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 Post subject: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 9:36 am 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:25 am
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First name: Perry
Last Name: Decatur
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
I've been interested in building a fretless guitar for some time. I finally started a few months ago and spent most of my guitar building time on this.

I've been working on setting it up. The nut slots still probably need to go a bit lower and the intonation tweaked.

The body wood is amargo. It's a nice wood to work with although it can splinter badly. This is the first time I've used it entirely for the body.

The neck is hard maple with an unknown wood for the fretboard. I used to think the wood was wenge, but recently I've started to think it is black palm. There's an ebony cap on the headstock. The scale length is approximately 24 3/4.

The pickup is an active single coil with one volume and tone with a .022uf capacitor. I may change to a slightly higher capacitor later.

The one thing I spent quite some time thinking about was where to put the side dots. Do I put them on like a fretted guitar or exactly where the frets would go? I chose the latter. Here are some pics.

Comments and questions welcomed.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 10:53 am 
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Joined: Sun Mar 06, 2011 12:04 am
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First name: Chris
Last Name: Pile
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State: Kansas
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Very minimalist design. I like it.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Location: Austin, Texas
First name: Dan
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Very nice design - looks very clean.
I'm not a good enough player to even try playing it.
What type of bridge did you use?
Dan

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Wed Jun 12, 2013 11:35 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:25 am
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First name: Perry
Last Name: Decatur
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
Thank you for your comments. I'm learning to play it as I work to set it up. Playing a fretless guitar is quite diffeent than a fretted one. Even the set-up is different.

The bridge and its variations is one that was used years ago on Washburn electrics. It is currently available from MIghty Mite and Guitarheads.net.

http://www.mightymite.com/Electric_Guitar_Bridges.html
http://guitarheads.net/products/bridges ... lrear.html

When setting up a fretless guitar, the nut slots need to be very low. I currently have about a .025 distance between the bottom of the nut slot and the top of the fingerboard. I've read that it should be around the thickness of a piece of paper. If that's correct, I still have much to remove.

The information I have about set-up comes from unfretted.com. Unfortunately, they are no longer accepting memberships, so I really don't have anyone to ask and answer my questions.

I hope to put something on Youtube soon, but first I need to improve my playing.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 7:51 am 
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Cocobolo
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I'd put the side dots in location as if it were fretted.

Curious why I can't see the strings in the nut slot...hard to see
but appears to be capped.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 8:59 am 
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Walnut
Walnut

Joined: Sun Mar 25, 2012 7:25 am
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First name: Perry
Last Name: Decatur
Focus: Build
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Sandywood wrote:
I'd put the side dots in location as if it were fretted.

Curious why I can't see the strings in the nut slot...hard to see
but appears to be capped.


I took the picture of the headstock before I removed a lot of material from the top of the nut. The strings are more visible now. I'll probably need to deepen the nut slots even more, so I'll also need to take more off the top of the nut.


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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 9:04 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:46 pm
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First name: Robert
Last Name: Renick
City: Mount Shasta
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 96067
Country: us
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
http://www.nedevett.com/

This guy can answer any questions you have. I was the luthier working as a glazier who helped get him started on this path. We did fret markers at the frets, I have seen that on fretless basses as well. We tried glass as any type of wood he tried grooved within a few months. His technique requires some fingernail on the left hand.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Jun 13, 2013 1:49 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 15, 2012 7:42 am
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If it was mine, I'd prefer the dots at the fret location


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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 12:31 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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Dude, how do you make a GLASS FRETBOARD?!??!?

That's freakin' amazing and the coolest thing I've ever seen,and it sounds phenomenal on his guitars!!

I want one.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:30 am 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:46 pm
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First name: Robert
Last Name: Renick
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theguitarwhisperer wrote:
Dude, how do you make a GLASS FRETBOARD?!??!?
That's freakin' amazing and the coolest thing I've ever seen,and it sounds phenomenal on his guitars!!

I want one.


Pretty easy, cut glass double stick tape, set up and go.
Cutting glass is really easy, a template of the FB shape undersized for the distance from the glass cutter wheel to the straight edge is needed, then score, snap, sand edges. 1/4 inch mirror is what we used, converts a standard guitar easily. There is no radius though, just flat. Another fretless guy caps wood with stainless and gets a shape. You have me thinking, I have just the guitar for this, I have been wanting one too.
The double stick tape we used was standard glazing tape, pretty thin, maybe 1/8", you want something removable, it is glass after all.
I have not kept in touch with Ned over the years, just the occasional email, so I don't really know what he has come up with over the last 10 years or so.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:49 am 
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Brazilian Rosewood
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I see. I was just looking at the nut on his guitar and it is indeed flat. I was thinking it was radiused, but man, it's still cool and sounds wonderful.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Sat Jun 15, 2013 1:26 pm 
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Koa
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Joined: Tue Dec 15, 2009 1:46 pm
Posts: 667
First name: Robert
Last Name: Renick
City: Mount Shasta
State: ca
Zip/Postal Code: 96067
Country: us
Focus: Build
Status: Amateur
theguitarwhisperer wrote:
I see. I was just looking at the nut on his guitar and it is indeed flat. I was thinking it was radiused, but man, it's still cool and sounds wonderful.

I think it is possible to shape the glass and get it polished, it would be slow going and require a bunch of belts, and some one to wet down the work, but possible. I will bug Ned and see if he thinks it would have any value. Glass grinds on a belt sander and then polishes, but if it gets hot it will crack.

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 Post subject: Re: Fretless Guitar
PostPosted: Thu Mar 21, 2019 7:29 pm 
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Walnut
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Joined: Tue Mar 19, 2019 11:11 pm
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First name: Alex
Last Name: Morningstar
City: Newberry
State: FL
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Country: United States
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Status: Amateur
I know this is an old thread but I've started building guitars out of glass. I didn't go fretless. I put a 12" radius on the fretboard. I used the router on a sled jig to get the radius, but I used an angle grinder with a 4.5" diamond blade instead of a router to shave the glass away. (I don't own a router and somehow got this to work)

Attachment:
IMG_11691.jpg


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