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#1
Hey, alright I am most likely going to start customizing my strat copy that i started with. Well I'm most likely going to sand off all the existing black paint and put on my own coat of paint (first time doing this) and maybe some new picups, but that comes later. The main point is that I would like to make the neck fretless. Im wondering how I should go about this, should i just file down the fret wire until it is level with the neck, or should I rip them out and sand or fill in the holes? Or go another way?

Thanks
Last edited by imagonaeatu at Jun 4, 2006,
#3
Quote by DBS_KICKS_ASS
use a soldering iron to heat up the fret and pull it out with pliers, then fill in the holes


That seems like a good idea, but will this mess up the intonation at all?
#4
i heard a guy in guitar player magazine, say (he said for nylon string guitars, im not sure if it applys to your strat) that when you make a guitar frettless you wanna tune down a full step at least, because for some reason without the frets the neck can't take as much tension
#5
Quote by imagonaeatu
That seems like a good idea, but will this mess up the intonation at all?


No. the intonation will be fine. Have look on google there are plenty of defretting guides. but pretty much all you have to do is heat the fret up and carefully pull it out.
#9
Flathead screwdriver...hammer...be careful.
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#10
Alright well you all seem to be with heating them up and pulling them out but how about filling them down would that work?
#12
Quote by CraigKing
why do you want to make the neck fretless lol?...


Because I already have a fine fretted guitar and im looking for an interesting project and guitar to play.
#13
check out my thread, (in my sig) man use pine or maple strips to fill the gap. i had to widen the gap also. and a warning, it takes a shiitload of work and time to do this. make sure your prepared to work!
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#14
I wouldn't use pine for inbetween the frets. Use some contrasting hardwood veneer.
#15
Quote by lespaulmarshall
check out my thread, (in my sig) man use pine or maple strips to fill the gap. i had to widen the gap also. and a warning, it takes a shiitload of work and time to do this. make sure your prepared to work!


Ya i was looking at that. I didnt have to much time to read it but how did you fill the gaps? And what part of it really takes up most of the time?? Some how i just cant see it taking to long... but I'll take your word for it. And after I am done will I want to put some stain or oil on the neck??
#16
whats wrong with pine? i got a 1mm wide file and filed down to the right level and then got the strips of pine and use PVA to glue them in. i took a long time to get the strips of wood as i was not able to find thin strips, you might be able to tho. when taking out the frets you wana be mighty careful not to damage your fretboard which takes up more time. i oiled the neck and it turned out great, you might need to clear coat, it just depends on the wood of the board. what is it?
Quote by Unforgivable
LesPaulMarshalls ace!
Quote by Dudage
LesPaulMarshall, you friggin rock!
Quote by adrian_brown89
It's pretty hard to find someone as hardcore as Tom. The race for hardcore supremacy would be pretty close but i think Tom's got his nose just in front for now...
#17
hey. i was just wondering is this a bass or a guitar youre talking about.

and how would a fretless 6 string guitar (not bass) sound?
#18
I woudln't use pine either, as pine isnt' a hardwood (I think). And plus I like in the norhtwest, so I'm sorta sick of pine.
#19
Quote by lespaulmarshall
whats wrong with pine? i got a 1mm wide file and filed down to the right level and then got the strips of pine and use PVA to glue them in. i took a long time to get the strips of wood as i was not able to find thin strips, you might be able to tho. when taking out the frets you wana be mighty careful not to damage your fretboard which takes up more time. i oiled the neck and it turned out great, you might need to clear coat, it just depends on the wood of the board. what is it?


You even said yourself that the pine distergrated and left gaps that you had to fill.
Using a sheet of hardwood veneer will be easier and do a better job.

Quote by LEGZ
hey. i was just wondering is this a bass or a guitar youre talking about.

and how would a fretless 6 string guitar (not bass) sound?


