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Clear Coat Over Brass Parts


iskim86
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I just received a pair of $25 brass pickup rings for my bass. yes it's $25 PER ring and it's that expensive because no one else makes them now I need to know how to clear coat them. anyone have any experience clear coating metal? or is this even necessary? how do hardware manufacturers do it?

here's a pic of the thing

http://upload.theopenjam.net/files/IMG_9513.JPG

thanks a lot!

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you can clear coat them - and you can buy brass lacquer for doing just that.

personally i wouldnt bother. either way the rings will age. You can let them age naturally, look good and just rebuff everynow and again if you still want shiny... or you can go the lacquer route and have it start peeling off in a few years, leaving some areas shiny clean and others like aged brass.. then its more work to get them shiny again and they dont look as nice aged as they do without lacquer

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I just received a pair of $25 brass pickup rings for my bass. yes it's $25 PER ring and it's that expensive because no one else makes them

Before to say that its expensive, ask to yourself how much it would coast to run a CNC to cut out 2 little rings.....

Then you will understand that 25$ per ring is very cheap, infact I dont know how he can make a living out of that, over here they would charge me 250$ per ring + charging me for creating the CNC programm if I would go to see a local CNC company...

Like westhemann pointed out, check out frets on the net, he does a wonderfull job.

About clear coat I have done this before on brass by going to see a pro car painter, extremely tough lacquer which is designed for metal, but i'm sure there are other ways of doing it, I just happen to know somebody who runs a car painting shop which did help...

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I have been clearcoating my metal parts for many years and have had no peeling issues at all.

I am not into relic'ing, and want my guitars (and amps) to stay looking as new as possible for as long as possible.

I've clearcoated bridges, pkp covers, pkp rings, amplifier faceplates, tilt-back legs, corners, heck, I can't remember everything I've clearcoated.

I don't do it to everything, but when I feel it helpful, I do it, and everything I've done it to all still looks as new.

Having said that, I have all the stuff here to easily do it, I use an airbrush to do this, and keep the coats very thin.

Most of the time, if I didn't point it out,no one would even know the lacquer was even there, but nothing has peeled, and everything still looks as good as new.

Just so you know, a lot of custom platers lacquer your parts directly after plating, since their plating is so friggin' thin, and they will tell you NOT to use any Metal cleaners since most of them contain light abrasives, which would strip off the lacquer. They tell you soap and water is about all you need, as that will clean any dirt off of lacquer.

So I do my own, and I've had many parts plated that the plater did on their own as well, it wasn't my request, we just happen to be on the same page. :D

I am a firm believer in lacquering over parts to reduce plating wear.

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extremely tough lacquer which is designed for metal

There is no such thing, lacquer is lacquer, there are slightly different formulations here and there, but all lacquer at heart is a film finish product which dries from the top down, and shares all the same properties of film finishes.

If it is 'super tough', then likely it is not regular lacquer, it would probably be some sort of crosslinking 2-part finish which dries from a chemical interaction, which could be catalyzed lacquer, but that is a very different product alltogether from your standard lacquer, totally different catagory of finish. :D

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extremely tough lacquer which is designed for metal

There is no such thing, lacquer is lacquer, there are slightly different formulations here and there, but all lacquer at heart is a film finish product which dries from the top down, and shares all the same properties of film finishes.

If it is 'super tough', then likely it is not regular lacquer, it would probably be some sort of crosslinking 2-part finish which dries from a chemical interaction, which could be catalyzed lacquer, but that is a very different product alltogether from your standard lacquer, totally different catagory of finish. :D

Yes you are totally correct and I am perfectly aware about this since I have been using 2 part finishes for a long time on my instruments..

Of our days all commercial cars are sprayed with a 2 part finish, I would be suprised if a car painter would use nitro cellulose lacquer unless he is touching up or refinishing a very old car but who knows lol

In french we use the generic therm ''laque'' to describe a sprayed finish and since I mostly speak french, I was thinking in french, my bad... :D

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Before to say that its expensive, ask to yourself how much it would coast to run a CNC to cut out 2 little rings.....

Then you will understand that 25$ per ring is very cheap, infact I dont know how he can make a living out of that, over here they would charge me 250$ per ring + charging me for creating the CNC programm if I would go to see a local CNC company...

Like westhemann pointed out, check out frets on the net, he does a wonderfull job.

About clear coat I have done this before on brass by going to see a pro car painter, extremely tough lacquer which is designed for metal, but i'm sure there are other ways of doing it, I just happen to know somebody who runs a car painting shop which did help...

i guess i'm just used to being around CNCs at school

They don't clear coat metal parts.This guy also does rings in some interesting ways...to me $25 isn't that much for custom rings.

http://www.fretsonthenet.com/other_parts.htm

yes that's where i got it from

Edited by iskim86
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I have been clearcoating my metal parts for many years and have had no peeling issues at all.

I am not into relic'ing, and want my guitars (and amps) to stay looking as new as possible for as long as possible.

I've clearcoated bridges, pkp covers, pkp rings, amplifier faceplates, tilt-back legs, corners, heck, I can't remember everything I've clearcoated.

I don't do it to everything, but when I feel it helpful, I do it, and everything I've done it to all still looks as new.

Having said that, I have all the stuff here to easily do it, I use an airbrush to do this, and keep the coats very thin.

Most of the time, if I didn't point it out,no one would even know the lacquer was even there, but nothing has peeled, and everything still looks as good as new.

Just so you know, a lot of custom platers lacquer your parts directly after plating, since their plating is so friggin' thin, and they will tell you NOT to use any Metal cleaners since most of them contain light abrasives, which would strip off the lacquer. They tell you soap and water is about all you need, as that will clean any dirt off of lacquer.

So I do my own, and I've had many parts plated that the plater did on their own as well, it wasn't my request, we just happen to be on the same page. :D

I am a firm believer in lacquering over parts to reduce plating wear.

cool, what kinda prep work should I do to make the lacquer adhere correctly?

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Use automotive paint products. That is the best solution.

Take them to someone to paint for you. Have them hit it with adhesion promoter, then clear.

If you're going to do it yourself, and you're going with the generic term "laquer"... I've no tips for you except wipe it down with alcohol, or thinner, or acteone, or degreaser. (note "degreaser" doesnt mean dish soap thats "tough on grease!")

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pretty much - check the side of teh bottle but most list naptha as the main ingrediant

Just wanted to show a guitar from 1984 with lacquered brass hardware.

when i got it:

A2.jpg

with the original hardware which was included in the case:

R5.jpg

Notice the difference between the knob that was replaced with a plastic strat one early in its life and the ones that stayed on the guitar obviously being used. The lacquer has mostly gone leaving the shiny patch still on top.

The bridge isnt too bad - but thats mainly because it was swapped with the trem probably when the guitar was quite new judging by the type of trem and the discolouration of the lacquer. Even so it still shows patches of lacquer peel and aged metal. Imagine how it would have been if it had recieved another 20 years of wear like those knobs did.

I know this is just one guitar, happens to be one i own so lots of pics were taken. But i have seen this quite often with brass hardware on guitars, it tends to vary based on the owner, how often it gets played out and sweated on - that kind of thing.

I am not saying you shouldnt lacquer it - just providing an explanation for my point of view the other disagreed with :D

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