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Alex Feather
Hey guys I have a very old guitar body what I wanted to do is pull out the frets and make it into fret less guitar! Did anybody tried it? Let me know cause I'm very curious!!!!
Gabriel Leopardi
I've never done it. Let's see if we have somebody with experience here.. smile.gif
Sinisa Cekic
Believe it or not,these days I thought the same thing. I also have a 'written-off' guitar so I'll try to see what will turn out. biggrin.gif
TesttubeMammoth
I pulled the frets out of a fender bronco bass once. Plays fine. I guess the trick is to slide the out horizontally rather than wrenching them out vertically, you'd probably get splinters if you did that! smile.gif
Beware though, setting up a fretless is a bit different...
Sinisa Cekic
QUOTE (TesttubeMammoth @ Dec 16 2011, 11:09 PM) *
Beware though, setting up a fretless is a bit different...


Explain please smile.gif
AK Rich
Interesting idea! I wonder tho, If you just removed the frets, that would leave little gaps on the fretboard wouldn't it? would that affect the way it sounds if you did some slides over those gaps? maybe the gaps could be filled with something.

Rich
Sinisa Cekic
QUOTE (AK Rich @ Dec 16 2011, 11:50 PM) *
Interesting idea! I wonder tho, If you just removed the frets, that would leave little gaps on the fretboard wouldn't it? would that affect the way it sounds if you did some slides over those gaps? maybe the gaps could be filled with something.

Rich


Right Rich ! Let see which compound would be best for it! Any suggestions, guys ??
Alex Feather
QUOTE (AK Rich @ Dec 16 2011, 10:50 PM) *
Interesting idea! I wonder tho, If you just removed the frets, that would leave little gaps on the fretboard wouldn't it? would that affect the way it sounds if you did some slides over those gaps? maybe the gaps could be filled with something.

Rich

I've heard you can fill the gaps with a good glue made for wood or plastic and than polish the fretboard a little bit I guess it should work!

QUOTE (TesttubeMammoth @ Dec 16 2011, 10:09 PM) *
I pulled the frets out of a fender bronco bass once. Plays fine. I guess the trick is to slide the out horizontally rather than wrenching them out vertically, you'd probably get splinters if you did that! smile.gif
Beware though, setting up a fretless is a bit different...

Did it work?
AK Rich
Here ya go guys! smile.gif You can find just about anything on youtube laugh.gif This guy used a soldering iron to heat the frets to get the glue underneath to let go, and filled the gaps with epoxy resin then sanded, he doesnt show that part about the epoxy but explains it a bit. Hope this helps to get you started.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAHhUa_0qrE...feature=related

Peace! Rich...
The Uncreator
I made one out of a crappy guitar about 3 years ago. Hardest part is finding a good filler for the frets. High strength (and expensive) wood glue can do the trick, but I used a kind of crappy one and the glue deteriorated on me. I didn't really know how to play a fretless so I ended up selling it I think.
TesttubeMammoth
QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Dec 16 2011, 10:49 PM) *
Explain please smile.gif


Well, I guess the main problem for me was the way the reference points had changed. Generally when I set the action on a guitar I will use fret buzz as an indicator that I have gone too far. The concept of fret buzz doesn't really exist on a fretless, instead it is about finding a string height / tone that you are happy with - this introduces subjectivity which complicates things. Also setting the neck relief is a little different because of the lack of frets, without a straight edge to measure against it is easy to get this wrong. I find it more difficult to use the strings to measure the neck relief on a fretless because the reference points are different to what I am used to.

The way I generally do this is set the truss dead straight with a straight edge (really straight, like this one : http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/item/3850 ) then adjust the action until I find something I am happy with. It is worth measuring the action you have set with a small accurate ruler and keeping a note of it so you don't have to go through the process of finding it again.

This technique works well with fretted / unfretted instruments I find and for me it is way more accurate than trying to set these things by eye alone. More importantly, I can repeat the process easily without spending hours fiddling.

As for filling the gaps left by the frets, I never bothered! Mind you, this is a bass and the strings are much fatter so it doesn't make much difference. With a guitar I am sure you would have issues though.
I would probably try and use the same stuff they make inlays from if I was going to do that though, then sand it flush.
Sorry for bigging up StewMac so much but they have this stuff too! http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Inlay,_pearl/T...3&xsr=22989

Hope this helps smile.gif


Oh, and yes it did work!
Sinisa Cekic
That's an explanation smile.gif! thanks wink.gif
Alex Feather
QUOTE (TesttubeMammoth @ Dec 17 2011, 09:47 AM) *
Well, I guess the main problem for me was the way the reference points had changed. Generally when I set the action on a guitar I will use fret buzz as an indicator that I have gone too far. The concept of fret buzz doesn't really exist on a fretless, instead it is about finding a string height / tone that you are happy with - this introduces subjectivity which complicates things. Also setting the neck relief is a little different because of the lack of frets, without a straight edge to measure against it is easy to get this wrong. I find it more difficult to use the strings to measure the neck relief on a fretless because the reference points are different to what I am used to.

