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how to re-fret a fretless?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by 33degrees, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. 33degrees


    Jun 4, 2005
    i de fretted my usa jazz bass to make it into a fretless but now i'd like to go back to a fretted. anyone know any websites for advice?
    what is a good fret wire size? how do i file the ends of the fret and then stone it?
  2. I'm with Josh - this is NOT an afternoon of DIY and off to the gig sort of thing. You will surely screw things up royally if you aren't well aware and well practiced in fretting the instrument. There is a very good reason that skilled repairmen and luthiers get $200+ for quality refrets and that's becuase it takes a long time to learn all of the details. We are dealing with tolerances below a thousandth of an inch here.
  3. fretlessrock

    fretlessrock Supporting Member

    Aug 8, 2002

    Pay for a refret, or pay for good refretting tools and materials and plan on speding more than you would for a refret, or buy a new neck.

    A guy named Einstein had this saying about the technology required to fix a problem being exponentially greater than the technology required to cause the problem. He might have been a shade-tree luthier in his spare time!
  4. The amount of work you put into the neck I would suggest buying a new neck to be able to keep the one you have now tucked away, you can always swap it when you are feeling like it.
  5. johans

    johans G.U.I - Groovin' under influence

    Oct 28, 2004
    the Bay Area, CA
    cant agree better
  6. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    is it possible to fret an unlined fretless neck ?
    Wouldn't that be like adding frets to a blank neck ?
  7. duckbutter


    Mar 30, 2005
    Kind of like...if you built a neck and wanted to make it a fretted neck. The nut is already there.
    Wouldn't it be "just" calculating where the frets go, cut the slots, add and file the frets?
    I would think that the finish would have to be removed first.
    BTW...by no means am I under the impression that it is even the slightest bit easy.
  8. Yes it would be like that but it would be more difficult than if it were fretted in line with the process of building. The finished neck would have to be jigged up so that it could be passed through the mitrebox perfectly perpendicular to the saw. When a fretboard is done off the neck, it's usually done before shaping and a straight side is used as a reference for getting all of the frets parallel.
  9. 33degrees


    Jun 4, 2005
    does fender sell necks for jazz basses?
  10. Whafrodamus


    Oct 29, 2003
    Andover, MA
    just get a new neck of the bay or something.
  11. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    Not anymore. Discontinued this a few months ago.