how to coat my fretless with epoxy

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by fenderbluesdude, Apr 11, 2004.

  1. i have a fender jazz bass fretless that is. and i love the sound of roundwounds on it, it sounds absolutly beutifull. but i recently noticed that i am tearing up my neck really badly. i herd if you put epoxy on it, it will hold up to the roundwounds, i think jaco pastorius did it. i dont care if it turns my neck brown. i just want to learn how to do it. if i cant do it on my own how much will it cost?
  2. rdhbass


    Jun 28, 2003
    Springfield, mo
    I think Jaco used Marine grade epoxy--the kind that makes boats more water tight. I am thinking any epoxy you have, would have to be brushed on, and sanded countless times to get it leveled right. I once tried that epoxy glue stuff you buy at a hardware store, but it was more trouble than it was worth and ended up starting over and doing polyurethane. I would just buy a can of polyurethane and spray it on and be done with it.
  3. A really great place to have this done is HG Thor Lab (

    They do incredible work -- it's not cheap but they will put a finish on your neck that will take any string in sight and the finish will outlast the rest of your guitar!

    They guarantee their work and are great people to deal with. They are doing a '82 Fender Jazz fretless neck for me now and I can't wait for it!!

    Check out the website - other cool things there as well!


  4. godoze


    Oct 21, 2002
    do you like the sound of your bass right now ? It will sound different with the epoxy coating. Is it an ebony board ?
  5. I got the epoxy finish as an 'alternative' and choice for me -- I have 2 nearly indentical Fender J-basses and got the finish on one neck and kept the other natural. I use rounds on the exoxy neck and flats on the natural.

    The rounds on the epoxy finish is very bright - almost to the point of mimicing a 'slap' or 'pop' when wanted. It lets me really stand out in the mix in the fusion quartet I play with. I can get as aggressive as I want with my attack and the epoxy board could care less. That being said, you can get nice mellow 'mwah' from the board with proper technique.

    It's a rosewood board, but with the epoxy finish I would imagine that the tone quality of the wood is kind of lost -- you're playing on the finish instead of the wood.
  6. Saint


    Mar 2, 2000
    DC - USA
    Coating your fretless board will protect it, but it will also alter the sound. Generally, you will get more high end response than you will with an uncoated rosewood board.

    I think the easiest way to go about this is to use Master Gel which is a thick polyurethane liquid that you can apply in layers using cloth (no brushes or spraying). You'll need some ultrafine sandpaper and I highly recommend getting the medium and fine grade polish from Stew Mac to get that professional look.

    Best of luck!
  7. Starline City Bass

    Starline City Bass Supporting Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Kingston, Ontario, Canada
    Hey, I was wondering if anyone could tell me whether or not I should take out the nut before I apply the epoxy to the fretboard? Would there be any issues if I left it in?
  8. kalle74


    Aug 27, 2004
    How do you level the FB with the nut on?

    Not taking the nut off would result in an uneven fingerboard, and possibly permanently glued-on nut...

    Here´s a fine tutorial on applying epoxy:

    Go slowly, remember to mask the areas you don´t want epoxy on, and don´t use the glue stuff... Get marine or coating resin. Do multiple thin coats (I do 8-12).
    doctorwholittle likes this.