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Thread: Build #1 JB-4 Fretless

  1. #1

    Build #1 JB-4 Fretless

    Hi all,
    I have started my first build today, a fretless JB4.

    I am quite pleased on how it all sits after a mockup build but I have a question.

    The dot inlays on the side of the neck are sitting in the fretted position (in the middle of the fret).
    I would like to find a way to get rid of these dots, and make my own in the fretless position (which is dots where the frets should be) (3, 5, 7, 9, 12, 15, 17, 19 frets only).

    I was thinking of gently drilling the existing dots, fill the holes with ... [something] and then drill my own dots inlays.
    Is this the way to go? any suggestion/tips/heads up? what product should I use to fill the holes?
    or should I simply cover the existing dot inlays with a black marker like a Sharpie or similar?

    Thank in advance for looking into this

  2. #2
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    I donít know, but I can see why you would need to else you would be forever flat!
    Is it a maple neck? If so you might find the dots are painted on
    The Imprecision Bass
    #1 non PBG LP
    #2 RC4-A
    #3 EVH Frankenstrat
    #4 SV1
    #5 LP
    #6 TL-A
    #7 JB4 -A
    #8 SG
    #9 TL 51
    #10 TLA/amp
    #11 PBG1
    #12 PB4

  3. #3
    Hi Andy,
    Yes it's a maple neck, but the dots are on the fretboard which is rosewood.
    Should I try a light sanding and see if they come off?

  4. #4
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    It's certainly been done by people on here before.

    They've normally drilled out and filled the old dots. The pro way would be to get a matching piece of rosewood, and using a plug cutter, make some rosewood dots that you glue into the old holes, ensuring the grain pattern is in the same direction as the board.

    I'd probably get some wood filler, colour it to match (I use a very cheap set of artists acrylic paint in tubes for this and mix the paint in with the filler) and sand it back once dried. or you could just try a dab of matching paint over the dot,

    Whatever finish you plan to use for the back of the neck, you normally also cover the sides of the board with it (masking off the top of the fretboard itself). This will also help protect any filled or painted dots.

    Realparts do various side dot inlays, or you can search fro them on eBay or Amazon.

  5. #5
    Thank you Simon for taking the time to explain these different solutions. I appreciate it, this is very useful.

  6. #6
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    Awesome reply Simon!
    The Imprecision Bass
    #1 non PBG LP
    #2 RC4-A
    #3 EVH Frankenstrat
    #4 SV1
    #5 LP
    #6 TL-A
    #7 JB4 -A
    #8 SG
    #9 TL 51
    #10 TLA/amp
    #11 PBG1
    #12 PB4

  7. #7
    These are the progresses made so far with this build#1 Tempi Scuri (Dark Times):
    # machine heads holes drilled
    # neck fitted, bridge aligned, holes drilled
    # sanded
    # custom pickguard printed
    # DingoTone stain applied

    Today I put it together for a quick look

    Click image for larger version. 

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    ..
    Click image for larger version. 

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    ..

    I have a couple of questions:

    Q1: I have accidentally put the stain on the fretboard as well.
    Should I leave it, perhaps it might turn up in an interesting "relic" effect once the strings will start to dig a bit into the fretboard? I am planning to use round wounds which will dig in the fretboard eventually anyway. or will it make a mess and I should get rid of the stain by sanding it back (or by other means)?
    I sort of like the dark look on the fretboard, it's in line with the overall design.

    Q2: I intend to use the same DingoTone body finish kit for both body and neck.
    My understanding is that the body will need stain, intensifier and final coat, as per instructions provided with the kit, where the neck (just the neck, not the fretboard needs only stain and final coat, without intensifier. Is that correct?

    I apologize if these questions have been asked already but sometimes I have trouble finding the information in this vast forum!

    PS: the pictures are sideways, don't know why, they are in portrait on my computer.
    Last edited by FaustoB; 03-09-2021 at 04:24 PM.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist Simon Barden's Avatar
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    On question 1, it should be fine. Fingerboard woods are often stained a darker colour. You'll probably want to treat the fingerboard with lemon oil, or mineral oil or some other fretboard oil, and that will also make it a bit darker when applied.

    I don't have any experience with Dingotone, so can't help on question 2.

    Some photo editors don't provide the right metadata in the picture file as to the correct picture orientation. All you can do is try using a different photo editor. It is frustrating. But at least the pictures still make sense.

  9. #9
    Thank you Simon, always very helpful. I appreciate your help.

    Yesterday I applied the second DingoTone intensifier coat, it seems to be drying very well in my garage.
    I have also applied some DingoTone final coat on a piece of headstock cutout as test and it seems to be drying well. Will apply the final coat onto the body and neck today or tomorrow.

    Here below some photos of my custom printed pickguard.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    Click image for larger version. 

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    After taking these photos I took some time to refine some of the internal edges using a Dremel (the pickup was slotting in with too much friction), drilled the holes for the screws and applied a final thin layer of PVA glue on the edges.

  10. #10
    Mentor Andyxlh's Avatar
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    That pick guard looks great, like cigarette smoke wafting across it.
    The Imprecision Bass
    #1 non PBG LP
    #2 RC4-A
    #3 EVH Frankenstrat
    #4 SV1
    #5 LP
    #6 TL-A
    #7 JB4 -A
    #8 SG
    #9 TL 51
    #10 TLA/amp
    #11 PBG1
    #12 PB4

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