1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  

Who does epoxy work?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by line6man, Sep 20, 2008.

  1. I recently had my warmoth fretless neck epoxied by Sam Horn of Don't Frettt...
    He did a great job and everything is cool, however, he just told me that he will no longer be taking anymore customers because he is closing down his business in order to spend more time with his family.

    So lets say that later down the road, i want to build another fretless bass. Who else can do epoxy work???

    The only people i know of are Harris Thor and Michael Dolan.
    HGT has a 2 year waiting list, so thats out of the question for me.
    and Dolan does polyester, which is different from epoxy.

    It looks like most of you guys just do it yourselves, but there is no way that i could do it my self. i would ruin it for sure.

    any suggestions?
  2. ibanezcollector

    ibanezcollector Yoyo's Hurt When You Crank It Into Your Face

    Feb 18, 2007
    Cleveland Ohio
    get some scrap wood, practice practice practice. And you got yourself a business :)

    haha Dolan and Thor are the only two that come to mind
  3. markkoelsch


    Sep 6, 2008
    I assume you mean to epoxy the fret board? I would think this would not be so tough. The first thing is to make sure yu are actually using an epoxy resin...not a ployester resin. Polyester resin never really hits the advanced degree of cure, not the hardness of some epoxy resins. Secondly, realize that many epoxy resin systems require an elevated temperature curing schedule to achieve the matrix's ultimate strength. This is very dependent upon the manufacturer of the epoxy.

    A few sources of really good epoxy:


    Please realize that you need to be very cognizant of safety when working with epoxy. Some are carcinogenic, some can cause very bad allergies, skin irritation, and lung irritation. At the minimum, long sleeves, nitrile gloves, eye protection, and a respirator rated for organic vapors and dust.

    Mark Koelsch
  4. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I did a couple before packing up the shop. it's not that difficult if you -

    * can accurately measure and thoroughly mix the right kind of epoxy

    * have or can borrow the right tools including radiused sanding blocks, a respirator that eliminates vapors (not just dust), and a buffer

    * have a workspace that will remain above 70 degrees

    * have the patience to level the fingerboard, prep the wood to remove ALL of the dust particles, apply epoxy and let cure for a day, rough level and sand out air bubbles, apply epoxy and let cure a week+, level to a tight surface tolerance, and buff to a gloss

    the two biggest challenges a first-timer will encounter are mixing the epoxy without air bubbles (I use a two cup method to ensure I have totally mixed everything - and it always results in zero sticky spots) and levelling the fingerboard before the first application and then again after the epoxy has fully cured.

    anticipate that you're going to sand thru to wood on your first attempt, so apply a third coat that you can sand away when levelling. it's also good to anticipate that the epoxy is going to seep into every place you don't want it to go, so have a plan to carefully remove it from your nut slot and other places.

    all the best,

  5. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    As someone who is a composite plastics guy in my job, I would highly suggest getting a set of Tyvek coveralls, impermiable latex gloves and a respirator if you decide to proceed with a DIY approach.

    Really. I mean it. Some types of epoxy can do some REALLY bad stuff to a human being.
  6. i really dont think that i want to get into this kind of thing.
    i dont know what i am doing LOL.

    Whats the consistency of the epoxy?
    does it brush on like paint, or is it thick and nasty like the crap you buy in little tubes at home depot?
  7. Rodent

    Rodent A Killer Pickup Line™ Commercial User

    Dec 20, 2004
    Upper Left Corner (Seattle)
    Player-Builder-Founder: Honey Badger Pickups & Regenerate Guitar Works
    I use a System3 product, and it has a consistency of cool honey when mixed and at proper temperature.

    I found that a lightly sanded (to remove splinters that end up in the epoxy after you level it :( ) stir stick from Starbuck's worked best to 'fold' the epoxy onto the fingerboard. the product I use "self-levels" over the course of a few minutes - it's not level enough for a fingerboard, but level enough for a marine finish on an exposed surface

    Kitsapbass - 100% with you on the Tyveks. I do the engineering software of black aluminum products, but I get to hang with the guys/gals in the shop on occasion so I know the potential hazards first-hand.

    all the best,

  8. Kitsapbass

    Kitsapbass What key is this?

    May 26, 2005
    Bremerton, WA
    I work for the Dept. of Defense, and I've seen people have to retire due to sensitivity issues...or worse. One of the guys got cancer from working with Methyl-ethyl-ketone peroxide...I got a drop of MEKP on my face, wiped it immediately off with acetone and ended up with a scar from the burn of the MEKP. Nasty nasty stuff. I prefer the system3 as well, but it just doesn't soak into the fiberglass as well as the Polyresin.

    Would someone please tell me why I'm talking work stuff on a Saturday for crying out loud...:crying:
  9. bottomzone


    Oct 21, 2005
    WOW-I didn't know he was closing shop! Sam did a very nice job on my converted Dean 4, with a very quick turnaround.

    A Groove is a Terrible Thing to Waste! :cool:
  10. yes, he told me last night.

    its on his website:

  11. Mystic Michael

    Mystic Michael Hip No Ties

    Apr 1, 2004
    New York, NY
    About two and a half years ago, another TalkBasser shared some information about a shop in the Cleveland, Ohio area that can do the job:

    Rainbow Repair. Phone: (440) 944-2530. Ask for Ken Lesko.

    Since I've never even contacted this shop, I can vouch for nothing. If you're interested in following up with them, you might want to at least ask for references.

  12. doctorjazz


    Oct 22, 2006
    Wilmington, NC
    Thor's the best one that comes to mind. I've played a bass that he epoxied, and it's easily one of the best fretlesses I've ever played - and I've had my mitts on some good ones. "Butter" is the word that comes to mind. Long wait, but the results are worth it.
  13. jacochops


    Jul 2, 2000
    Bryan, TX

    Ken Lesko is FANTASTIC in every regard. He's done a couple of epoxy jobs for me. He's very quick, and his work is impeccible. You'll be very happy! HIGHLY recommended!
  14. bobunit

    bobunit I'm here. Now what? Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2008
    Pedulla will do finish work on necks other than their own, but I think it is Polyester.
  15. Sadowsky

    Sadowsky Commercial User

    Nov 1, 2000
    New York City
    Owner: Sadowsky Guitars Ltd.
    I prefer polyester. It has to be sprayed and Jaco could not do this on his own.

    I recommend Wilkins Guitar finishes:

  16. when i had my bass epoxied, i talked to both Sam Horn and Michael Dolan about the differences between "regular epoxy" and polyester.

    they both agreed that the "regular epoxy" would be a better choice for what i am after.
    i have to look back through the emails to remember exactly why, but Dolan explained the difference pretty good:
    epoxy is very tough but not all that hard. polyester is very hard but not as tough.
  17. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    I lucked out, another TB'er local to me did mine.Get it back Friday!!!!!!
  18. very nice!

    is that ebony or rosewood?
  19. Rickett Customs

    Rickett Customs

    Jul 30, 2007
    Southern Maryland
    Luthier: Rickett Customs...........www.rickettcustomguitars.com
    Old growth macassar ebony, very old from what i'm told. That fingerboard was not cheap.
  20. jbybj

    jbybj Supporting Member

    Jun 11, 2008
    Los Angeles
    I notice you are in L.A. I have had many fingerboards leveled, and other work done, as well as one epoxy coating, all with very nice results, by

    Fren is very nice and reasonably priced.


Share This Page

  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.