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Unread 10-17-2010, 11:28 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
I'm not just thinking about horizontal distance but also depth. I wouldn't expect the fretboard to play that big of a role in neck flexibility, particularly when it's not hooked up to the truss rod.
Yeah, I don't know. This would be a good one for myth busters. Here would be an interesting experiment....take a 10 ft 2x4 and suspend it between two points with a 10 lb weight hanging from the middle. Then set your circular saw so it will only cut to a depth of say 1/16 of an inch. Then start cutting notches and see how much it would take for the board to bow.

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Unread 10-17-2010, 12:10 PM   #17
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Each fret slot is about 1 mm wide, so over 24 frets thats only 2.4 cm (or slightly under and inch).
Also



Some info now,

I joined a band that really could use the sound of a fretless. I have this bass at home that is a neck through p bass with an active emg pickup and a brass nut. Really has a cool sound, but I just don't play it much.
It's from the mid 70s and has been through some stuff, including a bad refret job that really ate up the fretboard. Also the frets were pretty crappy.
Also, I recently got a Winchester knife for my birthday.
I was looking at the bass, looking at the knife and figured I'd do a couple frets and see how it went.
Did a few, and it was fine... sent a text to my buddy saying "What would you say is the best tool to remove frets?" He told me a fret puller, so I sent him a picture of my knife. I got reamed out, but 45 minutes later they were all gone and it didn't look too horrible.

In a few hours I'm heading out to buy epoxy, super glue, wood filler and veneer.

I have a mexican fender jazz pickup that I'm going to put in the bridge eventually. If you want to see how a man with no wood working experience routs a body for a new pickup watch this space for the next couple months!
I'm also putting the p pickup on kijiji to see if somebody has a passive one they would trade for. If not, I'll have to buy one before I put in the J.
When I get some money I'll buy some Nordstrands or Fralins - probably Nordstrand, as I already have owned two Fralins and should branch out - but for now I'm going cheap.
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Last edited by Micahb; 10-17-2010 at 12:24 PM.
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Unread 10-17-2010, 06:37 PM   #18
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So I went out and bought my materials today - some krazy glue, a bunch of epoxy, some oak veneer, a bunch of sand paper, wood stain, foam brushes, and wood putty. I couldn't find a wood block with a radius for sanding. I will call a hobby store I think may have one when they open on tuesday, or trying to make my own and if not I'll be hitting up stew mac.

Issues at the store: they don't have a maple coloured wood putty. They have something kind of close in plastic wood, but I was told to use wood putty and don't know what the devil plastic wood is. I asked several staff but nobody could tell me what the difference was, or if there was one at all. he did tell me that the wood putty dries a bit darker, so I got one semi close and am going to hope for the best.
My second issue was with the veneer. I didn't think what I was looking for would be hard to find, but apparently it doesn't exist. They have the small stuff that I wanted, but it was preglued which is useless to me. Also, only have light woods. Pine, oak and something else. If I was going light I would at least want maple, but they don't have it.
So fine. I leave with oak veneer that is 6x99" and 1mm thick. Not really sure what I'm going to do with it, but what ever.

So I get home, unload all my stuff and start to tackle it. I decided to sand the finish off the neck even though I don't have a proper sanding block. I figure it can be mildly reshaped when I get the block anyway. Also, the previous guy buggered it up already and I don't think I could mess it up too much more. Not sure if this is true yet, but time will tell I suppose.

I then started to cut the veneer to fill the slots with. Wow, I hate this stuff. I'm cutting it with an x-acto knife with a piece of wood under it, but the stuff just cracks and splinters! I wasted a good chunk of it before I got two nice pieces. At this point the sun was starting to go down and I was worried about it getting too cold for the glue to set properly, so I decide I'm just going to do two frets now and leave it for the night.
I put the glue in the first slot and come across another problem with my veneer. They store it in a roll, so now it doesn't want to go totally straight! I straighten it out to put it in the slot and it cracks on me. I grab the other piece (as the glue is already in so I'm in a hurry) and very carefully straighten it out. I get it in and it seems to hold.
Phew. I had set myself on doing two frets, so I cut another piece of veneer and put it in.

