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clean my purpleheart fingerboard!!!

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by larrytron, May 24, 2003.

  1. Here is my problem!:confused:
    I have a conklin gt4 and the purpleheart fingerboard is so dity I can't even see that it should be purple...
    I ask you, scientists of the wood, if there is a solution to have my purple back
    thanks for all your ideas

  2. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    I use purpleheart fingerboards on a lot of my basses, and they don't get all that dirty -but I think I have lucky chemistry or something. My strings last forever, too.

    I would recommend you take the strings off and clean it with a rag and 90% Isopropyl rubbing alcohol. (90% evaporates faster = less drying). When you've got all the gunk off, put on some boiled or double-boiled linseed oil. It has to be the boiled stuff, or else it stinks and doesn't dry. I use Alsyn synthetic oil from LMI sometimes, too. Put a healthy amount on there, being careful with drips. Leave it for 15 minutes and wipe off the excess. You'll need a day or two to let it dry all the way. Do another coat when you can afford a few days not playing it. Also take an old T-shirt or other cotton rag and wipe down your strings and neck after every set.

  3. rllefebv


    Oct 17, 2000
    Newberg, Oregon
    Some of the world's best advice right there... keeps your fingerboard way cleaner, (no matter what kind of wood), and makes your strings last longer! :D

  4. Thanks a lot Laurence:cool:
    I'll follow your advice,
    I use a cotton towel to clean my strings after every set but my hands sweat so much that it attacks fingerboard anyway.

    thanks again,

    best regards,
  5. I could be wrong, but doesn't the purple color fade somewhat over time with exposure to light? I bought my parents a clock made out of purpleheart several years ago. They keep it in a room that gets plenty of sun, and now it's almost brown. It's not dirt, it's just a color change as far as I can tell.
  6. LM Bass

    LM Bass

    Jul 19, 2002
    Vancouver, BC
    Good point,
    Sunlight and oxygenation (sp?) definitely affect wood. I make lots of basses out of cherry wood, and over time the finish really darkens and deepens. The purpleheart I've used is actually a lot greyer when cut, and oxidizes to its more purple hue with time. I think if you use a UV protective finish, the colour stays pretty well.

  7. That's interesting!
    My fingerboard gets "tanned"!!!!
    ;) Should I put some "Sun cream" on my fingerboard to prevent it from UV rays... ?:D
    Even if it's possible , the fingerboard color is not the same as the head's.
  8. DP Custom

    DP Custom DP Custom Basses

    Feb 7, 2001
    NC, USA
    YEs, besides any dirt buildup, purpleheart will turn from purple-ish to brownish over time as it ages. I don't believe UV is the culprit as much as oxidation of the resins.
    If simple cleaning doesn't bring it back to where you want it, it may require more drastic measures to get below the oxidized layer (either solvents or sanding..)