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Epoxying a fretless fingerboard..i.e. Jaco

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by theaterbass29, Dec 11, 2003.


  1. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Anyone out there have any experience putting epoxy on a lined fretless fingerboard like Jaco did? I have a Jazz that I have just pulled the frets out of and filled with wood filler. I have tried all week long to apply the epoxy, but I keep getting bad orange peel and fisheyes. I have finally removed all epoxy and am treating with lacquer thinner hoping to pull out any and all oil and residue that might be causing my problem. If you are out there and have done this type of work before, please offer your opinions and guidance to help me finish this job. Also, if you know of a store that carries clear coat...MARINE EPOXY..versus regular Epoxy like you get at Lowes or most hardwares, let me know that as well, as the epoxy Im currently using doesnt promise enough hardness. Thanks.
     
  2. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    I just used polyeruthane... worked just dandy... just put 5-10 coats on and it will be fine.
     
  3. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Mike
    Does the polyurethane get hard enough? Also, how long to dry in between coats?
     
  4. Arthur Poon

    Arthur Poon

    Jul 13, 2003
    Although my fretless basses have fingerboards coated with Fuller-Plas, I've heard using super-glue works very well. Hopefully, someone can give advice on how to apply it to the fingerboard.
     
  5. Jontom

    Jontom

    Mar 11, 2002
    New York
    I did an epoxy job on my Warwick Corvette fretless(ebony board). I used the same stuff Jaco used(Petits' Poly-Poxy) and you do have to go to a boat store for it. I had to special order it and it came in two cans which you mix together. I thinned it substantially, cause it can be thick and hard to spread nicely. You want to have coats that will dry within a day or two. I think I did between 5 and 8 coats. I also did my work in an area heated with a woodburning stove,which will dry the stuff tout de suite! You have to sand with super fine paper/emory paper, towards your final coats. For my final coats, I used a thinned wipe-on polyurethane, which dried with a nice finish. I ended up with a job Pedulla would be proud of!:)
     
  6. monkfill

    monkfill

    Jan 1, 2003
    Kansas City
    I found Marine Epoxy Resin at Home Depot.
     
  7. Mike Money

    Mike Money Banned

    Mar 18, 2003
    Bakersfield California
    Avatar Speakers Endorsing Hooligan
    It is plenty hard... i slapp the crap out of it, and it doesnt break.... its still perfectly smooth. i let it sit about 7 hours between coats.... and i used minwax fast drying
     
  8. Ilovepink

    Ilovepink Banned

    Nov 17, 2003
    California
    I would love to see that. I just love the Pedulla look.
     
  9. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    I have researched all morning hoping to find Pettits Poly Poxy. Apparently they dont make it anymore due to Environmental Regulations. I did however find Pettits Flex Poxy at BoatersWorld.com in a hobbypack, but Im afraid with Flex in the name, it isnt going to be hard enough. The whole point it to make the fingerboard as hard as possible with as thin of a layer between the board and your strings as possible. I dont know what Im going to do, but since I have nothing to lose, I think Im going to try my epoxy again, and maybe do a final coat with polyurethane, which Im assuming is what the Poly...in Pettits Poly Poxy is, a mixture of polyurethane and epoxy resin, combined with a hardner....wait a minute, if its that easy, then why dont I just combine them myself? Duh...I will let you know what happens.
     
  10. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Well, I went to three boat shops today looking for Pettits. I finally found a dealer, but Pettits doesnt make this stuff anymore. The dealer actually called Pettits right there while I stood there, so I suppose its true. I read somewhere today that many places have quit making this due to environmental reasons. Anyways, I went to an automotive paint place and got talked into spray urethane. Pettits recommended polyurethane, but supposedly it dries so hard, it is difficult to finish by hand. I decided to try this automotive urethane with hardning agent. I basically cleaned the fretboard after sanding throughly with laquer thinner, about 5 times within an 8 hour timeframe. After that, I sprayed the urethane on in two coats. First coat was a tack coat, the second a wet coat after about 15 minutes of drying the first coat. The urethane that I bought is fast drying, so it can be wet sanded after 4 hours. I am going to let it dry overnight to thoroughly cure, and then wet sand tomorrow using 1500, 2000, and 2500 grit sand paper. After that, I will polish with some rubbing compound, buff it with some Meguiars Mirror Glaze, and final buff with a foam rubber pad on my cordless drill. After that, she should be like glass. Hopefully, I can get the bass put back together on Monday and take her for a spin to see how it works, but Im hoping. Still interested in any comments on this procedure.
     