I clean up all my stuff and let it sit for a while, then I broke off the tops of them and sanded it down as close as I felt comfortable doing without having the sanding block with me.

And that brings me to now! Calling it quits for the night, and I'll pick it up tomorrow as soon as it's warm out.
Wish me the best, folks.


EDIT:

Oh yeah, I forgot. I bought the stain to stain the veneer darker. No such luck. I was thinking seeing as it was just 1mm thick it would stain through, but this isn't the case, it stays light in the middle and is useless to me.
Luckily I just bought a few $.07 sample packs of stain and didn't waste a bunch of money.

Here are the pictures:
1. Everybody knows that 90% of doing any form of wood work properly is looking the part. So I plaided up.
2. All the tools I'm using for this part of the job (minus the straight edge that I found after this picture). I don't have a work bench, so this is where I'm rocking it.
3. Got the veneer in! I wasn't sure which way to put the woodgrain, so I tried both.
4. This is the final product for now.
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plaid-small-.jpg   tools-small-.jpg   veneer-small-.jpg   done-small-.jpg  
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Last edited by Micahb; 10-17-2010 at 07:19 PM.
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Unread 10-17-2010, 09:57 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
I'm not just thinking about horizontal distance but also depth. I wouldn't expect the fretboard to play that big of a role in neck flexibility, particularly when it's not hooked up to the truss rod.
Well, it's attached to the neck, and it bends with the neck, so why wouldn't it act as another support? I'm sure they design necks with the fact in mind that the fretboard wood has to also support the neck, since it adds to the thickness of the neck. The core wood is just that, core wood, it's the majority of the wood, but the fretboard is glued to it, so it has to bend with it, and it has to add support.

If you don't believe me, take a cheap Squier that you can find at a pawn shop for $40, take the frets out of it, string it up with light gauge strings, tune to E standard, and let it sit for a month, and see what happens.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 12:34 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ethan_hanus View Post
Well, it's attached to the neck, and it bends with the neck, so why wouldn't it act as another support? I'm sure they design necks with the fact in mind that the fretboard wood has to also support the neck, since it adds to the thickness of the neck. The core wood is just that, core wood, it's the majority of the wood, but the fretboard is glued to it, so it has to bend with it, and it has to add support.

If you don't believe me, take a cheap Squier that you can find at a pawn shop for $40, take the frets out of it, string it up with light gauge strings, tune to E standard, and let it sit for a month, and see what happens.
I'm not saying that it doesn't add any support, just that I am surprised that it adds enough support that removing the frets would completely ruin the neck unless the slots were filled.

I am actually curious enough to try to hunt down a dirt cheap guitar to do what you suggest. The real issue will be finding a cheap guitar that can be setup properly (low action, etc.) enough to make a good comparison.

Hmm....

Why wouldn't scalloping the neck have the same, if not worse effect since you're removing huge chunks of wood in the process? I think Rainer. has actually scalloped his own neck...
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Unread 10-18-2010, 01:10 AM   #21
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Originally Posted by thesteve View Post
Why wouldn't scalloping the neck have the same, if not worse effect since you're removing huge chunks of wood in the process? I think Rainer. has actually scalloped his own neck...
I did. On a Squier Bullet. And it removed quite a bit more wood than a de-fret.


And the neck is otherwise the same as when I bought it, no abnormal warping...
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Unread 10-18-2010, 09:48 AM   #22
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I'm not saying that it doesn't add any support, just that I am surprised that it adds enough support that removing the frets would completely ruin the neck unless the slots were filled.

I am actually curious enough to try to hunt down a dirt cheap guitar to do what you suggest. The real issue will be finding a cheap guitar that can be setup properly (low action, etc.) enough to make a good comparison.

