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Turning a lined fretless into unlined?

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Juniorkimbrough, Sep 28, 2005.


  1. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    Is this possible?

    I have an old lined fretless neck laying around and have been kicking around the idea.

    Thanks for any input and suggestions on how to go about doing this.
     
  2. Depending on the thickness of the fretboard, you might be able to pull the old filler and sand the surface to make enough powder to fill the slots and then use water thin super glue to soak in and harden it into something approximating the color of the fretboard.
     
  3. Juniorkimbrough

    Juniorkimbrough

    Mar 22, 2005
    Mississippi / Memphis, TN
    Endorsing Artist: Lakland Basses
    How would I go about pulling out the lines?

    and what do you mean by water thin super glue?

    Thanks Hambone!
     
  4. Frank Martin

    Frank Martin Bitten by the luthiery bug...

    Oct 8, 2001
    Budapest, Hungary, EU
    Water thin I think means as liquid as water
    I might be wrong, though

    Still, it'd be a lot of work.
    Might be easier to replace the neck or to plane off the fb and glue a new one on.
     
  5. FBB Custom

    FBB Custom TalkBass Pro Commercial User

    Jan 26, 2002
    Maryland
    Owner: FBB Bass Works
    Depends on what was used for the lines. If they are plastic or veneer lines, they ain't gonna come out easily.

    If it's ebony you could dye them out.
     
  6. This might be your best bet in the end. Removing the lines would be about the same as cutting new fret slots only more difficult.

    I've planed fretboards off and I've taken them off with heat. Both work well. Planing or sanding them off allows you to leave a thin veneer of the original as an accent line when you glue on the new fretboard.
     
  7. I was just wondering. Wouldn't planing them off be a technically easier task than removing with heat and putty knives?
     
  8. Not necessarily - it depends on what you're going for in the end. One of the problems with planing or sanding off a fretboard is that the necks usually have a backbow in them and getting the board shaved down evenly along the entire length is difficult. Removing one completely and then prepping for another is a bit easier.