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Fret slot filling and epoxy coating Jaco style questions

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by tjclem, Feb 24, 2005.


  1. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    I have a project I need to fill a slotted Ebony neck with maple strips and they give it the "Jaco" treatment. Has anybody found an epoxy they like for that job? Also where have you gotten the correct size maple to fill with. I was considering making some by using my thickness sander and double stick taping the maple to a thicker board. I didn't know if it would break when I tried to remove it from the other board though. Any ideas tricks or tips? ........t
     
  2. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    If you mean that you're defretting your bass, on sites i've found, you're supposed to use 1/32" wood filler. I'm also wondering what kind of wood glue I should use too, I could work the glue better than wood filler I think.
     
  3. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Thanks for the response. I am being sent a slotted Ebony board from stew mac...t
     
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    making your own fillers seems like a lot of work when you could get some veneer for just a few bucks. You should be able to find it in varying thicknesses at most woodworking stores or websites. You just need figure out how wide the fret slots are. Maybe you could use a set of spark plug gap guages for this?
     
  5. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    oh yeah about the epoxy coating, I know they make a special epoxy for coating wood floors, I can't remember what it's called but i think that it would be your best bet for getting a smooth glossy finish.
     
  6. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Dear Mr. Clement,


    Thank you for contacting us. Our fret slots are 0.023" wide. Our Colored Wood Purflings measure 0.020" wide. They could be installed with Titebond.

    Our technicians recommend a marine-grade epoxy for your project, although ours would also work. Marine-grade epoxy is thinner so your chances of developing bubbles when applying the epoxy are less with marine-grade. After the epoxy has hardened for at least 24 hours, you can sand a radius into the board.


    If you have any other questions or comments, please contact us.



    Best regards,



    Matt Street

    Stewart-MacDonald

    www.stewmac.com



    I have a customer sending me one of your slotted Ebony Bass fingerboards. They want me to install maple strips in the slots and then give it the "Jaco" epoxy treatment. What size maple strips will I need for the job? Would you suggest an alternative to using the Maple strips? What would you suggest I use in the way of epoxy to do the fingerboard coating? Thanks ....Tom
     
  7. I would definitely suggest an alternative to the maple. I just completed this re-defret. This is a Warwick neck with a wenge board that had been botched up by someone before I got ahold of it:

    [​IMG]

    I used prefab 1/32" x 3/16" basswood strips, hand tuned to fit each slot. The reason for the softerwood was that I glued them in with CA laid in both sides of the strip before trimming allowing the glue to soak through the filler strip and fill the slot completely. It makes for one extremely hard and durable strip that is still wood and natural looking. The hand tuning was done by taper shaving an edge of the strip so that it could be pushed down into the slot and pulled through it into place. Then I used my own technique of arching the strip to match the radius of the bottom of the fretslot. By pushing down gently as I radiused the strip, the soft wood filled all of the slot. No problem with the possibility of a gap needing to be filled. After I glued the strips, I just trimmed them down with flat nippers and then sanded them down smooth. The color you see in the fretboard comes from a couple of long soaks with teak oil.
     
  8. tjclem

    tjclem Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jun 6, 2004
    Central Florida
    Owner and builder Clementbass
    Can't see the photo?
     
  9. Petary791

    Petary791

    Feb 20, 2005
    Michigan, USA
    Can't I just use some wood glue?
     
  10. Bassic83

    Bassic83

    Jul 26, 2004
    Texas, USSA

    No, no you can't. You must follow instructions for optimum results. Hambone's method works well. To Jaco-fy it, use the marine-grade epoxy as recommended above, omitting the long soak in teak oil. You'll be happy you didn't use just wood glue. CA is harder, soaks into the thin wood strips, thus making it much more like the fretboard surface. I'm assuming you want it to sound decent, right?