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> Make A Fret Less Guitar At Home, Anybody tried it?
Alex Feather
post Dec 16 2011, 02:45 PM
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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!!!!


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Gabriel Leopardi
post Dec 16 2011, 05:39 PM
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I've never done it. Let's see if we have somebody with experience here.. smile.gif


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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 16 2011, 10:33 PM
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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


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TesttubeMammoth
post Dec 16 2011, 11:09 PM
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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...


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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 16 2011, 11:49 PM
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QUOTE (TesttubeMammoth @ Dec 16 2011, 11:09 PM) *
Beware though, setting up a fretless is a bit different...


Explain please smile.gif


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AK Rich
post Dec 16 2011, 11:50 PM
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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
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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 17 2011, 12:04 AM
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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 ??


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Alex Feather
post Dec 17 2011, 02:31 AM
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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?


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AK Rich
post Dec 17 2011, 04:41 AM
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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.

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

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The Uncreator
post Dec 17 2011, 04:54 AM
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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.
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TesttubeMammoth
post Dec 17 2011, 10:47 AM
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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!

This post has been edited by TesttubeMammoth: Dec 17 2011, 10:48 AM


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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 17 2011, 11:16 PM
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That's an explanation smile.gif! thanks wink.gif


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Alex Feather
post Dec 18 2011, 07:33 AM
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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!!!!!


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Daniel Realpe
post Dec 19 2011, 03:47 PM
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Let us know how it goes! I would love to do that as well


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Alex Feather
post Dec 20 2011, 05:47 AM
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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!!!!


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Dec 20 2011, 11:06 PM
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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


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Alex Feather
post Dec 26 2011, 08:28 AM
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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:)


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Sinisa Cekic
post Dec 26 2011, 01:13 PM
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Great, if everything works out well, I'm creating the next one wink.gif


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Sensible Jones
post Dec 26 2011, 03:35 PM
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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


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Alex Feather
post Dec 26 2011, 04:47 PM
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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!!!


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