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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Gold plating protection?

RDR
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 11th, 2019 11:41 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hi. So I just bought an Epi with some gold parts on it. The plating is likely .001 micron thick. Any good way to protect,say, the stop bar plating from wearing off quickly?

How about a couple of coats of gloss wipe-on poly?

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 11th, 2019 12:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

All gold parts come from the factory with a coating of clear lacquer. Anything you spray on or wipe on, at best, will give the surface a wavy appearance and it will not looks like polished gold anymore. At worst, the stuff you put on will start to flake off and it will really look bad.

The only thing you can do to keep the gold parts looking perfect and new is not play the thing. Seriously. I'm not a fan of gold plated parts for this reason. I have one guitar (a Guild) that has gold parts on it.

But because you're going to play it, you have to be extremely fastidious about cleaning (wiping dry) the parts after every session (every session--even if it's 12 seconds long). And at least once per month, you have to clean it with alcohol and apply paste wax and shine it up. It is a pain in the you-know-what.

This is why most players that like gold parts, over time, tend to stop worrying about it and let it naturally wear off.

Gold plating on a guitar looks fantastic in the case when new, but it all does begin to wear over time. There is nothing you can do to keep it pristine if you'll be regularly playing it.

RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 11th, 2019 12:51 PM   Edit   Profile  

OK thanks. I was wondering about paste wax for floors. I have a can and it's pretty tough stuff. Maybe I'll give it a coat.

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 11th, 2019 01:42 PM   Edit   Profile  

Any paste wax will work great.

Car wax is ideal too...but if you have the stuff in the squirt bottle, always squirt it on the cloth and apply it that way.

Squirting it directly onto the guitar is bad because it can run into the pickups and soften the wax potting, etc.

On older, tarnished gold plated parts it's tempting to use metal polish like Flitz, Brasso, Happich, etc., to brighten up the surface, but that does two really bad things; it removes any remaining clear lacquer coating, and it abrades away the extremely thin gold plating.

Metal polish on gold parts only speeds up the effects of wear.

This means the only thing to use on it is wax. Any wax that's marked as a polish/wax means it has abrasives in it--which is bad for gold plating.

(This message was last edited by Peegoo at 03:46 PM, Mar 11th, 2019)

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

When I was crazy...

I thought you were great.
Mar 11th, 2019 04:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Just play the dang thing.




Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 11th, 2019 05:08 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sometimes you may hear someone complain that their gold plating is turning green. No, gold is the most "noble" (least reactive) of all metals, and doesn't tarnish. That's one of the reasons it is so prized both in jewelry and in industry.

But in the gold plating process, it is common to first deposit a "strike" or "flash" of copper to guarantee good adhesion both to the base metal and the subsequent gold layer. But when the gold wears through, the copper is exposed, and that's what starts getting the green patina.

Pinetree
Moderator Emeritus
(with many stars)

When I was crazy...

I thought you were great.
Mar 11th, 2019 05:49 PM   Edit   Profile  

True story.


February 25, 1980

20-year old me standing in New York Music (Boardman, Ohio) with a brand new 1979 Les Paul Custom in my hands.


Coincidentally, some local musicians I knew were also at the store. One asked me "What are you gonna do when the Gold plating wears off?".


Me: "Play it."



I still have that guitar.




RDR
Contributing Member
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I tried to think

but nothing happened!
Mar 11th, 2019 07:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

I usually wouldn't buy a guitar with gold plating, in fact this is the first. I just wanted to protect it a little because I suspect I will sell it in a couple of years.

But I see now that I can buy a new bridge/tailpiece in gold for less than $15. Maybe I'll just get a spare for selling and not worry about it!

(This message was last edited by RDR at 09:06 PM, Mar 11th, 2019)

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 12th, 2019 01:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

Good approach!

spud1950

Land Of 1000 Dances

Do you know how to Pony?
Mar 12th, 2019 02:18 PM   Edit   Profile  

99.9% of "gold" plated hardware is not actually real gold.It's plated with what is known as Jewelers Gold, a manganese bronze alloy.Resembling gold in color,but containing no actual gold.And yes it does tarnish which is why is it needs to be clear coated.Once that wears off,the plating tarnishes.Also,look at the difference in price between a chrome bridge and the same in gold color.It's only a few dollars.If it was actual gold the price difference would be far greater.

Manganese Bronze

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 12th, 2019 02:37 PM   Edit   Profile  

Reminds me of a joke, the setup of which is not suitable for children; so we join the story near the end.

Doctor: "Your boyfriend is a pirate, and he wears large gold earrings, right?"

Woman (astonished): "Y--yes! HOW did you know?"

Doctor: "Well...they're not *real* gold."

Te 52

Laws of Physics

strictly enforced
Mar 12th, 2019 03:26 PM   Edit   Profile  

"...Also,look at the difference in price between a chrome bridge and the same in gold color.It's only a few dollars.If it was actual gold the price difference would be far greater..."

I don't really agree with this. Take for example a tune-o-matic style bridge, which has a plateable area of, say, 20 cm^2. Plate that with 1 micron of gold and you get .002cc of gold. Density of gold is 19.3 grams/cc, so that's .039 grams of gold. At $42 per gram, that's $1.64 worth of gold, which is indeed "only a few dollars" of added cost.

JimBob#2

usa

Mar 22nd, 2019 08:10 AM   Edit   Profile  

HA! I do not get the joke...

Peegoo
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Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Mar 22nd, 2019 08:30 AM   Edit   Profile  

"...how the orangoutan got his name 'Tripod' is not appropriate for children."

-Tom Waits

FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / Gold plating protection?




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