Defretting an Ibanez GSR200

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Tyler Hole, Aug 3, 2003.

  1. Ok, I was thinking that I might wanna have a fretless in like a year or so, but I don't really wanna spend the money on one. So I was thinking of maybe defretting my Ibanez GSR200.

    What I really wanna know is:

    1) What do I need to accomplish this.

    2) Is it a good idea

    3) How hard is it to do?

    Any opinions are welcome :D
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I'll walk you through it on AIM...
  3. -heat up the frets with a soldering iron
    -pull 'em out with pliers
    -sand the board
    -fill slots with putty (or wood strips if you can)
    -epoxy or finish the board with something if you want

    it's really simple. i mean, i can do it. and i'm borderline ********.
  4. Ok, so Mike Money walked me through this on AIM and here is what he gave me:

    Stuff I need (can get at Home Depot):

    screw Driver
    Minwax Fast Drying Satin Polyurethane
    wood filler of sorts
    fine sand paper preferably 700 to 900 grid

    1) Push screw driver into side where line (down from fret) is, get it up enough and use pliers to pull it out all the way.

    2) Take sandpaper and sand it till all smooth.

    3) Once all smooth, take wood filler and fill in where all frets were.

    4) Let dry, sand again till smooth.

    5) Take neck off

    6) Use polyurethane now: The first coat should be about 3 coats, and try to stroke in one direction, and get the sides but do your best to stay off the maple part, but it is not that big a deal if it does.

    7) Let sit for 7 hours

    8) Repeat steps 6&7 6 more times.

    9) Take to local shop to get the intonation set.

    If anyone has anything to add to that, please post. Also, I would like to hear anyones opinions on whether to do this or not.

    edit: Would like suggestions on what wood filler to use.
  5. Mike Money

    Mike Money In Memoriam

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan

    You will definitly not need a soldering iron... these cheap basses dont even use a glue, they just wedge the frets in there some how... or atleast my squier had no glue....


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    hmm, instead of a screwdriver get a good set of toe nail clippers. thats what i used and it was a heck of a lot easier than a screwdriver. just clamp on one end of the fret and pull up (SLOWLY!) and viola

    good luck though, as i still cant get my action set as low as i need it... and i shimmied the neck! (thats when you put something between the neck and body to raise the neck, thus allowing for lower action than your bridge allows) i think the problem lies in the sanding. i believe i didnt sand it evenly up around the higher frets, thus leading to a buzz with anything other than high action :meh: oh well, im gonna strip the finish off of it soon (sunburst-yuck! natural-mmmmm) so ill probably resand it and get it all even and all that good stuff. have fun, frettless is definitely fun!
  7. Oh yeah...missed a step.

    goto and buy a cheap fretless , so you don't destroy a perfectly good GSR:rolleyes:


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    i bet you hate me then...
    i defreted my fender mia jazz bass :D
    my mim jazz was/is better anyways imo
  9. After lots of talking with obsolex (chat went something like this..)

    Me: Wanna defret the GSR200?
    Him: No, not really
    Me: Cmon dude, it'll be fun
    Him: Ok

    we have decided to do it! We are prolly gonna get the stuff later today and start on it :D Ill give u updates on how it goes.

  10. Please be kidding....Please be kidding
  11. Stephen S

    Stephen S Member

    Apr 10, 2002
    San Bernardino, CA
    I used toe nails clippers to defret my first bass and it worked great. I'd assume it wouldn't leave as big as a hole in the side of the neck, as the screwdriver would.
  12. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    Only thing I can add is this, when pulling out the frets, be carefull so that it doesn't pull out some of the wood as well.
  13. If you want it to look neat i use super glue and a plactic folder you can get at Longs drug store.

    Cut the binder in small strips and super glue them into the fret slots. After they dry sand them down with the finger board and you have colord fret markers that fill up the slots.

    you can just leave the neck unfinished on rosewood or clear in a maple one.

  14. Well this is what we did...

    We took all the frets off with a screw driver which took about 30-40 minutes because we were REALLY careful. Then we sanded it all down nice and smooth. Then right as my dad was about to go get McDonalds I made him drop us off at Home Depot while he went to get food so we could get the stuff.

    At Home Depot we looked around but couldn't find anything so we asked someone there where the Wood Filler is. So the person told us and we found it. So then we went looking around some more for the sand paper but couldn't find it. So we asked someone, we found it. So then we had to the the Polyurethane...we couldn't find it either so we asked someone, they showed us. Now the funny thing about all that was we spent about 20 minutes in there when the Polyurethane was no more than 2 feet from the Wood Filler and the Sand Paper was no more than 10 feet from the Polyurethane and Wood Filler. Lesson learned? LOOK BETTER!

    Ok, with that out of the way we went back home. When we got home, we started to fill in the frets with wood glue, pretty simple process, very messy! Then we let that dry for about 10 minuts (doesn't take long at all for wood filler to dry). So we got all the frets filled in with wood glue and we sanded that all down till it was hella smooth.

    Next the Polyurethane! :D We got a coat on (consisting of 3 layers) and then when the outer part was dry (yes the inner wood was still damp) we put the necks back on and fooled around for a lil cuz we just HAD TO TRY IT! It's was soooo damned cool :D So then Obsolex went home and I let my neck dry overnight, and now as I'm typing this another coat is on my neck drying and I will be putting another one on around 4 this afternoon :D

    Once it is all done I will get some pics with the neck by itself, on the bass, and on the bass with strings. Don't forget to check out all the pics I already posted (and the person holding my neck like a baseball bat is Obsolex :D) Peace all ~ Tyler


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    nope, i defretted (and am now de-finishing) a fender mia jazz bass (it was an ugly sunburst, now it shall be a natural with tung oil! mmmmm)

  16. Oh....I need to lay down :crying:

    Sunburst is sexy,what'chu talkin' bout defeldus?!


  17. Ok, I FINISHED IT! IT IS SOOOO NICE! (sorry for caps, just really happy :D) If anyone wants to hear it IM me on AIM or MSN so I can do the microphone thing :\ I need a decent sound recorder to record on! Windows Sound Recorder just blows.


    Jun 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    just finished stripping the top and putting first layer of tung oil on...

    when im done calling sunburst sexy compared to this will be like calling george burns sexy compared to britney spears ;)
  19. What I did was:

    -push the frets out with a screwdriver/ice pick/whatever is sharp enough to dig in there and pull th frets out

    -filled the empty slots with wood puddy, allowed to dry for a day

    -sanded down the fretboard till it was smooth and straight

    -put on 7-8 coatings of Polyurethane and allowed to dry for 2-3 days

    And voila, you have a new fretless beast.