quick and dirty fretless

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by CletusDeYokel, May 16, 2005.

  1. CletusDeYokel


    Apr 14, 2005
    I picked up a bottom of the line Ibanez plywood something or other to use as a beater. The one peice maple neck was horribly twisted, and in the process of replacing the neck, it turned into a neck though fretless with a rosewood top and cocobolo fingerboard, french polished. Total time is about 10 hours so far (not counting wating for glue to dry). I just need to dust it, make a nut and install the pickup to finish.

    Too much free time I guess....

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  2. Hey, that's pretty cool. I think that would take me at least 10 days and 10,000 curse words. I hope it sounds as nice as it looks!
  3. CletusDeYokel


    Apr 14, 2005
    This is kind of polishing a turd. I am building this without worrying about mistakes, but strangley it is coming along as well as anything else that I've tried that has taken much longer to do the same thing.

    With a few more hours work, the quick and dirty fretless is ready for electronics.

    Here is a quick how I did this hack job:
    Strip the old Ibanez, take 1/4" off the top with a safe t planer. Taper the neck blank on the tablesaw, clamp to the top of the body. Snug the rosewood top next to the neck blank and glue.

    Remove the neck blank, use the rosewood top as a router template, then route the neck channel to depth. Cut scarf joint on neck blank with the table saw, glue up headstock.

    Cut truss rod channel on table saw, router the headstock to shape with a template, flatten, drop in truss rod, glue and clamp fingerboard. Using a 3/8th roundover as if it was a pattern cutting bit, remove the excess rosewood from the top. (kinda scary cutting 1/4 depth in one pass. I was expecting to blow out some grain, but I got lucky with a nice clean roundover.)

    Using the neck blank, route the excess fingerboard off with a pattern cutting bit, put in fret lines (.020 purfling), scrape clean, attack neck with spokeshave.

    Glue neck into routed body channel, clean up the heel with little brass spokeshaves, sand and french polish neck. Install the bridge, tuners, trim the excess neck materiel using pattern bit in the router.

    Drill by hand the for the fingerboard markers, install them with CA, level, and sand the fingerboard to 1200 with a random orbit sander.

    Glue in the nut, and string it up. It sounds ok, though there are no pickups in it yet.

    I have not decided what to do with the maple center on the top. I sprayed it black, then decided to scrape it clean and stain it some color.

    Total time so far, 13 hours.

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