Removing fretresidu

Exceptional restoration is in the details

Moderator: jingle_jangle

Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:28 pm

Hi there, I was told this would be the place for fixing projects and advice.

Here it goes. Last week I bought a made-fretless Ric. Planning on refretting it. Parts are on their way but there's a slight set back.

Appareantly the man who unfretted it began by ripping an out and then had the idea that viling them all down was much easier...
With this as a result.
Image
Image
Image
Image

Now, I want the residu of those frets removed just so I can get it properly refretted.
My question is, what should be a great plan on removing the strips of fret left in?

All advise is welcome!
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Sun Mar 28, 2010 11:19 pm

Hi, Edu...

Here's how I would go about this:

First the neck binding should be removed so that the ends of the fret tangs can be accessed, To remove the neck binding without disturbing the varnish on the rest of the neck, you should make a cut through the varnish using a sharp #1 X-Acto handle fitted with a #11 knife blade, or you can use a single-edged razor blade. Fasten a metal ruler to the neck using a thin strip of double-sided carpet tape along its length. Line the edge of the rule up with the edge of the binding.

Once you've got the line scored exactly where the binding and fretboard wood stripe meet, and it's scored through the varnish, you can carefully remove the binding from both neck sides. To do this, you need a #2 or #5 X-Acto handle fitted with a #18 (1/2" chisel) blade. Slip the blade between the binding and the edge of the fretboard after removing the nut, and carefully pry the end of the binding away from its rabbet in the fretboard. Now slide the blade, slowly and carefully, along the length of the binding, and unless the bass is very old and abused, and the binding checked, the binding will come off in one strip. Prying a bit where the side dots are located, will either pull the dots out with the binding, or pull the binding away cleanly and leave the dots in the fretboard. In this case, they can be teased out with the chisel blade or grabbed with a sharp pair of side-cutters and pulled out. Save them!

With the binding removed, you can work a blade or jeweler's screwdriver into each of the fret slots and carefully and slowly, pry the fret tang out of the slot on one end far enough to grip it with fret pullers. It should then be rocked out of its slot, 1/4" or so at a time, to avoid splintering the fretboard wood. Do NOT pull straight up or out. Do NOT pull quickly. Take it easy.

If the wood at the slot edge does chip. glue it exactly back into place using some super glue and proceed. It can be sanded down flush later after all fret tangs are pulled.

It may be necessary to sand the varnish off the fretboard, if the tangs seem stuck. Use your own judgment.

New frets can be installed and the neck rebound, either using the old binding, or with new binding. I'd avoid using super glue to glue the binding, though--it's very hard to remove the binding or the glue should you make a mistake.
User avatar
(jingle_jangle)
RRF Moderator
 
Posts: 22627
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:00 am
Location: Attritus nunquam subsisto hic...

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 2:43 pm

I'm a bit hesitant about removing the binding. With an eye on how to get it back in without noticable trace. I guess it would leave a minor scratch/gap between the neck and the binding. And I'm not really hoping to respray the neck to get the binding nice-looking again.

If I do opt for your method, and if I want new bindings in, where could I get binding?
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:14 pm

Grainger wrote:I'm a bit hesitant about removing the binding. With an eye on how to get it back in without noticable trace. I guess it would leave a minor scratch/gap between the neck and the binding. And I'm not really hoping to respray the neck to get the binding nice-looking again.

If I do opt for your method, and if I want new bindings in, where could I get binding?


Well, you can't have everything. Pulling those fret tangs out of their slots without marking the fretboard is not possible unless the binding is removed.

Binding is available from any luthier's supply place. In the USA, it's Stew-Mac, Luthiers' Mercantile Int'l, or Axiom. In Europe, I know only of Shellex in Germany, and I'm not sure they sell small quantities, although you might call them to find a dealer near you.

I was under the impression that you were going to have a luthier handle this task. It would be money well-spent, IMO.
User avatar
(jingle_jangle)
RRF Moderator
 
Posts: 22627
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:00 am
Location: Attritus nunquam subsisto hic...

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:28 pm

I do want to let a luthier refret this, he has experience with refretting with binding on necks. I'm just curious on how to get the fret out.

Someone came up with the idea of drilling through the middle with a small drill, 'cutting' the fret in half. Then gently levering it out from the mid out the edge...
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (jingle_jangle) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:40 pm

Levering it out with what, exactly? Anything that small in diameter would snap before it would ever budge the fret...
User avatar
(jingle_jangle)
RRF Moderator
 
Posts: 22627
Joined: Wed Dec 22, 2004 7:00 am
Location: Attritus nunquam subsisto hic...

