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Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Fishbrain, Jun 14, 2007.
the good, the bad, and the ugly!
This was one of my first real lutherie-type projects. I don't have the bass anymore, though I occasionally (like right now) miss it. The defretting job turned out great, but, ironically, it was the reason I sold the bass. Turns out fretless just isn't my thing. I reconfirmed this about a year ago when I bought a fretless jazz, then flipped it within three weeks. In retrospect, I should have kept the jazz and gotten a fretted neck. The bass sounded great and I got it for dirt cheap.
Anyway, I have a progress thread for my defretting job: http://www.talkbass.com/forum/showthread.php?t=191897
I have no pictures as it was done almost 20 years ago, but I tried to defret my Cort headless with a staple remover after reading about a guy name Jaco. Screwed up the first fret so badly that I stopped and gave up. Young and stupid...
I've never done a defret, but I bought one that was defretted that looked like this:
I sanded off the putty covering the fretboard, and now it looks like this:
You can see the guy who defretted it knew nothing about pulling frets, as he took a good bit of wood off with them.
My Yamaha RBX170. It was knocking around for ages, so i decided to take the plunge...
Im pretty pleased with most of it, theres just a few frets that are slightly messy. But hey, sounds and plays good, so thats all that counts, right?
No close-ups, but if you run your hand up and down the neck on this you won't feel a single chip or irregularity. The fret lines were filled with .020 styrene plastic. I also did the refin, which is silver undercoat and 7 top coats of acrylic lacquer.
This is the only picture that I have of it, I have had people tell me it looks and feels factory.
How do you keep the wood from chipping when you remove the frets?
Masking tape on both sides of the frets, holds onto the wood that pulls out, then super glue it back in.
That looks good. Where did you get that veneer for filling the slots?
NOOOOO I thought I'd be the only one with a fretless RBX170 when I defret mine
Oh well, now I know what it will look like.
I've been kicking around the idea of buying a 2nd RBX170 to defret and be a sister to my current RBX170 (frets on it are too nice to pull)
I bought it online from, I think, Rockler. I didn't know any better back then. These days I would just head over to the local lumber yard and pick some up.
Yup - i did it all. Filling the fret gaps was done with a mixture of 2 pak epoxy, mixed with a jet back dye. I also widened the fret slots a bit to get a fatter width. The finish was achieved by wet sanding upto 1200 grade, then hand brushed on a PolyUrethane tinted laquer. Then flattened again upto 1200 grade and then T- Cut for ultra smooth feel and look. It was originally a laquered fingerboard and decdided to keep it that way
Shame i sold it after all that
I defretted my Squier a few years back. It's not a great job but it plays fine for my purposes. I've even gigged with it and it sounded okay (as good as my shoddy intonation would allow )
One thing I like about it is the fact that the fret slots were filled with a rosewood veneer. The grain pattern is all wrong, obviously, so up close you can see where the frets are. From the crowd, though, it looks almost like an unlined fretless.
To add to what iamlowsound posted, when I did my defret I also heated the frets before removal - some manufactures glue as well as "press" them in, and the hear helps to break the bond the glue has. Even if they don't, it still "plasticizes" the wood on either side of the fret and helps the fret ease out and lessen the chance of chipping. Also, $50 of "pro" tools ("fret nippers" for example) from Stewart-MacDonald will easily give you much more of a professional look as well as make the job that much easier.
No current pics of mine, but I'd say it's on par with the others in this thread. A great learning experience as well.
where did u get the rosewood from? thats prob what I'd wanna fill my frets with
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