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emulating purfling on a laminate top?

Discussion in 'Setup & Repair [DB]' started by GeoffK, Sep 12, 2004.

  1. GeoffK


    Sep 9, 2004
    When I re-finish my laminate top, I realize the painted on purfling will go as well. I am not at all inclined to paint it back on, but was wondering if it would be possible, with some fine sandpaper and an-ingeniously shaped sanding block, to create a fine indentations around the edge to emulate purfling? Obviously, it could not be deeper than the first ply layer, since the ply would show through. Is this just a daft idea? It would be purely for aesthetics, of course, but since I'm re-finishing anyway, I don't mind taking the time.

    thanks everyone.

    p.s. you've all noticed, I am sure, that I've posted a bunch of different questions, each in separate posts -- I did this so I could name the thread something descriptive, instead of the more generic "re-finishing questions" or "setup questions", adn allow any of you to weigh in an individual topic without having to wade through a lengthy thread. I hope this is more convenient for you all.
  2. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    Why are you planning on refinishing a brand new bass?

    Get thee to thine luthier.
  3. Brent Norton

    Brent Norton

    Sep 26, 2003
    Detroit, MI
    Stay away from trying to sand "indentations" into laminate... The face veneer is paper thin; you'll blow through it long before you achieve what I *think* it is you're going for... Sounds more like you're trying to simulate the 'channel' of a carved instrument, not the purfling itself.

    Ray brings up a good point -- consider trying your refinishing project on some kind of a project instrument first.
  4. GeoffK


    Sep 9, 2004
    it's a fair question Ray. It's a horrible orange factory finish (an "Antoni" made in China), and I want to do an antique finish and use Behlans Rock Hard. Apart from any question of aesthetics, it's about sound (I've been discussing it in the 'stripping and refinishing' thread): I don't like the sound of lacquer instruments -- I've been playing fingerstyle jazz on a classical guitar for 25 years (and bass, by necessity, for about 15) and I like the sound of oil finishes (or french polish, as on my main classical). I'm a recording musician (www.geoffkieley.com/songs if you're interested). Played BG on my first album but for my next (which will consisit entirely of traditional latin and bossa grooves) I'll be using DB and hand percussion (rather than kit) for an authentic sound -- to this end, I also thought of stringing with gut, but the expense and short life of gut has put me off.

    Now that I've answered yours, Ray, perhaps you could help me out on some of my other threads? I'd appreciate your views on bridge shape for example. I think Brent has confirmed what my misgivings about the erzatz-purfling. Brent: thank you for your input -- just thought I'd ask tho', since I have a great deal of useful advice and encouragement here.

    regards to you both,
  5. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    If you want to really do the project right I would get next to a luthier, and maybe he'd let you work over in the corner of his shop (or in his back yard) where he could keep an eye on you.

    As far as setup, wouldn't dropping money on someone that does this sort of thing day in and out be a lot cheaper than countless hours of time and mis-steps?
  6. GeoffK


    Sep 9, 2004
    I'd love to work with a professional, Ray, but I live in Thanet, on the southeast coast of England, and my previous post ("can anyone recommend a good luthier in Thanet") hasn't drawn a single response. So I'm on my own, I'm afraid.

    Still, thanks for the warning. If you any tips, I would be pleased to hear them.
  7. anonymous0726

    anonymous0726 Guest

    Nov 4, 2001
    The luthiers here could (and have) recommended books that would be essential to you. You might find something with the search utility. This is what I found when I searched 'Setup' with the keywords 'book' and 'repair': http://www.talkbass.com/forum/search.php?searchid=409455
  8. GeoffK


    Sep 9, 2004
    much appreciated, Ray.

  9. Check out the "American Standard restoration" thread. Mike used automotive pinstriping tape to simulate purfling. The end results speak for themselves.
  10. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    So how is real purling done? Both my laminated basses have real purfling.
  11. Here's how…

    - Wil
  12. GeoffK


    Sep 9, 2004
    cheers, Eric. Glad to see you didn't hold my "vive le Quebec libre" comment against me! ;)

    p.s. do my co-ordinates read Canada still? I'm leaving in England now, in case there's any confusion.

  13. mje


    Aug 1, 2002
    Southeast Michigan
    The old Kay I am ever-so-slowly restoring (got about 30% of the bondo off) had real purfling. Made me wonder if it wasn't a solid top. Still think it's laminated but I'm wondering.
  14. ctxbass

    ctxbass Supporting Member

    Nov 6, 2003
    Central Texas
    I have a 30's Kay M1 with real purfling. I think some of the S series even had purfling around the f holes. These are all laminated basses.
  15. Those fiver Chubby Jackson blonde models had real purfling....
    But still laminated. To my knowledge, Kay never carved a bass.
  16. oliebrice


    Apr 7, 2003
    Hastings, UK
    If its anything lke my old Antoni (new, £450?) I'd sell it and buy somethingelse. I really don't think they're worth much effort.
    If you are going to spend time and money on it, be warned, the necks are inclined to come loose after a year or so. Roger Dawson (one of the best luthiers in London) reccomended putting a bolt through to hold it in place before it works itself loose.
    See the thread on Zeller basses in the basses section for advice on affordable basses in England.
  17. Here's a shortcut that might work, and I think they make flexible purfling for bass that allows you to skip the bending.

    Still can't imagine its an easy job.
  18. Mike that is a good tool for routing the groove, unfortunately it won't work with the top attached to the bass. There are other tools out there to be used while the top is on the garland but we are getting into some $$. A marking tool an Xacto tool and a sharp "picker" will do fine without making a big mess with a lot of cussing. Careful, calculated slow... most can get the job done.
  19. Olie, you keep making me jealous for your bass (having bought a Zeller for a few more £ :bawl: ) so I thought I'd show you this, you having paid £450 for an Antoni - 3/4 (jazz) size double bass outfit with padded bag and strings £299-00 @ www.Gear4music.com $457.46 for our US bretheren. I assumed it was an Antoni but even they aren't that cheap? - perhpas your Antoni was a good bass by some standards? :confused:
  20. bassbaterie


    Dec 14, 2003
    Houston Texas
    Director, Quantum Bass Center
    Does it do anything for the value to add purfling to a bass that had none? Been wondering about the purfling issue myself as my bass has only double etched lines, inked black.