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Cleaning Nickel Plating?
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manthe
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25th February 2008
Old 25th February 2008
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Cleaning Nickel Plating?

I was wondering if any one had any tips for safely cleaning the nickel plating on my 61 Reissue SG's hardware. Also, is it best to remove the pickup covers to clean them?

Thanks.
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#2
25th February 2008
Old 25th February 2008
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My banjo has nickel plating all over the metal parts.

I use MAAS polish. You can find it at hardware stores. My Ace Hardware carries it at the counter. The stuff is great, and pulls the nasty right off the chrome. It protects the finish too.

Great for anything chromed. I use it to clean/polish my drum hoops and lugs.
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25th February 2008
Old 25th February 2008
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Mother's works good too.



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manthe
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25th February 2008
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Thanks for the replies. Is it safe to use this stuff near the nitro-cellulose finish? Is it better to try to remove the gear being cleaned?

Thanks!
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25th February 2008
Old 25th February 2008
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I'd avoid getting anything with any kind of petro-chemical/thinners stuff near nitrocellulose. Might be fine but you don't want to find out the hard way.

A lot of those cleaners have all kinds of nasty solvents and ammonia..

I'd say don't bother cleaning - it's meant to be a '61 after all - gives it a bit of vibe.
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25th February 2008
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supper fine steel wool
it makes a mess
but it cleans up chrome and shiny stuff like no other
supper easy and supper quick
just make sure you get the fine stuff
if you use the wrong kind it can scratch the surface
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25th February 2008
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Nickel doesn't tend to corrode, really. It just gets a patina that looks good.

If you want shiny, maybe you should get replacement harware that's chrome plated...




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manthe
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25th February 2008
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The problem is, I really don't want it to shine, I just want a more 'consistent' blemishing...if that makes sense. I actually like the aged or worn look too, but not like this. I figure that if I can get some of the 'patchiness' cleaned up ti will look more consistent.
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25th February 2008
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don't go nuts with the steel wool just bless it
it might work, what ever you do try it out on an inconspicuous area
then go to town

but then again I'm no pro so ask some one who is really experienced

I never really understod the peice of shit lookin guitar craze

oh well best of luck
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25th February 2008
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Quote:
Originally Posted by manthe View Post
Thanks for the replies. Is it safe to use this stuff near the nitro-cellulose finish? Is it better to try to remove the gear being cleaned?

Thanks!
I have accidentally rubbed the MAAS on the nitro-cellulose finish on my banjo (several times actually), and there wasn't an effect. This happened when cleaning the tone ring -- which is a PITA to remove from the wood rim, so I don't. I'm always careful to minimize contact with the wood finish, but I know I'm getting it on there. Still, no problems though.
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24th December 2010
Old 24th December 2010
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Restoring Nickel plating

Okay, do not use anything like 000 steel wool or other abrasives. Depending upon the degradation of the plating, you could work through any break-through very quickly and it only gets worse from that point.

Nickel does not tarnish, but rather oxidizes and some folks tend to gain appreciation for the darkened patina that tends to develop.

If you wish to try and restore the plating to a more original appearance, you can use phosphoric acid by cutting it 10:1 parts water and acid respectively and soaking your plated materials in the solution overnight. Naturally, you'll need to take your time in removing the parts from the guitar and under no circumstances should you apply the solution to the plating while its attached.

Once you've soaked the parts, dry them thoroughly and using ultra-fine polishing compound, you should hand-rub rather than attempt to use a wheel unless you've had experience doing so. The reason is that depending upon speed, wheels and polishing compound can burn the plating, producing variability in its finish.

Also realize that if break-through is evident and the copper base has begun to react by breaking down, you'll see black pitting around areas of the nickel that have detached to some extent and rough to the touch. If this is the case, then you should consider foregoing the attempt to restore the nickel and opt to replate the pieces if you want a more clean and bright finish more representative of the finish when it was new. It should be stated here that if you are considering doing this to parts belonging to a true vintage instrument, then you risk seriously damaging its market value based upon observable characteristics which demonstrate age-appropriate curing and authenticity.

Hope that helps guide your decisions and good luck.

Best regards,

Mark Ostemyer, Vintage Restorations
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24th December 2010
Old 24th December 2010
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Don't let re-plating it scare you too much. I was restoring a '67 Univox and the chassis was rusty. A local shop replated it for me at no charge; I don't think even if they do charge you it will be much...however prepping it for plating is another subject. I happen to have a blasting cabinet, and I blasted all the parts beforehand.

They did the chassis, corners, and handle hardware...came out nice:
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