Defretting a Bass

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by mlu, Jul 22, 2005.

  1. mlu


    Jul 18, 2005
    Houston, Texas
    One day after playing around with my basses, i noticed i didnt have a fretless in my collection. I dont have the money to spend on a fretless, so i was thinking about defretting one i dont use often.

    Should i take this to a proffesional, or can i do this my self. Instruction would be great. The fact that it was once a fretted bass, will it sound anything like a frettles?
  2. spacecanoe


    Aug 6, 2002
    ive done it... but its always a risk. go to and hook up a pair of defretting pliers , they sit flush to the finger board and help lower the chance of chipping. another trick is to modify a old soldering iron with the loop tip snip it and bend it so each tip is about the width of a fret , touch the ends to the fret ends and itll heat up the fret, plasticising the wood a lil and helping kill the glue bond (if any) ... now if you intend on doing it... make sure you fill the fret slots.. now dont EVER EVER EVER use wood putty. always use a thin veneer. go to any fine woodworking shop or wood supplier and try and score some.. glue that wood veneer in there trim and sand. if you dont your in essence KERFING your neck and weakening it thus a whopping amount of releif will appear.

    good luck!!!!!!! :ninja:
  3. gfried84

    gfried84 Commercial User

    May 7, 2005
    Owner Fried Guitars Inc.
    Assuming the fretboard is trued properly you may have to do some minor sanding. Keep in mind that most fretless basses are played with a practically straight neck, so you must have the proper drop off at the end of the fingerboard which you should have already. 1/32 inch
    When pulling the frets use the soldering iron to really heat the fret. I am a luthier and usually hold a 40 watt soldering iron on the fret until i'm pretty sure that it is sufficiently heated(way too hot to touch)
    Hope this helped.
  4. weeding


    May 17, 2005
    Here's the best advice that can be given: Take it to a luthier!!!
  5. Spikeh

    Spikeh Sex Strings