#1
Can anyone point me to a nice guide to defretting a bass? I'd love to do it to my old Ibanez.
#2
Google is good. I did it myself along time ago when I got big into claypool. Its not very hard and can be done in a day or two depending on how many layers you put on the fretboard.

http://rudemechanicaloz.wordpress.com/2010/07/13/the-imprecise-bass-defretting-a-fretted-neck/

http://users.skynet.be/sky88241/defretting_site/page1.htm

Both of those should work. I did it like the second link.
Last edited by fudger at Jul 7, 2013,
#3
A few regulars to the forums have done it and written it up in a thread. A quick search should bring up some threads.
#4
Thanks, it seems pretty straight forward.

- Heat frets then remove with fret pulling tool
- Sand neck
- Fill frets with epoxy/wood filler
- Sand neck again
- Coat with polyurethane

Yeah?
#5
A better way to do it is to actually glue wood veneers into the fret slots and then cut/sand them flush with the fretboard. That is a lot more work however and wood filler should be fine as long as its done right.

Just remember to take it slow, it's not a particularly challenging process, but if you rush it you might run into lots of little headaches along the way.
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#7
Hehehe, I did mine with a screwdriver, a hammer and a pair of pliers Worked fine, but you really do need a steady hand for it.
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#8
I wouldn't even attempt a de-fret without a good pair of fret-pulling pliers. I don't care how Jaco did it; without the right tools, the tutorial might just as well be titled "How to Ruin Your Bass in One Easy Lesson."

StewMac has a fine one for US$27.00. There's no reason not to get one if you are serious about this:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Pullers,_nippers,_sizing/Fret_Puller.html
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#9
Quote by FatalGear41
I wouldn't even attempt a de-fret without a good pair of fret-pulling pliers. I don't care how Jaco did it; without the right tools, the tutorial might just as well be titled "How to Ruin Your Bass in One Easy Lesson."

StewMac has a fine one for US$27.00. There's no reason not to get one if you are serious about this:

http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Fretting_supplies/Pullers,_nippers,_sizing/Fret_Puller.html


I wouldn't say it's a necessity, it just makes life a damn site easier. Ultimately, if you're defretting a 100eur Squier or as in my case a cheap Ibanez, $27 for a pair of pliers is a bit of an expense. I think that I spent about 2eur defretting my Ibby in the end, and that was for a tube of wood putty and some sandpaper.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.
#10
Quote by Spanner93
I wouldn't say it's a necessity, it just makes life a damn site easier. Ultimately, if you're defretting a 100eur Squier or as in my case a cheap Ibanez, $27 for a pair of pliers is a bit of an expense. I think that I spent about 2eur defretting my Ibby in the end, and that was for a tube of wood putty and some sandpaper.


Perhaps, but in the cost-benefit analysis, you have to consider that without the proper $27.00 pliers, you might end up with an unplayable bass. And since the pliers are virtually indestructable, you can use them again. Or you could sell them to the next guy who gets bitten by the fretless bass bug. Hell; you could rent them out to such people over a period of time, in which case you end up with a cool pair of fret-pulling pliers that have paid for themselves five times over.

If you are going to do it, then you should do it correctly. The probability of screwing up massively is always during the first attempt, so plan ahead.
"Maybe this world is another planet's hell?" - Aldous Huxley
#11
No worries, I had a pair of fret pliers before I made this thread. I'm still debating whether I should use wood filler or go all the way with wood veneers though.
#12
Wood filler will give you better fretlines, if that's your thing. Here's a couple of things from my experiences:

Treat the fretboard first, a dry and brittle board is more likely to splinter and ruin everything.

The varnish/epoxy stage is by far the hardest stage. It's nearly impossible to get a coat without bubbles or dust. The last (3rd) bass I defretted, I gave up and switched to flats.

Are you sure you would rather sell the bass and buy a fretless?
#13
I used wood filler on my GSR200. I found some black oil dye and dyed the fretboard black. The wood filler is still in just fine. The black dye wore off a little but I redyed it once and it didn't wear off as fast. I use flats.
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#14
I used wood putty on my GSR190 and then used a furniture touch up pen that matched the rest of the fretboard. Cheap, cheerful and playable. Still use rounds, as I genuinely couldn't care less about dinging the fretboard, especially as it's only ever sporadically used.
Quote by Karl Marx
Reason has always existed, but not always in a reasonable form.