Epoxy Fretboard...How?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by ii7-V7, Nov 29, 2005.

  1. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    Where should I look to find out how to Epoxy a fretless board?

    Are there sites or book explaining the process?

  2. If you know basses and the technical details of setting up a neck and you understand epoxy, you can get from point A to point B without a roadmap. Besides, there isn't a real tutorial for this. You know you want it on the fingerboard and not the back, and you know that it has to be thick enough to cover and sand smooth but thin enough to not affect the sound so do it that way. What do you really need to be taught?

    So if you know what a smooth, flat, playable fingerboard is and how to get it, you can coat your board with epoxy and work it until it's to that stage. That's really all there is to it.
  3. ii7-V7


    Aug 4, 2002
    Baltimore, MD
    I understand the technical parts of setting up a fretted bass, but I'm new to the fretless side of things. I assume that there is a lot of carry over, but I don't know where the differences may be. For instance, with a fretted bass I would leave a very small amount of relief in the neck, but I've heard that on a fretless the board should be perfectly straight.

    I do not know anything about exopy....other than you mix two chemicals and let it dry for hours. The only epoxy that I have used was to repair the eyes on fishing rods. That stuff was very thick and I would assume wouldn't spread out well onto a board. Also, how exactly do you make the transition from the board face to the regular finish? Do you use masking tape? Then when do you remove it? You have to remove it before the epoxy sets I would assume.

    In another thread someone told me that you had made a homemade radius sanding block. Can you tell me how you were able to do that?

  4. apply epoxy with a plastic applicator...scrape it as thin as it will go, removing ALL excess...sand with very fine grit stuff...a second coat may be necessary...buff to a gloss

    know your enemies....
    build up
    (apply as little as will cover)

    (work with fine sand paper and work up to even FINER, finally buffing)

    working with sticky epoxy when applying
    (use 24 hour stuff, NOT instant epoxy)....

    working with sticky epoxy when sanding
    (be patient, wait til the epoxy is COMPLETELY set)


  5. I've made two from different types of extruded aluminum that I acquire from my work. However, you can make one by getting a flat piece of thick flexible plastic (polyethylene, polypropylene, UDPE, etc). Something like the big blue drums you see as trash barrels. It's got to be fairly thick like 1/4" or so and tough because you are going to sink screws in it. Cut a rectangle about 4" x 12" and smooth the edges. Take a pair of hardwood rails 1" x 2" x 12" and screw them to the top of your plastic rectangle along the sides. Countersink the screws from the bottom of the plastic side. Then attach 4 small turnbuckles evenly spaced across the top of the wood rails so that the buckles have free travel. This is now an adjustable radius block. By twisting the turnbuckles, the sides will draw together or push apart and cause the plastic plate to bow along it's length. Use double sided tape to attach some 80 grit paper and you've got a radius block for sanding.

    The transition from the epoxy to the rest of the finish can be done at a couple of places. You can mask right at the corner of the fretboard before it drops off to the back of the neck. This works great when the neck has well defined edges. The other way is to mask off at the dividing line of the fretboard and the neck where the glue line is, including the side marker dots. Either way, you can blend the coating by sanding and polishing until the transition is indistinguishable from the wood finish.

    Please do some searches on this subject. This is one of the most discussed topics on TB and there are literally dozens of hours of reading on it.