  11. Passinwind

    Passinwind I Know Nothing Supporting Member

    <b>All the guys I know are using polyurethane these days, but if any of you want to learn a whole lot about marine epoxy, these guys are the place to go: http://www.westsystem.com/

    They are very responsive, and I have had great results using their products for many non-musical applications. Actually, I have used some of their stuff for cabs. Their products are generally easy to find in marine supply joints, but here's a web dealer: http://www.fiberglasssupply.com/

    I highly recommend this dealer, I have dealt with them for many years myself. If anyone wants to take a crack at making carbon necks or bodies, these guys have all the composite materials you'd need, and lots of useful, specialized tools as well.
     
  12. I also did the same thanks to Mr. Money here. He walked me through it all. I also used MinWax fast drying polyurethane and I slap and play the hell outta mine and it's just dandy :D
     
  13. coop

    coop

    Jun 22, 2002
    Oklahoma
    I'm a little late to this thread, but I had good luck with Pelucid. Pelucid Info.
     
  14. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Thanks everyone for your input and please, continue writing and post a pic or two if you have some. As of my last reply, I have just finished wet sanding my first two coats of automotive urethane. The first coat was a tack coat, and the second was a wet coat. I used a DeVal sprayer, which you can get at any auto paint store, or Stewart-MacDonald sells them for about $5.00. This is handy if you only have a small project like this one. After wet sanding and compounding, I found that my first coats werent enough, as I had uneven sides. So, when I got home from work tonight, I did another tack coat, and then a really wet coat. It looks super smooth, but there are going to be some bubbles to work out with sandpaper. I dont believe this will be my final coat, but I do believe that after I sand this coat down to smooth, and then a final coat should be the one, total of approx. 5 coats within about 48 hours. The auto urethane promises to be perfect as it dries hard, smooth, and glassy, yet is easy to work with as far as fine grit sandpaper, 2000 grit and so on. Much easier than any epoxy Ive tried. Will post again after I work on it some more tomorrow.
     
  15. steviecsg

    steviecsg

    Aug 16, 2002
    just curious,

    after applying the polyurethene or epoxy, how do you ensure that the radius is even all around? do you use a radius gauge to measure and file/sand accordingly?

    I defretted a maple fretboard and applied about 10-12 coats of polyurethene, but i can't help wondering if the radius is somehow uneven, especially compounded by the many applications of polyurethene.

    Steve
     
  16. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Stevie,
    I do have a radius block with the correct radius that use for sanding. I got it from Stew-Mac.com. However, you can get similar results using a stiff, thick sponge between your hand and the sanding paper. The block is the best though, and they are only @ $14 plus shipping, for an 8" block with your radius cut out.
     
  17. theaterbass29

    theaterbass29

    Nov 14, 2003
    Nashville, Tennesse
    Endorsing Artist: Aguilar Amplification, Sadowsky, D.Markley, Spector
    Success! I just finished my fretless today. After letting the final coats dry overnight, I wet sanded, compounded, and buffed the board. Nut work seems to be my new task, as the action is spongy on the nut end. I have taken it down some on my own, but I think I will take it to a luthier for a more pro job with the correct files. After playing the bass for much of the day, the finish held up well to roundwounds with no scratching. Now I have to refinish the back of the neck from the epoxy mess I made earier in the week. Quote....If youre going to make an omelet, you have to crack a few eggs. (Jack Nicholson as the Joker in Batman).