Dismiss Notice

Psst... Ready to join TalkBass and start posting, make new friends, sell your gear, and more?  Register your free account in 30 seconds.

Conklin Bass/Purpleheart Care, Questions, and Maintence

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by Violen, Jan 4, 2005.


  1. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I own two Conklin Groove tool's basses, the GT-7, and the BDGT-7 (now my primary bass).



    For xmas a friend of mine found a GT-7 Neck at some shop in iowa and sent it to me; i put it on my GT-7 because the frets are going bad on it, and now it sounds great again.......

    But now i have a GT-7 Neck and no bass body. Im going to turn it into a fretless neck, so i have the following questions;

    1. What kind of frets are in the neck, do they have teeth, or are they compression frets, and what would be the best way to remove them? Can i use a fret puller and iron, or iron and some sort of mallot and "wedge"?

    2. what kind of glue would be best suited for putting the fret markers into the fret slots, my dad and i bought some black plastic fret strips off of allparts, and i think they are just some sort of hard plastic

    3. What do i use on the fretboard to turn it from the nasty red/brown back to brilliant purple? What kind of dirt remover; sand paper, ect?

    4. What should i use as a finish over the top of the fretboard to stop wear and tear and such?

    Id really appreciate some educated answers, i keep finding different answers on websites with no consise results, my father's gun making luthier books leave a lot to be desired in the discussion of purpleheart;

    And as far as a do-it-yourselfer; im in good hands, my dad has a Ph.D in Industrial Arts, and his masters in Metalurgy/Woodworking, we have a custom wood shope in our garage.

    What do i do to make that purpleheart shine???


    If i can get some good answers i'll make a trade in the way of pictured websited documentation of what we are doing.


    Violen

    First post is a doozy huh?
     
  2. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
  3. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    i like re sanding an using a tiny bit of purple gel stain mixed with natural to keep the color even a little more vibrant....just my 2 cents on dealing with lil stuff.
     
  4. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    :rolleyes: What kind of purple gel stain do you use? manic panic? :)


    neither link worked btw.
     
  5. PasdaBeer

    PasdaBeer

    Nov 2, 2002
    Santa Rosa California
    SandStorm Designs
    hahah no i dont use manian panic lol

    i really cant remember the brand, i know its marketed as a "kids color" but works great
     
  6. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I read both threads, i believe and i didnt find the answers i seek, so *bump* here is the exact problem:

    Its really brown. i want to pull the brown out and make it really purple again without sanding if i can help it. What about using Lacquer Thinner or somthing?

    Luthiers? help me please? I want to restore my fretboards to their purpleheart beauty.

    Whats a good epoxy to put the fret markers in with, and whats a good finish if i want somthing hard and compatible with the purpleheart
     
  7. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Ok, this is speaking not from direct experience, but from what other people have said, and from general knowledge:

    The turning from purple to brown is oxidation; I have not yet heard of a process to chemically reverse this, although there could be one; all I have heard of in the past was sannding down to fresh wood.
     
  8. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    I read on a wood luthier's site that if you use an alcohol cleaner/finish it causes the wood to brown faster, but if you use an Oil finish, it will keep it purple longer. I was merely looking for specifics..

    Has anyone had luck with that steel wool thingy for cleaning the neck?


    Vio
     
  9. JTGale

    JTGale

    Oct 26, 2004
    Hummelstown, PA
    Are you refering to using steel wool in lieu of sandpaper? Believe it or not, this really works. BUT, you have to make sure you are using the right size. I use #0000 on my necks and it works them into a nice sheen. Very smooth and nice. I have heard that some people have used #000 with similar results but I have never messed with it. :meh:
     
  10. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    if you do sand it down, you can prevent the color change altogether by getting it finished.
     
  11. Phil Mastro

    Phil Mastro

    Nov 18, 2004
    Montréal
    I think if you use a water-based finish it will keep the color, but if you use regular laquer it will still darken. Not really sure though, it's what i've read on the internet, so just make sure you use the right type on your bass.
     
  12. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    US-NY-NYC
    Another possibility I hadn't thought of before- some woods change color not from oxidation, but from light exposure. If this is the case, then to prevent the color change you would generally need a finish containing a UV inhibitor.
     
  13. Scott French

    Scott French Dude Supporting Member

    May 12, 2004
    Grass Valley, CA
    Even those UV protector agents aren't 100% reliable. One of my instructors back at school was building a padouk instrument and from what I remember nothing he did would keep the thing orange. I think the plan was to keep it in the dark as much as possible during construction and in the case as mush as possible (when not being played) after the fact.
     
  14. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Thanks for the info; we are going to finish with a water based stain, we used a sanding mouse on low with a 220 grit sandpaper and we think we mebby took a 64th off the top; we are debating what kind of hard finish for the neck to keep the purpleheart purple, its a rather dark piece to begin with.


    Should be finished and playable in about a week! I appreciate everyone's imput.


    Vio

    P.S: JT, what kind of strings do you use for your fretlesses? do you use flatwounds, and where would i get a set for a 7 string?
     
  15. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    hey man

    i use the same strings as i do on my fretted. up until recently they were the sr2000's, custom gauges, but i'm switching over to SIT now, still use the same gauges. bill conklin used my gauges as a template when changed the snakeskin strings, so they're similar to them.

    with a finish on the board the purple heart will be fine, and the rounds will be no problem. shoot bill an email and ask him what he uses for the gloss finish on his instruments. i seem to remember him telling me it's a urethane finish, and i've never seen anything discolor from it.
     
  16. Violen

    Violen Instructor in the Vance/Rabbath Method Banned

    Apr 19, 2004
    Kansas City Metro Area
    Endorsing Artist: Conklin Guitars (Basses)
    Well the finish is on now, its a beauty, the sanding + water based natural finish really brought out the hidden beauty on this purpleheart fretboard.

    We are trying to find marine epoxy to finish the fretboard "A la Jaco" but i think we will settle with a hardcore polyurathane finish if we cant find it; my dad has a doctorates in Industrial Arts so i know we can get the job done right; hes been a great help so far.

    Pictures and soundbytes when im done!
     
  17. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    So before I do something stupid,
    purpleheart gets darker because of oxydation and not because of UVs, so with a finish it will stay bright purple, right ?
     
  18. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    I went to see the local luthier last week.
    He made a guitar with a purpleheart table about a year ago.
    It's been finished with a gloss polyurethane.
    Since then it spent a lot of time in his display.
    It's now brown.
    So UVs heavily alter the color, not only oxygen.
     
  19. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member Administrator

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i have quite a few instruments with purpleheart in them, some over 10 years old, and none of them have discoloured at all, even the ones that have played outdoors gigs. :confused:
     
  20. Jazz Ad

    Jazz Ad Mi la ré sol Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Damn.
    Maybe they haven't been exposed that much tu direct sun ?
    I wouldn't want to go through a fretboard finishing to see the color vanish anyway.