Superglue fretless help (I hate this stuff!).

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Meddle, Oct 12, 2012.

  1. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    Hello all

    I've decided to re-coat a superglue fretless neck that I've been working on before. The bass in question is my Dearmond Jet Star II.

    I've tried to follow Dan Erlwine's tips and tricks but I run into the same problems every time.

    1) The superglue doesn't want to flow flat. It forms horrible ridges and troughs and relies upon many coats that have to then me majorly sanded back to be suitable.

    2) The superglue dries cloudy in random areas. I used to make the mistake of not wearing gloves, and any slight fingerprint shows up as brilliant white crystals thanks to superglue's over-reaction to moisture. Now even with gloves it forms a horrible white chalky mess in some places.

    3) The superglue refuses to dry in some areas and forms a gummy material that drags and crumbles when it finally dries. This seems to happen for no solid reason, or consistently at any point on the board.

    4) I'm generally sick of the teargas that seems to come off of superglue as it dries (make this ten times worse when you sand). Even with a mask and goggles the stuff is horrible.

    So how can I get round these problems? I cannot find epoxy in small quantities though I guess I could use Araldite or other brand name stuff if it comes to that.
  2. Currently I'm using surfboard resin with very good results. Marine grade would prolly be as good, but make sure that you get the with-wax version so it goes off evenly.

    It's easy to work, sands well and is extremely hard if you mix the catalyst a little on the 'cold-side' so it takes about twice as long to go off since a hot batch will always be more brittle.

    It buffs out to a righteous shine and so far I have no marks on the board from round wound strings either.

    And it smells good!
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY Supporting Member

    I have nothing to add. Other than surfboard resin sounds an awesome idea! I salute your bravery to even attempt using huge quantities of CA, that always seemed frightening to me and I am a regular user of CA. Take it off and use surfboard resin, etc.
  4. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Supporting Member

    There comes a time with you remove the offending material and start over with something else. I don't think super glue is a good material for this use in any case. I like SurferJoe's idea.
  5. Meddle


    Jul 27, 2009
    I might end up modifying a mate's acoustic guitar that he's already yanked the frets out (with a brick by the looks of it), so I might invest in some epoxy then.

    I went with the CA in the end. It is a complete bear to use. If you mask of the neck (it was a set neck bass so no chance of removing the neck) the superglue may hit the masking tape then form rock hard carbunkles that have to be dremeled off the finish. :scowl:

    I mixed some black lacqueur in with the CA for the final few coats to get an unlined look and it looks really good. I borrowed another clear lacqueur (brand name is RS and it smells like cat urine) and it dried rock hard over the CA giving it an amazing depth.

    CA does look of if done right but the fumes are noxious, and it is really easy to burn through. If one spot goes crystaline or developes another fault you have to then go and sand that area and somehow patch back into the surrounding CA and hope you don't then burn through that area blending it all back in at the wet sanding stage. :scowl:

    Speaking of wet sanding, you do a lot of that with CA as the stuff starts to set really really fast. I wore those gloves you get with hair dying kits and tried to do a 1/4 of the neck at a time using circular movements. Sometimes, without any real logical reason, the CA sets instantly and drags. Other times it takes hours to set and forms an inbetween gummy stage. Disturbing the gummy stage releases clouds of those teargas fumes. I accidentally disturbed the gummy sections because they look just like dried CA in that the stuff randomly dries glossy and matt all over the board. It also sets so quickly that it typically developes peaks and troughs which again can cause you to sand right down through the CA and back to the wood if you are not careful. :scowl:
  6. Wow... just saw them making surfboards on TV, had a great idea, came here to TB to research it, and look who I find already in the thread... funny.

    Would THIS be enough for a fretless neck?

    And would it even be the right stuff?
  7. I have not used - resisted really - these epoxy systems. I'm comfortable with the polyester resins as they were what I learned in 1961.

    But I hear they are good and as tough as the polyester resin and they create different fumes. I cannot state if they are more or less dangerous - but most chemical exothermic and endothermic reactions create fumes that are usually hazardous.

    The container volume appears large enough to do a fretboard since a surfboard repair kit just for dings kinda limits the size of the product needed.
  8. Okay, so what do you suggest instead? Got a link?

    I figured I'd get a small kit to see if it worked first. (I tend to screw lots of things up and don't want to waste the $...)
  9. Fort Collins - huh? That kinda rules out finding a local surfboard shop.

    I just go out to my 10 gallon drum and pour out what I need.

    Hey - wait! Most auto parts stores sell auto body repair resin in quart cans with a small bottle of hardener.

    If you can, try to find the stuff with wax in it to help it cure faster. That usually is the surfboard and marine resin. You won't need the cloth.
  10. And you have PLENTY of surfboard shops in Big Sky Country, I'm sure... :D
  11. I was in SoCal until a year ago next week or so - took a lot of my paints, surfboard gear and tools with me. I still repair an occasional boat transom or hole in the hull for people.
  12. Just bought some at the auto parts store so it better work darn it! :)
  13. 1958Bassman


    Oct 20, 2007
    If you want marine epoxy, West Marine and other suppliers sell it. NAPA does, too.
  14. Work in a warm area - at least 70F and mix it exactly as directed.

    Have all your tools, rags, smaller containers and some acetone on hand for clean-up and misadventures.

    Usually using lacquer thinner just makes the polyester angry - so acetone is the best cleanup solvent.
  15. shrigg

    shrigg Beta Tester for AudioKinesis Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Traverse City, MI
    I had superglue coating applied on my fretless and it's very nice. Perhaps it's difficult to work with but if competently done it is the equal of the Pettit Polypoxy boards I've played.

  16. SBassman


    Jun 8, 2003
    Northeast, US
    Exactly what do you Need to accomplish with the finish?

    Sand the superglue off, and wipe on a bunch of coats of minwax.
    It goes on no brainer, and it gets the job done. It wont create a thick glass finish, but it will get the job done, IMHO.
  17. cvsurg

    cvsurg Supporting Member

    May 17, 2011
    I recently did a neck finish in Super Glue and couldn't be happier with the results. I followed Dan Erlwine's tips fleshed out by a TB'er's experience- A couple of points-

    -Did you use medium viscosity SG? That keeps it from running all over, and being slightly slower to set up, gives you time to use the back side of dry/wet sandpaper to spread it out. A few low points noted on initial sanding were easily managed with spot applications to smooth out.
    -Did you use an accelerator to get the SG to set up quickly and evenly? I had no problems with any cloudy areas, and it allowed me to put down about ten coats over the course of an afternoon.
    -The sanding is key, using the correct radius block(s) and going through the various grits to get the shine you are looking for- once I got to 800 grit, I changed to wet sanding (no more dust/fumes from there on) on up to 12000 grit-shiny!
    -You have to do this outside, or at least with the garage door open; gloves are mandatory.

    This was my first experience with finishing of any kind, and this is the result-


    Obviously, I'm very happy with it; if you still want to go the SG route, it's doable.