Unlining a Lined fretless

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by DiG, Feb 27, 2005.

  1. I'm not sure if this is the correct forum for this but:

    is there any way to unline a lined fretless?
  2. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    well it depends on how the lines are done. Are they

    A. fret slots filled in with wood filler

    B. fret slots filled with wood strips

    C. Painted on lines

    A and B will be impossible to completely remove since there are actually holes in the fretboard at those spots. THe only way to make them less noticeable is to try to stain them darker color. (I assume were talking light lines on dark board)

    If they are painted on, then you can just carefully sand the board down and refinish it.

    If you really wanted an unlined board and had a good bit of cash to put into it, you could get the board replaced by good tech or luthier.
  3. phatcactus


    Apr 2, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Or you could just glue a veneer of the fingerboard wood over the lines. Automatic side markers. :)
  4. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    say what? Are you saying glue a piece of veneer over each line? or veneer the entire board?

    IMHO, I don't think either option is a good choice, please explain yourself.

    I think that before this continue moves forward, we should know what kind of wood we are talking about, and what kind of fretlines.
  5. Bardolph


    Jul 28, 2002
    Grand Rapids, MI
    I would think a fingerboard veneer would sacrifice tone and would be too much of a pain to get it dressed properly.
  6. its an ebony fretboard with either

    A. fret slots filled in with wood filler
    B. fret slots filled with wood strips

    im not completely sure, they are white lines
  7. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    DiG, if the bass came from the factory like that, it's probably wood strips. More likely than not, removal and installing darker wood strips would cost lots of money...probably at least $300...

    You can close your eyes for free ;)
  8. Bryan R. Tyler

    Bryan R. Tyler TalkBass: Usurping My Practice Time Since 2002 Staff Member Administrator Gold Supporting Member

    May 3, 2002
    That's your best bet...

    Otherwise, maybe consider having a local luthier add an epoxy or poly coating that's been colored black.
  9. phatcactus


    Apr 2, 2004
    Chicago, IL
    Regarding a veneer: why's that a bad idea? Simply get a big ol' sheet of very thin ebony veneer (where, I don't know), sand a bit away from the original board, add a bit of glue, and weight it with sandbags (to make sure pressure is applied evenly over the radius of the board) while it sets. Trim away the excess veneer, clean up the edges, and voilà. Prolly wouldn't be a bad idea to finish it off with some epoxy. I've never done it, but I don't see why it's such a terrible idea.

    Isn't that similar to how Fender did it?

    Or if you're feeling creative (and I am), maybe it'd be fun to try a non-wood material like fabric or carbon fiber or aluminum foil or something. The gaudier the better, I say.
  10. Anti_Wish


    May 14, 2004
    Boston, Ma
    my friend had a peavey P bass copy that he made fretless and filled in the slots with wood filler. he didnt like it so he just put a couple coats of paint on it and it was fine. felt real nice too.
  11. cover it with FORMICA! :D

    while your at it...but some nice velvet flocked wallpaper on the body!

    Now THAT would be COOL!
  12. paintandsk8

    paintandsk8 Pushin' my soul through the wire...

    May 12, 2003
    West Lafayette, IN
    I dunno for some reason that veneer Idea just doesn't sit right w/me. And I've never seen ebony veneer.

    Another option if it is wood strips is to get ebony stain. It's a fairly common practice in the DB world for cheap basses to have maple fingerboards that have been dyed or stained completely black to resemble ebony.

    But I think for now, the best Idea was suggested by tplyons.

    Just deal with it, and next time you'll know what you want.
  13. Munjibunga

    Munjibunga Total Hyper-Elite Member Gold Supporting Member

    May 6, 2000
    San Diego (when not at Groom Lake)
    Independent Contractor to Bass San Diego
  14. MaHei


    Dec 24, 2002
    Black permanent marker used for overhead projectors ... and a ruler.
  15. Mudfuzz


    Apr 3, 2004
    May I ask why?

    To me any "option" is just wasted time.