so im thinking about turning my epi les paul bass into a fretless by taking off the frets my self and doing that long process of making it work. do you guys have any suggestions on the topic
Do a quick search of the forum. There have been a few people on here who have done it and have have posted their experences.
How much do you want a fretless? If you're deadset on one, comfortable with them, and like them tonally, then I'd say to try it. Otherwise, don't do it unless you get another bass.
I wouldn't do it if it's your only bass.

I landed a free starter bass, and I tried with that, after some practice removing the frets it ended up quite nice given its original state and my shoddy handiwork. There are many options you can do once the frets are out, such as finishing the fretboard and filling in the fret gaps in a variety of ways.

Note that if you don't put a coating of some kind over the fretboard after the frets are out, the kinds of strings you can use are limited to flatwounds, because almost anything else will scratch up the fretboard.

I'm happy with the end result of mine, but I wouldn't risk defretting my only bass, because a lot of things could go wrong. My advice is to figure out exactly what you want to do, and do thorough research on it before even taking out the first fret if you decide to go through with it.

I hope this helped.

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Last edited by kamayzing at Aug 7, 2010,
I agree with the whole, "don't do it if it is your only (or primary) bass."
As for going about it, I defretted a fretboard before. I just used pliers to get the frets out, filled the space with fake wood, and then put epoxy over it.
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I did mine too mate. Only tips I have is use a soldering iron to heat the frets and it'll melt the glue that holds the frets in and then you just take a set a pliers and pull.

You may want to place some painters tape along each side of the frets to help keep you from a) scratching the wood and b) pulling out some large chunks from your fretboard

for filler you can either glue in thin strips of wood referred to as veneers or you can do what I did which is put some wood filler down in it and sand until smooth
Searchbar, there are other threads that have information regarding this.

Heating the frets (if they're glued in) makes life a bit easier when defretting your bass, make sure to lay painters tape along the fret edges before yanking the suckers out, and if you'r eusing wood filler to fill the fret slots, make sure you really get it in there. Also I would suggest finishing the fretboard with a polyurethane finish for protection. You don't have to, but roundwound strings will eat into your fretboard otherwise.

Lots of people use pliers, I found using a putty knife was helpful in getting the frets loose.
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