Hmm....

Why wouldn't scalloping the neck have the same, if not worse effect since you're removing huge chunks of wood in the process? I think Rainer. has actually scalloped his own neck...
I don't quite know, maybe there's a structure of support built when you properly scallop a neck. All I can tell you is from pictures I've seen on other forms, and what I've been told from professional guitar builders. I guess it's possible it wont happen, but at this point it's a very good question to ask.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 09:48 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by ethan_hanus View Post
No, but there's still a lot of tension on the neck, and if the frets are missing, just imagine cutting slots in a piece of re-bar under a lot of tension, eventually all those cuts compromise the strength, and it bends.

Trust me, after a while you start to notice your neck is bending a lot and those gaps where the frets used to be are no longer gaps, but are closed.
Thaaaatttt.... is just totally not true. I don't know where you got your info, but I wouldn't go back.

The MINISCULE ammount of wood that is cut out for the fret slots would in NO WAY compromise the neck rigidity, and even in the incredibly unlikely event that it DID, then a quick twist of the truss rod would take care of any forward neck bow.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 10:55 AM   #24
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Thaaaatttt.... is just totally not true. I don't know where you got your info, but I wouldn't go back.

The MINISCULE ammount of wood that is cut out for the fret slots would in NO WAY compromise the neck rigidity, and even in the incredibly unlikely event that it DID, then a quick twist of the truss rod would take care of any forward neck bow.
I tend to think you are right. I refretted a harmony bass that had been defretted 30 years earlier and was still fairly straight. (It was after all a harmony bass.)
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Unread 10-18-2010, 11:14 AM   #25
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I don't quite know, maybe there's a structure of support built when you properly scallop a neck.
All I know is that when I scalloped a neck, I just ripped into it with a few round files and called it a day.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 12:00 PM   #26
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All I know is that when I scalloped a neck, I just ripped into it with a few round files and called it a day.
*shrug* idk, I'm just saying it has happened to some unlucky people. I guess most guitars are fine with the frets removed, but the one's I've seen obviously were not fine.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 01:22 PM   #27
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*shrug* idk, I'm just saying it has happened to some unlucky people. I guess most guitars are fine with the frets removed, but the one's I've seen obviously were not fine.
Part of me wonders if the necks had other issues to begin with or something along those lines. By any chance would you be able to link to the places where you've seen this stuff?
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Unread 10-18-2010, 03:10 PM   #28
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I tend to think you are right. I refretted a harmony bass that had been defretted 30 years earlier and was still fairly straight. (It was after all a harmony bass.)
Yeah, I did the "rip-the-frets-out-with-a-pair-of-pliers" defret job on a cheapo Hamer Slammer P-bass a long time ago, and it was fine. There was a bit of neck bow, but I think that had a lot more to do with the .050-.110 Fender flats that I threw on it after the defret, and that was nothing that I didn't fix with some truss rod work.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 03:13 PM   #29
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Part of me wonders if the necks had other issues to begin with or something along those lines. By any chance would you be able to link to the places where you've seen this stuff?

I would if I could, I got banned from the forms a while back, and even still, would take a long time to find the thread since the search bar on UG sucks. I think it was almost a year ago when that thread happened.
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Unread 10-18-2010, 03:17 PM   #30
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Yeah, I did the "rip-the-frets-out-with-a-pair-of-pliers" defret job on a cheapo Hamer Slammer P-bass a long time ago, and it was fine. There was a bit of neck bow, but I think that had a lot more to do with the .050-.110 Fender flats that I threw on it after the defret, and that was nothing that I didn't fix with some truss rod work.
Yeah, the harmony had a little bit of (back) bow and was well, not exactly the most adjustable thing ever. (I don't recall if we maxed out the truss rod to get it decent or if it just didn't have one. Its action was acceptable, though not great.
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