Metal pitting tips

Discussion in 'THE Gretsch Discussion Forum' started by peterjh85, Jan 10, 2022.

  1. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Electromatic

    Dec 16, 2017
    Pacific Northwest
    Just started to get back into the swing of things now that the young kiddo is sleeping again.

    Some of my gretsch guitars I haven’t pulled out in months as a result. Tonight I noticed some pitting, corrosion, and haziness on the hardware.

    Any tips to get it shiny again? I tried a bit of polish and it helped a bit but I think the corrosion is here to stay, especially on the gold hardware guitars which is a bummer but I guess some naturally relicing haha!

    it’s odd that the black penguin was mostly fine except the knobs but the strap locks (thumb screw kind) on the casino gold penguin was all pitted and hazy.
  2. thunder58

    thunder58 Super Moderator Staff Member

    Dec 23, 2010
    tappan ny
    Admin Post
    Well , at least there easy to replace . Not sure if it would help , but keep polishing , at least once a week . Perhaps the luster will come back :)
    peterjh85 likes this.
  3. Ricochet

    Ricochet Senior Gretsch-Talker

    Nov 13, 2009
    Monkey Island
    Dish soap and warm water with a soft cloth(use a soft toothbrush for the hard to reach nooks and crannies).
    I’ve read baking soda works well for gold, haven’t tried it though.

    Finish with a polishing wax like Renaissance Wax.

    The best way to keep the metal from pitting is to routinely wash your hands before, and wipe all metal parts down after playing(to remove the acids and other contaminants coming from your hands).
    T Bone, Archtops and peterjh85 like this.
  4. section2

    section2 Country Gent

    Dec 21, 2016
    Be careful when polishing gold hardware. The gold plating is very thin, and it rubs off easily. I managed to remove all of the gold from a rocking bar bridge with just a bit of gritty metal polish and a soft cloth. (I was trying to remove the gold, but I don't think that's what you're going for.)
    rcboals likes this.
  5. juks

    juks Country Gent

    Nov 26, 2020
    Fremont, California
    +1 done same in old Epi. Decided to leave gold parts alone :)
    section2 and rcboals like this.
  6. rcboals

    rcboals Country Gent

    Nov 21, 2008
    Springfield Oregon
    As far as ever getting it like new shiny again not going to happen. The gold plating is so thin it will come off even with the mildest polish. I have been there done that. About the only way you can preserve the gold is put a nice wax on when it is new, never play the guitar and proudly display it in a custom wood and glass case.
    I will never buy another guitar with gold plating the last one was a new 2011 White Falcon the gold just didn't hold up within two years it was dull lifeless. Sold it tarnish and all and now have a 2014 Black Phoenix that the chrome and nickel hardware still looks new 8 years later. The only time Gold hardware looks cool is when it has really aged and been played and played a lot like my 1977 Guild X500 in the pic below. Now that is good looking gold. :) 20210201_112736.jpg
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2022
    new6659 and section2 like this.
  7. SAguitar

    SAguitar Synchromatic

    Jan 17, 2020
    Jack Plate, Oregon
    True dat! Once it is pitted, you have actual surface degradation and that is not repairable. Oh well, it is starting the relic process. I'm one of those who don't like the gold plated parts thing. The only one I have is a Gibson B.B. King Lucille and it looks right on that one, but it will never look new again, that's life. I do have some "goldish" parts on my 6120, but they are not gold plated, just Japanese fakery.
  8. Mark W

    Mark W Country Gent

    Jun 6, 2008
    Central Florida
    The corrosion or tarnish on gold plated guitar parts drives me crazy but after purging most of them I find I still have 2 guitars with gold hardware. Alas I have resigned myself to the inevitable.
    peterjh85 and Archtops like this.
  9. Archtops

    Archtops Country Gent

    Mar 4, 2021
    Keep a jewelers rouge cloth on hand to polish things up. Don’t keep the cloth in your case though.
  10. Stefan87

    Stefan87 Country Gent

    May 20, 2019
    Brisbane, Australia
    +1 with the jewelers cloth and a bit of effort, I have the same with my white penguin, most gold parts are fine except the knobs have faded badly, the black penguin is fine though but that one doesn't see as much playing time.

    I'm very fussy with my things and always want them looking new and in great condition, I do struggle with tarnished hardware but at a point I do like the look of worn parts, not heavy reliced or abused but like its been used but loved, so I have just learned to embrace it, have even considered changing all the hardware on both to silver once the gold goes to bad.
    peterjh85 likes this.
  11. peterjh85

    peterjh85 Electromatic

    Dec 16, 2017
    Pacific Northwest
    I’m the same way. I want to keep things looking as new as possible. But I do think the hardware fading, getting dull or hazy isn’t the worst thing I suppose.
    Learning to appreciate it!
    Stefan87 likes this.
  12. loudnlousy

    loudnlousy Gretschified

    Oct 18, 2015
    I used to know a dental laboratory technician who would put some thick goldplating on my hardware.
    After the treatment it lasted for years and years.
    section2 likes this.
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