Fretless Conversion

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by jimothythompson, Jul 26, 2005.

  1. At the risk of sounding like a complete n00b, I ask this question:

    Can someone tell me how to make a fretless bass from a fretted one? I'm not quite sure what to do and i dont want to break anything. I would really appreciate the information!
  2. It's best to have a luthier do it unless of course you have a unimportant bass that you plan to practice learning lutherie on. The baic idea is to pull the frets. Use a fret pulling tool for that, don't try to pry them out with excessive force.

    Once the frets are out,it's probably best to install slivers of hardwood into the voids where the frets used to be. Maple, purpleheart, bloodwood, wenge, and perhaps even rosewood should all be really good woods for this. the idea is to use contrasting colors though. If you don't want to see lines, then use the same wood to fill the frets as the fretboard. Sometimes, the fret slots need to be cut before you fill them in.

    Now it's time to level the board perfectly which is not easy to do if you are a novice. Stew Mac sells radius blocks. Simply buy the one that matches the radius of your fretboard. It's super important to change your sand paper constantly.if you don't , the radius block will work against you and start cutting unevenly and screw up your radius.

    The last things to do are set up the bass. Probably file the nut slots a little lower and definitely lower the bridge or saddles a bit.

    My last advice is that everything I mentioned is easier said than done. Do everything really slow so that you don't make mistakes.
  3. The setup forum. Sticky. Go. NOW!
  4. embellisher

    embellisher Holy Ghost filled Bass Player Staff Member Supporting Member

    Yep. And this thread is going to Setup, too.