Vai has one one his triple neck. It gives you a more mellow sound.
A fretless guitar is on my list of guitars to build.
#22
With great difficuty - your fingers no longer hold notes down within a certain fret - to get a perfect note you have to put your finger down where the fret was. Advatages are that you have more expression in your playing as you can have slightly flatter/sharper notes and microtones.


I've also heard it's a good idea to get flatwounds - roundwounds + no frets = damaged fretboard apparently.
#23
Watch G3 2001 Denver, Steve Vai's triple neck, the lowest neck is fretless. And watch him play it, it practically weeps with beautiful tone. If you can manage to get yours like that then GO YOU.
#24
Quote by kaplac
I woudln't use pine either, as pine isnt' a hardwood (I think). And plus I like in the norhtwest, so I'm sorta sick of pine.


Fair play, fair play..

Good luck on de-fretting.
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#25
Well thank you guys for all the help. And to who asked im not sure what type of wood the neck is made out of but I might be able to find out, or take a picture and post it up here (once i find out how to post pictures) And once I start this project I will be sure to include pictures and all of the de-fretting, filling, the new paint job and everything.
#27
Quote by DBS_KICKS_ASS
i made my classical fretless, how do i make it not so buzzy when i play it?is that just cause its a cheapo classical?


That makes me kind of worried to do this, but will it really become more buzzy? I have played a fretless guitar before and there was no buzz along with the fretless bass i played. And I got some pictures of the neck for you guys to look at - http://s60.photobucket.com/albums/h25/imagonaeatu/ What type of wood? And what type should I use to fill the gaps?
#28
I was also wondering about just filling the gaps with just wood filler? Would that be that much worse than strips of wood?
#29
Quote by imagonaeatu
I was also wondering about just filling the gaps with just wood filler? Would that be that much worse than strips of wood?



ehh..i forgot the dudes name that did a fretless p-bass but he just cut down popsicle sticks because they fit really well.
#30
Quote by LEGZ
ehh..i forgot the dudes name that did a fretless p-bass but he just cut down popsicle sticks because they fit really well.



Justincredible, I believe.

if you'd prefer not to use flatwounds (although sound nice, are fairly more expensive), I suggest you cover the fretboard with some kind of epoxy (like marine Epoxy).
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#31
ive already "built" one in a sense, i pulled the frets out of one of my acoustics

intonation will go to shiit at first, get a good settup on and your fine though.


theyre KILLER for slide guitar
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#32
That board is rosewood.

Classical guitars tend to have high action, and with fretlesses you will want low action. that is if I recall correctly.
#33
Ya after I pull the frets and all I will definatly have to get it totally re-setup. Thanks for telling me the type of wood (first time needing to know) Im still debating about what I should fill in the gaps with, but I geuss I will find out eventually and popsickle sticks that just sounds so funny.
#34
Quote by Diamond Dave
you can do slide harmonics with fretless guitars cant ya? like hit a natural harmonic then slide your finger up the string lightly and change the note

yeah i have a friend who does it on a fretless bass, it sounds awesome and he said it can be done on a fretless guitar all the same. Its really cool
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#35
what does a fretless guitar do?...how does it play if there are no frets?...im afraid i dont understand it...its too high tech
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#36
Quote by The_Hell_Patrol
what does a fretless guitar do?...how does it play if there are no frets?...im afraid i dont understand it...its too high tech


Well its alot like a fretless bass, but im assuming you dont know what thats like. Well you can still see where the frets used to be so you still know where to put your fingures but you can easily miss and hit an in between note which is impossible to do on a fretted guitar. It is a lot better for playing slide guitar on and it opens up a whole new area of playing.
#38
Quote by DBS_KICKS_ASS
what brands sell fretless guitars? doent vigier make one?


Ya I am pretty sure that they do make one . I think I have seen a Guitar Of THe Month on here about one. But it costs like 4000 american so thats a little out of my range.

But on another note what would you guys say I should fill in the gaps left over with?
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