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Exploring options for ongoing project

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Tom0Blam0, Mar 16, 2014.

  1. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    I have been in the process of customizing a rickenbacker copy I bought from a pawn shop a while ago and I'm looking for some opinions from people more experienced than me.

    The bass is in pretty good shape, but the truss rods are kinda shot. There are some dead notes here or there that are kind of annoying. I also ripped the frets out in high school because I wanted a fretless, but I'm wanting to go back to fretted.

    Here is my question: since it's a neck through, is it possible to reinsert frets or will I have to start over? I was thinking about working with my grandfather, who is a carpenter, to cut the body away from the current neck and attach them to a neck like this (http://www.carvinguitars.com/products/NT4). This way I can just start fresh and go from there. Is this a good option? Will this be doable, or should I just work with what I have a deal with the less than quality neck I have now?
  2. mapleglo

    mapleglo Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2013
    phoenix, az
    I've used that Carvin neck in a build with good results. I have a 2nd one on order now for my current build, though due to their current level of custom work production, shipment is delayed. I'm currently waiting 6 weeks. The non custom Carvin necks may ship sooner.

    It's possible to refret a neck thru. It depends on what kind of tools you have, and how much work you want to put into it. Fretting an instrument requires some skill and specialized tools. StewMac has the tools that are required. I believe they also have instructional videos and documents on their website. You may wish to do some research to see if that's something you want to attempt.
  3. JustForSport


    Nov 17, 2011
    Or, replace the fretboard, leaving the same neck and body intact.
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    As Mapleglo said, refretting is not a huge problem. A neck-thru is a little more cumbersome to fret than a bolt-on, but it's basically the same.

    What do you mean regarding the truss rods? Do they function to to adjust the backbow/ relief, or not? A bad TR is not the cause of dead notes.
  5. Tom0Blam0

    Tom0Blam0 Supporting Member

    Mar 16, 2014
    It has a dual action truss rod that doesn't adjust the neck. I had taken the bass to a repair shop a few years ago and the tech said they truss rods were almost shot.

    My only concern with refretting is I didn't do a very careful job of defretting it in the first place, so I'm worries that the existing gaps aren't going to work, but I don't know if that's the case.