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fretless woods and slap fret.

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by jordan_frerichs, Apr 30, 2009.


  1. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    I am planing a fretless build and have been thinking about a few things. The body will be walnut, and the neck be qs cherry, so i am wanting an affordable wood that contrasts well with them. My top 3 considerations are bloodwood, purpleheart and bocote. I am wondering how each of them differ from each other. What is best with roundwounds? How do each sound or behave different? I will also be making a 2 piece non-adjustable wooden bridge out of the same wood as the fingerboard. Any tips on this?
    I also was planing a zero fret, but one thing that has caught my curiousity, is a slap fret at the end of the fingerboard. All i have heard is the idea of a slap fret, but never any images or sound clips. Any tips on how to make one? Should the top of the fret be level with the top of the fb, or slightly higher/lower? Should it be over the location of a fret, or does that matter?
     
  2. eleonn

    eleonn

    Aug 24, 2006
    Lima - PerĂº
    Jordan I dont want to sound rude but... wouldnt be better if you focus on what you already started?
     
  3. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    I plan to get a good amount of work done on those this weekend, so expect a pic update. I need to make an lmii order for the other builds anyway, so i figured i better know what i need for the fretless-in-planning as well.
     
  4. cmewhinney

    cmewhinney

    Jul 11, 2008
    Concord, NH
    If a "slap fret" is what your description makes me think of, it seems like that would really hinder how low you can get the action- that's one of the best things about fretless for me.
     
  5. mikeyswood

    mikeyswood Banned

    Jul 22, 2007
    Cincinnati OH
    Luthier of Michael Wayne Instruments
    If you machine a piece of metal with the radius at the end of fingerboard then you can have low action and a slap "fret."
     
  6. azarias

    azarias

    Mar 19, 2009
    I tried it once. You really have to grind the fret down low. But regardless it just doesn't work well. I even tried two slap frets at the end. But, you still end up hearing more of the sound of the string hitting the wood before the slap frets.
     
  7. MagnaKen

    MagnaKen

    Jan 17, 2006
    Redland, Oregon
  8. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    It will not have a radius.
     
  9. +1. Doesn't work.
     
  10. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    That may be what i want! It appears as though it is slightly above the fb (like maybe a mm or 2), but then it has a lower area (can't see why). It gives me an idea. It appears to just be a wide metal scrap. I might be able to make on that is removable, so i can experiment with different elevations. What are you thoughts on the "slap anvil" concept? I think i will try and e-mail Mr.King.
     
  11. Your extreme advance planning hurts my head, good luck.
     
  12. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN
    I can't contribute to the op's question, but I will tell you this. I've spoken with David King several times over the years and he's always been very kind, helpful and open to converse. I like him (if that means anything).
     
  13. jordan_frerichs

    jordan_frerichs

    Jan 20, 2008
    Nebraska
    well that is very good to know! You know him personally?
    I have officially started the build today my cutting a 10* angle in the neck blank (as well as a full scale drawing, still need the headstock). It is going to be slow going for a while, so nothing thread worthy yet.
    I have narrowed the wood choices for the bridge/fingerboard to bloodwood or purpleheart, but i will get both woods and see which fits the project best.
     
  14. LongHairFreak

    LongHairFreak Insert cool nickname? Nobody's given me one yet. Supporting Member

    Aug 7, 2006
    Twin Cities - MN

    Sorry, I didn't mean to give that impression. No, I don't know him personally. He would have to have in incredible memory if he were to remember me/my name. I only meant that I've talked with him several times--concerning custom build ideas, electronic preferences, etc.
     

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