Whoa!!! Don't, under any circumstances, use 36 grit abrasive to shape your fingerboard. That course of an abrasive will literally groove your mostly smooth surface and create tons of problems. Actual shaping of a fingerboard can be done with 80 grit but you don't want to shape yours - you want to sand down the filler. Try using 100 grit as a starting point and then step up to 220 for final finishing.

    As for what to remove frets with, I'm sorry to say that a lot of what has been mentioned here is absolute hogwash. Sure most of the tools mentioned will take out frets but they aren't the best and most reliable tools for the job. I can remove teeth with a hammer, a pair of pliers, a crescent wrench, or a really big rock but those aren't the best and most efficient tools for the job. My best advice is to go to Stewart MacDonalds website and look up "fret removal pliers". Here's the link:

    http://www.stewmac.com/cgi-bin/hazel.cgi?action=SERVE&sku=1661&ITEM=catalog/sku.html

    You aren't going to buy these but you really need to see what the optimum tool looks like. It's actually what are called "end cutters" - originally designed for wire. The StewMac version has been modified to be a thinner jaw with a very precise fit when closed. Look closely and print out a pic if needed. Then go to your local hardware and ask for a set of these. THE SMALLER THE BETTER!!! I have a pair that has a ½" wide set of jaws - almost jewelers size. Leave the larger versions alone and get the miniature style. This will grasp the fret from both sides under the crown and you can rock the pliers back along the fret to remove it. Done with care there won't be ANY splintering. They might cost $5 for the pair but they will last forever. Beats the StewMac price by a long shot. These even come as parts of sets of inexpensive, Chinese made tools available at even WalMart. At no time should you use the fingerboard for leverage with a chisel or other tool because you can crush the surface of the wood making for more problems.

    I'm really worried about what I've been seeing lately (not just this thread) with tool selections and techniques. Folks have just got to understand that working on guitars is a very specialized task - one that requires the right tool, the right technique, patience and plenty of forethought. This is NOT furniture building where mistakes and imperfections can be hidden. Every goof has the potential to ruin the instrument either in looks, setup, tone, or playability. This is why proper tool selection is very important. IMO the scale of the tool - it's size - is almost as important as it's function. Remember, most all of the work done on a guitar will take place within a 1 square foot area. That's small folks!Defretting takes place in a ¼" square area - that's even smaller!! Make the tool fit the task. That's why StewMac has such a large selection of specialized tools. Now, don't misunderstand my approach to this. I'm all for saving some money and there are a lot of tools in the catalog that have substitutes. I myself have avoided some large costs in luthier tools by making my own, and searching out suitable, less expensive replacements. I've made my own adjustable radius block for sanding fretboards, made my own fret leveling blocks, built my own miniature router base for my Dremel, etc. I have done this because I am keenly interested in doing this professionally. But to do it professionally I have to take a professional attitude towards the craft. That means professional tools, techniques, and (this is the hardest part) professional patience with the process. Saving money by doing it yourself does not mean that you have to accept or be satisfied with sub-professional results.
     
  19. ESP-LTD

    ESP-LTD

    Sep 9, 2001
    Idaho
    As usual, Hambone has it nailed.

    In the list of tools I have found useful (as previously mentioned) are chisels. BUT- these are not Stanley 2" wood chisels for mounting door hinges. I use a 1/4" wide flat bladed chisel more commonly used for carving; kind of like a tiny knife blade on a different handle.
     
  20. bassplayajew

    bassplayajew

    Mar 14, 2002
    Bethesda, MD
    Hambone I love you! But I also greatly envy you for your skills and knowledge. Hey how about I send it to you, and you make it fixed and all working?

    By the way, I finally finished finishing my guitar, it looks great!! Thank you so much!