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the Fret Dentist (me) has operated. [PICS]

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by dancehallclasher, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. that's right, i yanked the frets from my aria "CAT" bass. as some of you may remember, i got this bass for free, as a little gift, which was the only reason i had the courage to undertake this task. i'm not exactly handy with tools or physical objects in general.

    but that didn't stop me from getting busy with this thing
    that i found at the local hardware store, perfect for the job. i chipped the fingerboard quite a bit on some of the frets before i got the hang of it, oh well.

    i then filled in the gaps with wood filler. this took a long time, as i would squeeze it in there, pack it down with a razor, and do it again. it took about 4 times for each fret hole.

    then came the sanding, starting with coarse, and using fine paper when the board started feeling smooth. prior to this, the bass had the darkest rosewood board i'd ever seen, almost black. sanding it revealed a lighter layer and some interesting patterns in the wood. nothing fancy, but come on, it is rosewood after all. :D

    here are a couple of the worse frets. oops.

    here are some less terrible ones:

    the money shot, and my snazzy new strap.

    so, i could have done a prettier job, but hey, function over form. and this baby really functions. i'm having a great time and it sounds great, my intonation notwithstanding. the PJ pickups are great for fretless. i can get the paul simonon fretless P tone, or the soloed jazz bridge pickup, and i think we all know who used that!*

  2. Showdown

    Showdown Supporting Member

    Jan 21, 2002
    Honolulu, Hawaii
    Cool, good job for a first time fret removal. By the way, some companies dye their rosewood dark, which is probably why yours was lighter after sanding.
  3. BassFelt


    Mar 26, 2002
    I have a pair of pliers like that. It helps when you file or grind off the part that touches the fretboard so that the thinnest part (where the two sides of the beak touch) is on the outside. That way, when you squeeze under the fret crown, you push down on the fretboard, resulting is less wood chips being pulled out. (Stew-Mac sells them like that too)
  4. thanks for the comments, guys. i'm really glad i did this. nothing ventured, nothing gained!
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey, congrats on a job well done. you should try coating the board.
  6. Selta


    Feb 6, 2002
    Pacific Northwet
    Total fanboi of: Fractal Audio, AudiKinesis Cabs, Dingwall basses
    Hey hey! NICE job...Maybe coatin' the board will hide some "mistakes"? I dunno, I haven't done mine...YET. BTW, where did you get the strap? I want one!
  7. Ívar Þórólfsson

    Ívar Þórólfsson Mmmmmm... Supporting Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Kopavogur, Iceland
    Nice work!

    I´m doing the exact same thing. Did you coat the board in any way afterwards?

    I´m torn between just applying tung oil or applying polyurethane finish.
  8. ZuluFunk

    ZuluFunk Supporting Member

    Apr 14, 2001
    You may try some Olde English furniture scratch cover to obsure the dings. However, that may fill in the lines. Not bad though.
  9. Philbiker

    Philbiker Pat's the best!

    Dec 28, 2000
    Northern Virginia, USA
    Looks good to me. Good job. Almost makes me tempted to remove the frets on my homemade P-Bass.
  10. i was considering that if the board proved to be wearing quickly after a while (i'm using rounds) but i don't really like the feel. the first fretless i played was an uncoated warwick and i fell in love. i tried a pentabuzz once and didn't like that hard glassy finish. but, it protects the board and probably offers better definition, so you never know.

    the best thing about this whole project is that i have completely eliminated my bass GAS. i don't feel that i will need five or more strings anytime in the near future, and now i've got a high quality fretted, a fretless, and my old p-style doing dub duty with foam mutes and flatwounds. at some point in the future i'll want to have a real fender P, a stingray, et cetera, but i don't NEED anything else. after i buy a 2x10 this summer, i will be pretty much done with buying bass gear altogether unless i hit the big time. now, on to getting some respectable guitar gear... :(

    i saw an old pic of jane's addiction where eric avery had a strap like that on HIS black bass, and it looked so good i went to guitar center in high hopes, and i found it. hooray!
  11. ldiezman


    Jul 11, 2001
    Good job man. I did the same thing with my first bass.. It turned out ok.. but then the pickups shorted out 2 months later... oh well.... One day i'll get me a "real" fretless :)
  12. CamMcIntyre


    Jun 6, 2000
    Nice job, looks good to me. I think after i get the DP [late this year order] i'll buy a fretless neck for either the pilot or the jazz so that i don't screw up the original necks. Looks good though, i like it. thats all
  13. Justin V

    Justin V

    Dec 27, 2000
    Alameda, CA
    Hey, nice job. I've been thinking about doing that to my Jazz.

    Also, I think you may very well be the first TB member ever to admit to being cured of G.A.S.
  14. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Supporting Member

    Heating up the frets with a soldering iron before using the chisel really helps preventing teared up fretboard.
    It also disolves glue when some has been used.

    I discovered acoustic guitar binding (2.87 us $ by the roll at www.stewmac.com) to work better for filling the slots.

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