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making my squire fretless

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Phat Ham, May 15, 2001.

  1. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I'm thinking of making my '94 Fender Squire j-bass (made in mexico) into a fretless. Right now the bass is, well, not the greatest. If I were to make it fretless I would upgrade the pups and bridge, along with ripping the frets out. Now my question is do you guys think it would be worth it for me to upgrade the parts or should I save my money and leave the bass alone?
  2. DO IT!!!!...it's soooo easy to remove the frets...all you have to do is: heat up the individual frets w/ an iron and get a sharp flathead screwdriver and pry those suckers out...and take your time.....

    i defretted my Squier...take your time
  3. i defretted my squier about a year ago. i am notrecommending it but i will tell you how mine turned out. i just popped the frets out with a screwdriver (no heating) and some of the fretboard around the frets chipped off. It wasnt very much at all but it is noticable. i filled the holes in with wood putty and put about 7 or 8 layers of apoxy on the fret board. now, i love that bass, it has really nice tone(damn near an upright with foam under the strings) and i dont regret doing it. the only problem is that i get a rattling sound when i play open strings. but thats an easy fix, dont play open strings. so i will leave you with that, do what you must

  4. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    If you've gotten such good results why do you not recommend doing it?

    Also, you could probably solve the buzzing on open strings problem by getting a new nut filed.

    I appreciate the responses guys. Now I'm definitely going to go ahead with the defretting plan. I'm still not sure whether it would be worth it to upgrade the parts though.
  5. pc


    Apr 4, 2000
    Montreal QC
  6. i just didnt want to be held responisble because there is the risk of ruining your bass. if you do it right, everything will go ok.
  7. I would replace the pups and bridge, too. You're gonna have one hell of a nice bass!:)
  8. hey pc, how did you get that nice gloss on your fretboard? what did you use?
  9. XveganhardcoreX

    XveganhardcoreX Guest

    Apr 28, 2001
    i have a squire also but it's my first bass and only and i probably wont be getting a new one for a while..would you guys recommend it to ME?
  10. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    I want to modify my squier because I have a better bass and I hardly ever play my squier any more. I've always been interested in playing fretless and figured the best way for me to get a fretless is to modify my squier. That way I save big bucks and the bass doesn't go to waste. If your Squier is your only bass I would probably stay away from defretting it unless you are absolutely sure it is what you want. Otherwise you might get stuck with something you don't like and you won't have another bass to go to.
  11. i've just done this... i read this post about 2 hours ago and decided why not? out came me old squire p-bass.. i blew the dust off and assalted the frets with a hot iron an steak knife.. (the things i get up to on a morning) they all poped out nice an easy with no major damage to the fret board (nothing noticeable anyway) and i've applied some wood putty and so far its looking good... restrung it and it sounded pretty good... if a little different.. guess i'm off to get some epoxy to finish the job.... an maybe new pickups and a red pearloid scratch plate and some paint.... etc.... nice :)
  12. bass_player_cd

    bass_player_cd terminated.

    Aug 21, 2000
    would that iron and screwdriver method work on my washburn xb100? I'm pretty sure it would but I'm just makin sure.
  13. PC man,

    You're pics of that Squier Jazz are stunning. Very artistic.


    I guess I should get some pics of my babies online at some point.

    As for defretting....

    About 13 years ago I defretted my Squier P-bass, the only bass I owned at the time. Not this neat and fancy use-a-soldering-iron-and-heat-the-frets crap. Nope. Me, 15 minutes and a chisel. Filled the gaps with wood putty. Sanded lightly. Never coated the board.

    And this was long before I had any clue who Jaco was.

    But I'll tell you something...the sound was....just....so....delicious!

    My fretless Jazz sounds fantastic, but that Squier jsut had a sound that was something completely different.

    I cried the day the truss rod snapped. I've been thinking about resurrecting that bass at some point (as stated in a different thread here).

  14. Hmm...Some interesting information here.

    Phat Ham, you might like to try doing a topic search for Defretting. I've just done it and there's lots of help there.

    I've been considering having a go at that myself. My bass is a Squier Affinity P bass. Not the best axe around but OK. I'm looking at getting another bass currently. I'd only get a few tens of £ for the P so why not convert it to a fretless, I thought. I'd never get a fretless for that amount would I?

    Instead of wood putty I thought of using thin strips of Oak. I'm going to have a word with my 'wood' mate about that concept. If there's anything to report perhaps I'll start a new thread.

    Rockin John
  15. Suburban


    Jan 15, 2001
    lower mid Sweden
    That's the way to go, mate!
    There are of course other woods that would do the trick, but I'd say oak will make a splendid colour match, and it's physical/musical properties are good. Perhaps slightly soft, but yet harder than putty...

    Awayting reports ;)
  16. Good morning Suburban, and greetings from sunny England: I think today is probably Summer!!!!!

    Oak, I thought, should be fairly hard. I'd wondered about using it end-grain upwards. That's about as hard as it gets, I understand, but then there's the attendant problems of working it. I'm quite worried about the possibility of the fretboard splintering as the frets are pulled, leaving little sort-of depressions in the Rosewood that then have to be filled.

    My mate will have all the answers, I'm sure, so I'll contact him then post my findings should there be anything to report.

    Best wishes.


    PS. My playing has come on in leaps and bounds since I moved the strap capstan to help the balance of the bass. 'Was worth doing, just like you said. :D

  17. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    shoot now I have more to think about than I thought I would. If I wanted to put strips of wood in the fret slots do you guys think rosewood would work? Seeing that the fretboard is already rosewood putting rosewood strips in it would make it look kinda like it was an unlined fretless.

    I also have a question about coating the fingerboard with epoxy. What kind of epoxy should I use? And how do you actually apply it? Is it as simple as brushing some on and then sanding it after it's dry? I know this has probably been discussed before but the computer I'm on right now is way too slow for me to sit around and search for it.
  18. :D Hi Phat Ham.

    There are, as I remember from my wood mate, pros and cons to the idea of using the same wood as a fill.

    On the plus side, in this case, there's a better chance of filling-in the holes left by the grips on the frets should they happen to break any bits from the fretboard when the frets are taken out. Wood putty can, I believe, be coloured to resemble Rosewood - or most woods for that matter - so that these chips can be filled so going largely un-noticed.

    On the down side you stand a chance of making the (then) fingerboard look a bit neither one way nor the other if the colours of the two Rosewoods are quite similar.

    The plus side of using very different coloured woods is that you end up making a feature of the job rather than it turning out as quite a bad job of trying to colour match the woods.

    On the down side you have the potential problem of filling break-out holes so they're not noticed.

    My bet would always to go for making a feature of the job. I know the fret lines are still there but what the hell...?

    Any, yes, I too would like to know more about epoxy on the fingerboard.

    Rockin John
  19. By-Tor


    Apr 13, 2000
    Sacramento, CA
    I have an old BC Rich Warlock I traded a bike for about a hundred years ago. I let my friend borrow it for some gigs and he ended up warping the neck somehow. Anyway since the neck was trashed I ripped the frets out, it wasn't pretty but it's cool. The action is a mile high, but its fun to play. I've contacted BC Rich about getting a replacement neck, fretless. Quote was $200.
  20. Phat Ham

    Phat Ham

    Feb 13, 2000
    Now that I think about it using wood strips would be a little too hard for my skills. It would also be cheaper for me to just use wood putty. Now all I have to do is figure out how to get the epoxy coating on and I can start work on my bass.

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