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 Post subject: Fretless Bass FB coating
PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:05 pm 
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First name: Allan
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State: Kansas
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Focus: Repair
I have a customer inquiring about this. Any recommendations?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:10 pm 
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First name: Chris
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I've used carefully applied cyanoacrylate glue. Buffs out to a fine shine, and is hard and long lasting.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 6:54 pm 
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Koa
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I've used West Systems epoxy.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:05 pm 
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First name: Allan
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Focus: Repair
Any thoughts on TruOil for this application?


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 7:09 pm 
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It'll wear through in a matter of hours of playing.


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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:12 pm 
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Yeah, not hard enough.

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PostPosted: Mon Sep 18, 2017 8:38 pm 
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Pretty much what I figured.

Of course if the guy hadn't used roundwounds...


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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 7:24 am 
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I built a fretless ABG for a customer, he comes back to the shop with the darn thing about every 6 months to have the fingerboard sanded. I also get to repair various cracks and splits in the plates and sides, and he has almost worn a Willy Nelson style hole where he keeps his thumb, this thing gets played heavily, and a LOT! All the fingerboard markers are replaced by now. He doesn't want a coating because of what it does to the sound. The board is good quality ebony, but he wears grooves into it in no time, it would surprise me if super glue or epoxy would prevent this for very long. How does the board feel when the coating is partially worn off?

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:04 am 
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On the fingerboards I have coated with cyano glue, I put it on thick enough to resist heavy wear. There will be marks on the surface of the finish from the strings, but no erosion. Back in the 80's I did my fretless Jazz this way, and even today it still looks good. The guy I sold it to plays every weekend, and in lessons for nearly 30 years. You can't be shy about slathering it on. As for the sound - I can tell no difference between coated and uncoated boards.

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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 9:50 am 
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Old Growth Brazilian Rosewood
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fumblefinger wrote:
I have a customer inquiring about this. Any recommendations?


It's a can of worms... or can be.

It's not unusual for fretless bass players to want VERY low action and that's when the board finish needs to be addressed with the same precision as frets on a fretted instrument. Or, in other words the quality of the level set, relief, etc. of the fret plane becomes critical.

Any finish that can't also be precision leveled as if the finish was the fret tops will be a pain in the arse to work with AND maintain since stuff moves or may.

No finish at all as Arnt mentioned is the most serviceable in our experience and periodic leveling is likely going to be necessary with or without finish.

OTOH if the action is say 5 - 7 (64th" at the 12th) it won't matter much how unlevel the finish might be. But if your player wants action of 2/64th" and 4/64th" the finish can make or break the instrument's ability to be set-up as requested.

With all of this said another approach to client requests for fretless finishes is to hang up on them, lock the door and go drinking....



These users thanked the author Hesh for the post: Clinchriver (Tue Sep 19, 2017 4:40 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:05 pm 
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Koa
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Just install a phenolic fretboard when the client is not looking. ;-)



These users thanked the author Barry Daniels for the post: Hesh (Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:42 pm)
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PostPosted: Tue Sep 19, 2017 1:58 pm 
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First name: Allan
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Thanks for the responses guys. I know this board is a de-fretted board and it wasn't done too carefully. Then the original owner filled the slots with wood filler. I'll see if I can talk him into letting me just sand it clean and persuade him away from the round wounds.

Thanks again.



These users thanked the author fumblefinger for the post: Hesh (Tue Sep 19, 2017 3:42 pm)
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