Case hardened bridge, etc, tuner color?

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Muttly, Feb 16, 2020.

  1. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Screenshot_20200216-134408_Gallery.jpg

    Slowly putting this guitar together, it has taken a few twists and turns since seeing a body on Ebay, gettin the hairball idea to grab cheap parts and slap it together..
    Things have been clicking along in a mostly linear fashion, neck from Warmoth matches well with the body. Glendale bridge, control plate, knobs, etc, got sent off for color case hardening, survived the process and like the way they look!
    Have Glendale saddles inbound, Spanish set, lightly aged steel..
    The tuners... Schaller M6 minis..looked a fair bit darker in the online pics..the dark chrome ones..
    Bit too shiny for the rest of the hardware, I think..
    Might be over thinking this..
    Anyhoo..
    Two ideas, one, could try to case harden the tuners, see if they survive the process.. for some reason, don't think they will. If anybody knows anything about the internals, would appreciate any info!!..
    And the second, more probable course, likely be to just order up a set of the black chrome tuners. With the thought to run those through a case cleaner, knock some of the shiny new look off em, with any luck, be a closer match in appearance to the saddles..
    Any thoughts or ideas would be greatly appreciated!
     
  2. Macrogats

    Macrogats Friend of Leo's

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    I would go for the aged chrome look. Just think black would detract from the cool look you got there. Love that body!

    Sorry, can’t help you with the ageing process.
     
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  3. E-miel

    E-miel Tele-Meister

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    I did a similar thing last year. Aging tele parts like that. I also wanted to do the tuners but failed spectacularly. The cast aluminium tuners just melted.

    What's on your workbench today?
     
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  4. cyclopean

    cyclopean Friend of Leo's

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    did that get set on fire?
     
  5. E-miel

    E-miel Tele-Meister

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    Yes, but in a very controlled way ;)
     
  6. Deeve

    Deeve Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Apologies for my ignorance associated w/ this question, but aside from the potentially appealing aesthetic side effect, how does case-hardening improve a set of tuners?
    Or a bridge plate?

    This is a genuine, respectful question, not trolling.

    Peace - Deeve
     
  7. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Love it, ignorance is an easy fix, I have all kinds of questions about laquer, spraying, sanding, etc.
    Anyhoo, color case hardening, in this case purely aesthetics. A regular chrome or nickel finish would be just as, or probably more durable/ low maintenance. A hard chrome finish would be tougher still. But mostly unnecessary, at least for me..
    And truth to be told, the case hardened bridge will probably have a mark, or scuffage from the heel of my hand resting on it sooner or later.
     
  8. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I think there might be a mis-perception about the "case-hardening" process :).

    True case-hardening introduces additional carbon during a heat treatment process to create a harder "skin" on low carbon steel.

    On the Tele hardware it looks like heat was applied but no additional carbon was added.

    It appears that it was just heated enough to bring out the oxides which will present the color variations that you see.

    The tuners might have nylon bushings or some similar plastic in them.

    Heat might wreck them ;).
     
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  9. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Charcoal process with these ones, lower heat, more decorative than protective I believe..
    The tuners, Schaller M6, have a little nylon bushing and a couple skinny metal washers that you can pull if you change the tuner buttons. Not sure if there are any nylon internals. They are supposed to be lubricated internally, would think almost think heating em up might bake that off.
    Only one way to find out for sure, unfortunately..
     
  10. 10orgtr

    10orgtr Tele-Meister

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    You might want to rethink the possibility of case hardening the tuners. To my knowledge case hardening only works on steel and diecast tuner housings are usually aluminum or pot metal.
    Cheers,
    Woody
     
  11. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I might, if it was me, contact a vendor such as hipshot and ask about the components specifically that are available and what they are made of. I like the case hardened look. Where did you get that done at, and how much was the cost?
     
  12. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    First step was tracking down unplated parts, then checked with Doug Turnbull to see if he would be willing to do that. Rounded up the parts, sent em off to Turnbull Restoration.
    Take a peek at his site, he does rifles, revolvers, etc, and turns em into functional art!
     
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  13. Meteorman

    Meteorman Tele-Holic

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    i predict the faux case hardening will compromise a tuner unless you completely disassemble it and cook only the housing and the button.
    Even then I'd worry about warping and the housing clearances.
    Interested is seeing what happens with your experiment.
     
  14. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    Doesn't seem to be any getting around the probability of cooking the tuners if I try any heat..
    Switching gears slightly, got some nickel tuners en route. Little harder to track down than I,d prefer, but it,ll work. I think.

    Everything I,m seeing suggests it,ll be a lot easier to gently relic nickel than fight with chrome.
    Good thing there is no deadline or definite time frame on this thing. Quite the little project for a guy with the patience of a 3 year old..
     
  15. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Man, I'm so not into guns really, but some of the stuff that Turnbull is doing is definitely art...beautiful stuff, beautiful woodwork and beautiful metal work.

    incredible
     
  16. MickM

    MickM Friend of Leo's Platinum Supporter

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    There is nobody more knowledgeable about case hardening than Turnbull and nobody does nicer work. I recently sold an old Model 92 Winchester that he restored and still own one of his Colt Single Action Army revolvers with a case hardened frame that is beautifully colored.

    How 'bout somebody do a Tele with a hand checkered walnut body and case colored hardware like a nice old rifle.
     
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  17. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    I do have some French Red stock filler and stain inbound, for a walnut stock.
    Think I am too old and shaky to tackle checkering, but the color of his stocks is definitely something else!
     
  18. Muttly

    Muttly TDPRI Member Silver Supporter

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    So back to the tuners, didn't seem likely they were gonna survive heat treatment, rounded up nickel plated tuners instead of the chrome's.
    Figure I can try to relic those a wee bit, take the shine down a bit, get the em closer to the saddles..
     
  19. Daniel Fairly

    Daniel Fairly TDPRI Member

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    You might be able to hit them with a torch for a second to get some color...

    Good stuff on the case hardening, I'm a full time knifemaker and have wanted to try that.
     
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