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Defretting?

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Freaky Fender, Feb 19, 2002.


  1. Yesterday my dad gave me the green light to go ahead and defret my bass. now i have the rest of the week, not like it matters. but i already have a website that records the experence (thanks Gabu!) now, i've heard that if you put alligator clips at the ends of frets it will be easierto pull them out, would it be ok if i put all the alligator clips at once? would it hurt the neck or fretboard?
     
  2. From what i read somewhere the alligator clips are so U can put a low voltage current thru the fret so that it will heat up slightly and soften the glue so it comes out easier. I looked for the link to where I read this and couldn't find it so I would wait for conformation on what I just said.
     
  3. James Hart

    James Hart

    Feb 1, 2002
    toms_river.nj.us
    Endorsing Artist: see profile
    Ok... I'll bite. I hate it when people ignore me.



    hooking 44+ alligator clips of electric goodness to your neck shouldn't effect it any differently then doing it 2 at a time.

    I've de fretted 2 basses in my day and all I did with either was a utility knife and a pair of needlenose.

    good luck
     
  4. rllefebv

    rllefebv

    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Hey Freaky Fender... I hate being ignored too...

    What Mike88T is saying is correct, but it may be a bit of a pain to do all the frets at once. A couple of alternate methods are to use a soldering iron to heat the fret prior to pulling, again, to loosen any glue that may have been used when fretting originally. Ideally, the fret should be pulled when it's warm, as the glue will just harden again as it cools. Another method uses an iron, set to low heat... Remember, you're just 'warming' the fret to loosen the glue, (if any)... excessive heat can damage the fingerboard.

    When doing any job like this, patience is the key... even heating the frets one at a time, I can't see the entire job taking more than a few hours...

    I've 'de-fretted' a number of basses and only used heat on the last few... I didn't notice any difference, but then I am always very careful when doing this. A good tool for the job is a pair of Fret Nippers form Stewart MacDonald... An industrious lad such as yourself could probably find a pair of end nippers at the local hardware store, carefully grind the faces flat enough, and be able to get a bite under the fretwire and gently work across the board, lifting the wire as you go... I've worked up a few pairs of these and they make the de-fretting life a joy indeed. The ones from StewMac are excellent, but if you're only going to be doing one or two basses, the homegrowns should do just fine :D

    Good luck and let us know how it goes!

    -robert
     
  5. I defretted my bass thinking I would use it more often, but I don't. Make sure you are actually interested in fretless BEFORE you defret your bass.


    BTW (and I know I point this out alot) that seangallagher.com link if funny because that is my name, I play bass, and I defretted a bass. What are the odds? Someone is stealing my life! :D
     
  6. bizzaro

    bizzaro

    Aug 21, 2000
    Vermont
    Freaky, do a search in set up. You will find tons of information and several links. The nippers work well, but I would caution you to protect your fretboard as you can dent it when you apply presure to remove the frets. Patience is the key to successful defretting!