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Re: fretless bass making please help

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Posted by Rob on April 07, 2001 at 23:01:47:

In Reply to: fretless bass making please help posted by aerocol on April 06, 2001 at 16:59:10:

: What is the best way to defret my bass thus turning it into a fretted???????

AHH!!! This is apparently, now, right up my alley, I have just completely refinished and defretted my second bass, so in other words if this is your primary bass, I wouldnt d'fret, especially if you want to slap.. But here is how you professionally defret::
(1)First you need nippers, (these are like pliers, and look like wire cutters that are flat at the end)

(2) Second you need a soddering iron.(to loosen up the glue that holds the fret), this is not necessary, but is recommended to avoid 'chip out' in the fretboard.

Take the soddering iron and heat up a fret,(takes a minute) then you take your nippers and start at one end and rock the fret back and forth to the other end.
On to the next fret, etc. If you find that the iron isnt necessary (because your frets are coming out easily) then just use caution, as to not chip out the wood as you remove frets!!! ( we dont want dead spots)

(3)Once you've removed the frets, you need to decide on what type of material you want to fill the slots, there are little to choose from... the one I used is super glue and the sawdust from the fretboard.. you may also use white plastic binding, (pros choice) stay away from wood doughs, etc, you need something that will give with the tension, wood dough will come out, forget epoxys, super glue seems to be recommended the most, besides it sands nicely.
(4) Sand your fretboard CAREFULLY, you have to keep in mind the radius in the fretboard is what gives you sound, do not flaten it out....... use 150 or 180 grit for first sanding then decrease the grit to 220 or so..
(5) finish: Depends on the board, but Pedulla and other high end bass makers apply light coats, regardless of materials used, (less is more)this way you still achieve the more 'wood like' tone of an upright.. (lacquer,urethane,etc)

I hope my journey into the fretless domain, has made your quest a little easier.. If you have another bass and want a fretless, I say GO FOR IT!!!!!

: would I still be able to perform slap style???

Yes, but, Not like you could a fretted, If you like slap, stay fretted..

Peace and chicken grease,

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