The way I generally do this is set the truss dead straight with a straight edge (really straight, like this one : http://www.stewmac.com/shopby/item/3850 ) then adjust the action until I find something I am happy with. It is worth measuring the action you have set with a small accurate ruler and keeping a note of it so you don't have to go through the process of finding it again.

This technique works well with fretted / unfretted instruments I find and for me it is way more accurate than trying to set these things by eye alone. More importantly, I can repeat the process easily without spending hours fiddling.

As for filling the gaps left by the frets, I never bothered! Mind you, this is a bass and the strings are much fatter so it doesn't make much difference. With a guitar I am sure you would have issues though.
I would probably try and use the same stuff they make inlays from if I was going to do that though, then sand it flush.
Sorry for bigging up StewMac so much but they have this stuff too! http://www.stewmac.com/shop/Inlay,_pearl/T...3&xsr=22989

Hope this helps smile.gif


Oh, and yes it did work!

Thanks man that was very helpful!!!!!
Daniel Realpe
Let us know how it goes! I would love to do that as well
Alex Feather
QUOTE (Daniel Realpe @ Dec 19 2011, 02:47 PM) *
Let us know how it goes! I would love to do that as well

I will! I will start working on it in January! Will keep you guys posted!!!!
Ivan Milenkovic
I just watched refretting tutorial, that's pretty advanced, and requires lots of tools. Not sure what's the deal with fretless guitar, but I bet it will sound cool! smile.gif Good luck Alex with the project! smile.gif
Alex Feather
So!!!! I got the body I pulled out frets using a metal stick to heat up frets I pulled them away and used sand paper to smooth the neck! I'm on tour in Russia right now so I can't really finish it up cause I need to get pickups, tuners etc. but I'm getting closer as soon as I'm done I will make a little demo and will post some pictures!!! Wish me luck:)
Sinisa Cekic
Great, if everything works out well, I'm creating the next one wink.gif
Sensible Jones
I did one about 20 years ago, all I did was carefully file the frets down to the level of the fingerboard. It all happened because a friend gave me the neck because he'd messed up trying to do a proper Fret Dress. He'd ended up filing one of them down way too far and ended up buying another neck.
smile.gif
Alex Feather
QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Dec 26 2011, 12:13 PM) *
Great, if everything works out well, I'm creating the next one wink.gif

Sounds like plan! Wait until I'm done cause I screw it up I will let you know!!!
Alex Feather
I did it!!! It works great! I lost a lot of sustain but it is a very interesting instrument! I like it a lot and will make some demos soon!
Here are some pictures!
http://www.flickr.com/photos/74574640@N04/...tream/lightbox/
http://www.flickr.com/photos/74574640@N04/...tream/lightbox/
Sinisa Cekic
Great news ! What you used to fill ? - epoxy resin ?!
Alex Feather
QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Jan 17 2012, 08:29 PM) *
Great news ! What you used to fill ? - epoxy resin ?!

I was too lazy to fill just used sand paper to make it smooth
I heated up the frets and they came out very smoothly
AK Rich
QUOTE (Alex Feather @ Jan 17 2012, 11:37 AM) *
I was too lazy to fill just used sand paper to make it smooth
I heated up the frets and they came out very smoothly


How does it play? Does it make an unwanted sound when you slide across the empty gaps where the frets used to be?
I guess it makes sense that you lost alot of sustain since there is less contact with the string to transfer to the wood.
Do you have any songs in mind that you may want to play a fretless guitar on?
Here is one I like to listen to.The vid doesnt allow for imbedding so here is a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOQ_XMkBVE...feature=related
Alex Feather
QUOTE (AK Rich @ Jan 28 2012, 06:05 PM) *
How does it play? Does it make an unwanted sound when you slide across the empty gaps where the frets used to be?
I guess it makes sense that you lost alot of sustain since there is less contact with the string to transfer to the wood.
Do you have any songs in mind that you may want to play a fretless guitar on?
Here is one I like to listen to.The vid doesnt allow for imbedding so here is a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOQ_XMkBVE...feature=related

It plays fine I like it it's not easy to play but I am getting use to it! I think i will record a little song sometime soon!
Thanks for the link!!!!
Sinisa Cekic
QUOTE (AK Rich @ Jan 28 2012, 07:05 PM) *
How does it play? Does it make an unwanted sound when you slide across the empty gaps where the frets used to be?
I guess it makes sense that you lost alot of sustain since there is less contact with the string to transfer to the wood.
Do you have any songs in mind that you may want to play a fretless guitar on?
Here is one I like to listen to.The vid doesnt allow for imbedding so here is a link.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdOQ_XMkBVE...feature=related


That's great playing man , i looove it !!! Very inspiring ,thanks on this wink.gif
AK Rich
QUOTE (Sinisa Cekic @ Jan 29 2012, 12:08 PM) *
That's great playing man , i looove it !!! Very inspiring ,thanks on this wink.gif

Hey no sweat Sinisa!,I love it too. I only just recently discovered these guys, I would definately love to go to one of their shows.
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