Refret a defretted bass? 65 P content

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Bass4ThePublic, Jan 31, 2023.

  1. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City

    I “scored” a 65 precision off fb marketplace for $150. Needs some love haha. The previous owner defretted the neck, and I’d like frets put into it for a full restoration. I’ve confirmed the truss rod loosens and tightens. I’ve also confirmed that there is some super slight separation between the board and the neck (probably about the width of a piece of paper, but I can still see it move when I press in). Good news is nothing wood wise is missing from the neck. My plan is to clamp and glue the board using some titebond and dental floss (clamps too). After that I’ll send it to to get it straightened out (not warped to my eye but I feel its best for him to work his magic here). After that I plan on having the bass refretted. Does anyone know of anybody who does such work? Is there someone I can send the neck to where they can glue the board down and straighten the neck? If sawing the fret slots and fretting it myself is the way to go, I’ll do that. I use hand and power tools for a living. I have 7ish years of woodworking under my belt and I’ve built several muzzleloaders, so I feel somewhat confident doing a refret.

    Cost doesn’t matter, it’s a 65 P for $150. I’m dead set on repairing this, and I know I’m better off getting another neck but wheres the fun in that haha.

    Side note… this neck is CRAZY light. Can’t weigh more than 3 lbs

    Here is the separation I’m talking about. It’s only on the treble side

    9ACE96BD-31E9-4376-864B-1CACD8D2A5E7.jpeg 06A5FA80-C1F3-4B4E-95AD-BD05654D5826.jpeg 1E3CC841-E952-4234-8E6B-14C2E5438DE9.jpeg 6145A47D-64EE-4ADB-B0F0-3D9A20B74695.jpeg
  2. swarfrat


    Sep 23, 2014
    If you bought that for $150 I'd dust it really really carefully while wearing a hazmat suit. Cause it could have lethal fentanyl traces still on it.
    tekhedd, DJ Bebop, rojo412 and 5 others like this.
  3. No advice on who to send it to because I’d prolly take a deep breath, grab a fret saw and go for it. However, if your sending it to anyway you might explain the sitch to them. They might want the frets installed before they get it.
    Bill Whitehurst and makaspar like this.
  4. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Nope I licked it up and down! No buzz yet, I really dhdhdhx sjsjks skskskskdkdkfvuc oh what have I done
  5. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    Southwest USA
    Nice score, I'm envious. My hunch is, it will be better to do all the repairs and refret before you start massaging the neck.
    Bass4ThePublic and semiprohooker like this.
  6. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    I was thinking about that, and I think I’d rather install frets onto a flat neck, at least it makes sense to regarding levelling and nut work.
    whitelines likes this.
  7. 1n3


    Sep 13, 2007
    Southwest USA
    Have you asked your guy if he's willing to apply heat and pressure to an old neck with a loose fingerboard, and fret slots missing frets?
  8. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    I’m planning on gluing the board and then sending it to warpedneck. After that I plan on getting refretted. Im also considering a full fretboard replacement. Anyone here know who does veneer board replacements?
  9. REV

    REV Supporting Member

    Jun 18, 2006
    You might PM Bruce Johnson on this forum.
    TN WOODMAN likes this.
  10. Grinderman


    Dec 21, 2013
    Los Angeles
    People are gonna have faint'n spells, Occifer Courtney.

    //Can we watch? The neck, I mean.
    CaribooBass likes this.
  11. Matthijs

    Matthijs Supporting Member

    Jul 3, 2006
    Do not glue this yourself with titebond. Any actual luthier in your area should be able to repair this the right way, refret it and make sure it is straight. It is way more practical to let one person do this and make the right assesments. It might be a a viable option to replace the fingerboard.
  12. devnulljp

    devnulljp Supporting Member

    Oct 13, 2009
    BC, Canada
    Admin on the D*A*M Forum
    I know a guy I'd trust this to, but he's in Canada, so ...
  13. LowFactor


    Jul 6, 2018
    I would try Glaser Instruments in Nashville. joe is the guy all the touring guys go to for things like this. Was doing a show with Warren haines who was loaned a very iconic guitar for the show. He set the guitar on a guitar stand which promptly broke and dropped the guitar. Headstock snapped right off. Joe glaser was the first and only call that was made. Guitar was returned the next day and couldn’t even see the repair. They should be able to fix, refret and straighten the neck for you.
    eadg98005 and Tommy Szell like this.
  14. Levent


    Oct 26, 2022
    But why man ? :roflmao: What do you see in this neck?
  15. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier

    Hello? Hello? Did somebody call me?

    I personally no longer do repair/rebuild jobs like this myself, but I have done many like it. Repairing and refretting this neck back to its original form shouldn't be a big deal.

    My friend Jeremy Kirsch (Freekmagnet here on TalkBass) works in a shop across the hall from mine, and has the use of many of my special machines. Jeremy has become very good at building and rebuilding bass necks. He has several big detailed threads here in Luthier's Corner, showing his projects. You can PM him and see if he's interested in the job. We are in Southern California, just north of Los Angeles.

    Or look around for another Luthier who's done this before. They should have the tools and skills to saw fret slots. We have a special power fret slotting saw that I built. That'll make quick work of cleaning out the slots neatly and accurately. Someone doing it by eye with a handsaw will take longer and may be sloppy.

    About your neck: A classic amateur defretting job. It looks like the slots are filled with some kind of putty, and the fingerboard surface is wiped with black leather dye. That's probably a nice looking piece of rosewood under there. And the warp can probably be corrected by I see no immediate need to replace the fingerboard.

    I recommend letting the Luthier do the whole process: Regluing the fingerboard (I'd use epoxy), cleaning out the slots, resurfacing the fingerboard, resealing the fingerboard, refretting, and send it off to to be straightened. I recommend them; they are very good and not expensive. When it comes back, a final leveling, crowning and polishing of the frets. That's the sequence.

    For reference (I'm not quoting for myself or Jeremy!), that looks like a $400 job total, including's fee.
  16. A vintage neck with minimal issues (IMO) - assuming the rest is in decent condition and the bass isn't actually the bass from the London Calling album cover, a few hundred worth of repairs and restoration could add a huge value to the entire instrument. Of course, paying for repairs and fixing up the rest yourself and you have a vintage Fender with great character for less than the cost of a new MIM.
    Bill Whitehurst likes this.
  17. its GOOCHED
    Wood and Wire likes this.
  18. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Hahaha I was about to ask… does he make a mean turkey sandwich?
  19. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City
    Bruce youre the guy with the best advice, I’ll do exactly that, thanks!
    yodedude2 likes this.
  20. daveman50

    daveman50 Supporting Member

    Feb 24, 2007
    Albany NY
    It looks like someone has already tried to glue down the fingerboard.
    Max Bogosity, 1n3 and pcake like this.