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Clint) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 3:54 pm

I know you are restoring the bass, but have you considered leaving it a fretless? I think the triangle inlays on a fretless board just looks sweet.
Jangle, Chime & Twang.
(Clint)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:03 pm
Location: High in the middle and round on both ends.

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:01 pm

Levering it with what exactly is still somewhat uncertain... Something thin and strong. Takes some brainstorming

And no, I won't leave it fretless. It would hardly get played that way, which would be a shame. Other than than, tones on top of the inlay would sound dead (which takes the whole character from sliding on a fretless)
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Clint) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:33 pm

Ah, good point, never thought about dead spots due to the inlays. Looks like you've got everything well in hand, good luck.
Jangle, Chime & Twang.
(Clint)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 696
Joined: Mon Jun 09, 2008 3:03 pm
Location: High in the middle and round on both ends.

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (cjj) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 4:57 pm

If you don't particularly care about things being original, you could always buy this and have it installed:

http://cgi.ebay.com/NEW-2009-RICKENBACK ... 2eac1408da

I'm not sure how a 2009 fretboard would fit on a '76 4001 though...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
User avatar
(cjj)
RRF Moderator
 
Posts: 10517
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:17 pm
Location: En Zed

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 5:24 pm

It's a beautiful fretboard nonetheless. Thing is, I'm in the Netherlands, so out of shipping range for this piece.

I guess I'll go with the levering, if that's not satisfactory I'll remove the bindings, despite my hesitations
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (cjj) » Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:43 pm

Grainger wrote:It's a beautiful fretboard nonetheless. Thing is, I'm in the Netherlands, so out of shipping range for this piece.


Well, the seller doesn't specifically exclude international, at least not in the text. He mentions shipping to other locations will be quoted by location. It might be worth a quick note to ask, of course, shipping might push the cost out of the realm of reasonability...
I have NO idea what to do with those skinny stringed things... I'm just a bass player...
User avatar
(cjj)
RRF Moderator
 
Posts: 10517
Joined: Tue Jul 22, 2008 7:17 pm
Location: En Zed

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (grazioso) » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:24 am

that seller is larry davis and i doubt he will charge too much for shipping it... it will fit standard shipping tube that he can get at the post office so my guess is $30 for shipping air. :)

the problem will be the width of new fingerboard. i don't think it matches the one you have...
i understand the approach with snapping the fret in half by small drill bit - as i see it it would go :

1) sanding the finish off the top of the fretboard
2) making a hole through the middle of each fret
3)using high quality stainless dental pick to get them out in halves

i think that unless you have access to steady supply of high quality cheap dental instruments you are out of luck with this idea...

it is my guess that you could remove binding only from the bottom of the fingerboard and get them out through there...:

1) remove bottom binding and scrape the varnish off the top of the fingerboard
2) get the frets out just like paul suggested
3) glue the binding back...
etc...


yet another approach to your problem would be to get bass that is already fretted :)
dusan palka who is also known as grazioso on infamous auction web site
if you want to reach the man and expect an answer please make sure you remove this email address (dusan@palka.com) from your spam block if you have one.
User avatar
(grazioso)
Intermediate Member
 
Posts: 1076
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2007 9:41 pm
Location: prague czech republic

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Tue Mar 30, 2010 6:29 am

I asked the seller, no reply on that for now.

I do have other fretted basses, about 10 more, but I want this Ric fretted as well :D In the meantime I'll just grab my fretted 4003 ;)
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Re: Removing fretresidu

Postby (Grainger) » Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:19 pm

grazioso wrote:that seller is larry davis and i doubt he will charge too much for shipping it... it will fit standard shipping tube that he can get at the post office so my guess is $30 for shipping air. :)


He's willing to send to CONEU, still not sure if it would fit though

grazioso wrote:i think that unless you have access to steady supply of high quality cheap dental instruments you are out of luck with this idea...


Great find on the dentil instruments! Just order a set, if that's not going to work nothing is...
User avatar
(Grainger)
New member
 
Posts: 38
Joined: Wed Nov 11, 2009 11:05 am

Next

Return to Reflections of a Curmudgeon: by Paul Wilczynski

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Google [Bot] and 1 guest