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DeFreting!! Experiences, Techniques, results.

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Luis Fabara, Aug 28, 2000.

  1. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I have just defreted a Fender Precision Bass Made in Mexico with Basslines pickups.
    I used the hit and pull method for taking out the frets (Splinter efect) , I sanded, and sanded and sanded, and used a glue +rosewood sawdust composite to fill the frets.
    I just put the first job of Varnathane (A better varnish) for the finishing (I have to wait 12 hours to sand it)

    I just wanted to know, at this point, what should I do extra for the finishing??. What if i have "wood buzzes"?? Any information will be very helpfull at this point.

  2. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    Umm...the only suggestion I have at this point is...next time you want to do a defret job, ask here BEFORE you do anything...will save you a lot of sanding and sanding and sanding.... ;)
  3. Luis Fabara

    Luis Fabara

    Aug 13, 2000
    Ecuador (South America)
    Audio Pro - Ecuador
    I read some information on the Internet before, then some Rick Turner advise in the Bass Player (Oddly that was after defreting)

  4. Brooks


    Apr 4, 2000
    Middle East
    StewMac catalogue (www.stewmac.com) has a very good section on the subject, as does Mike Lull's (www.mikelull.com) web site. They both agree that frets should be heated up (to melt the glue) and pulled sideways, in the direction of the fretwire, for a really clean job. As for finishing, that is something that I have been trying to find out too. Still don't know the brand of the epoxy, or the proper way of applying it.
  5. Etbass


    Apr 26, 2007
    Cooranbong, NSW
    My experience would lead me to advise against doing it to the rest of the world. I went through the Jaco approach, which meant slipping the blade of a fairly solid kitchen knife beneath the edge of the fret, and then dislodging it. This barely splintered at all, but it is a very soft rosewood fingerboard, so you might not be as lucky. Either way, I got some standard wood filler (different colour to the rosewood so I'd be able to see where to put my fingers) and did a couple of fills.

    The problem is that you need to sand it no matter what you do, and if you botch that like I did, you'll have a hard time getting all the gay little buzzing out.

    I coated mine with about 6 coats of epoxy. Changes the tone to something similar to ebony, but the down-side is that the epoxy I used bubbled with every coat. Even when I had it sanded down flush, the next coat still bubbled. This means that if you're as lucky as I am, chances are you won't be able to have that nice glossy fretless fingerboard if you want playability.

    Still, you might be luckier than I was. I know Jaco was, so give it a shot. Even though my fretless sucks a tad, it's still fun to play, just make sure you've got a good fretted backup, or even better, two fretted back ups, and give me one.

  6. get rid of the bubbles by using a hairdryer on low/medium heat on the epoxy resin just after applying each coat... when the resin is hot, it flows well and the bubbles tend to come out while it cures.

    Don't use "Rapid" epoxy... it'll go 'off' too fast...

    PS, mask off the rest of the neck where you don't want resin and keep it flat while it's curing...
  7. ehque


    Jan 8, 2006

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