stopping crud

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by joshua kaplan, Apr 15, 2021.

  1. joshua kaplan

    joshua kaplan New Member

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    I have a 70s SG Custom (3 pickup) which I am guily of neglecting for several years. When I finally pulled it out of the case, it had developed tarnish and gunk all over.

    I painstakingly cleaned it off end to end, and then had it set up. I had forgotten what a great guitar it is.

    Now I have discovered that the crud is coming back. There are many places where the gold is worn away, so there is a bunch of exposed raw metal. My sense is that air hitting that metal is the cause of the problem.

    I have actually tried to hunt down a place that will re-plate the metal, but I haven't found any. Even if I had, the cost would no doubt be prohibitive.

    So I am falling back to spraying some kind of sealer on the bare metal in order to keep this from happening.

    I just need to know what to use.

    Anybody ?
     
  2. donepearce

    donepearce Well-Known Member

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    When you get it looking the way you want, spray lacquer on it. The sort sold in hardware stores for stopping brass tarnishing does the job. If you don't mind spending cash, re-plating is the solution.
     
  3. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Depending on how rough it is you could just purchase a new bridge, stop bar etc. until such time that you get the originals replayed etc
     
  4. kongssund

    kongssund Member

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    One could always remove all the metal parts, save them in the case. Then buy all new goldplated hardware. But it will happen again in due time anyways.
     
  5. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Hold on just a second. Don't go spraying lacquer on your pickups. What "crud" exactly are you even talking about? Can you take pictures? Is this just dirt and sweat from your hands or corrosion of the metal like rust?
     
    dub-setter likes this.
  6. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Relax. Some people pay big bucks for that look.
     
  7. joshua kaplan

    joshua kaplan New Member

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    it's corrosion, not just plating that's worn away. I can see it beginning to build up. When I last cleaned it, I used silver polish, and by the time I was done, whatever gold was left gleamed, but many of the parts have pitting, and the dull gray metal underneath has been exposed. There are spots which have turned green (think statue of liberty), and it took a lot of work to get it cleaned up. it happens that last time around it was worth pulling out all of the hardware, because I found one of the springs which holds a pickup in place stuck magnetically to the bottom of the pickup, but I fixed that, and I'm not missing any other parts.

    I couldn't even find a company willing to do the replating, and the pickups are tarbacks, which I certainly don't want to replace.
     
  8. edselman

    edselman Member

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    Post detailed photos please.
     
  9. edselman

    edselman Member

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    Gold plating is done in three layers. First, the item is plated with copper, then nickel, and finally gold. Silver polish is too aggressive for polishing gold plate. Silver plate is thick to survive repeated handling and washing. What has happened is that you polished through to the copper layer. That accounts for the green corrosion. Your only choice is to have the pieces re-plated or buy original undamaged hardware. In the future, wipe your hardware with a soft cloth and let it age gracefully. Don’t use chemicals or abrasives on it.
     
  10. joshua kaplan

    joshua kaplan New Member

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    the places where I see green are all the backs of the machine heads. The gold gleamed when I used the silver polish, and didn't appear to be damaged by it. Most of the gold was worn away when I got the guitar. I am posting pictures to show the different parts where there is damage. tail small.jpg pup small.jpg bridge small.jpg hstockf.jpg hstockb.jpg
     
  11. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's all pretty typical corrosion for an old guitar, especially if you're a sweaty player. Angus Young used to get his pickups rebuilt constantly because his sweat would eat through them.

    Re-plating wouldn't be worth the effort IMO, unless you can't find a replacement for the harmonica bridge. But I think they make reissues of those now, too. I'd say just pull the hardware off (but keep it around in case you ever sell) and replace it all with quality new stuff.

    Actually, the pickups will be your biggest issue because you can't take the covers off Tarbacks. So you have to either be willing to spend a bit on vintage tarbacks that aren't corroded, buy totally different pickups, or live with the corrosion.
     
  12. joshua kaplan

    joshua kaplan New Member

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    considering that tarbacks are sealed, what are the odds of them being damaged if they are placed into a plating tank ?
     
  13. dub-setter

    dub-setter Well-Known Member

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    hmm..
    i would disassemble all metal parts and give them a good clean
    with auto polish or
    a baking powder an lemon bath..

    after that some chrome polish with a soft cloth.

    the gold will more disappear though.. no way to bring it back..
    (if you re up to that "golden look")

    but hey, the guitar has its life and thats okay in my opinion.
    it doesn t affect the functionality, if it is not deeply rusted.

    my epi custom shows faded gold as well on
    different spots (no blisters though)
    tells a story..:)
     
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2021
  14. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    That would ultimately be a question for a chemist, but I would not think that would work.
     
  15. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    Matching set of three gold tarbacks? I bet those are really hard to find. In fact a glance at Reverb shows that a couple of such sets have sold over the years but they don't look much better than the one in the pix in this thread.
     
  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Why does it have to be a matching set? We're not talking about a '59 Les Paul here. Any vintage parts will require a little patience to acquire.

    Not sure what results you got but I'm seeing quite a few in much better condition than his:

    https://reverb.com/marketplace?query=Gibson tarback gold&show_only_sold=true
     

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