Relicing a bridge plate and finding copper beneath chrome

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Jackroadkill, Jul 19, 2019.

  1. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    Hi all,

    I'm hoping you might have some knowledge of relicing and be able to answer a question for me.

    I'm planning to use ferric chloride to weather a Fender Tele bridge plate, and decided to to a practise run on a cheapo Squier plate that I had lying around. The ferric chloride stripped the chrome off really well, but underneath there appears to be a layer of copper (presumably part of the electro-plating process).

    The big question is, will I find this on the Fender plate too?

    Any help or advice will be gratefully received.

    Thanks,

    JRK
     
  2. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Is that copper or brass?
     
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  3. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Usually find copper or zinc plating under chrome.
     
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  4. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    Definitely copper. Might have to soak the bridge in vinegar or something too.
     
  5. strat a various

    strat a various Friend of Leo's

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    Mmm, that sounds good.
     
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  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

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    Watch out for build up of toxic fumes.
     
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  7. schmee

    schmee Poster Extraordinaire

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    That indicates a good chrome job, so I would guess you will.
     
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  8. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    A bit chewy, though.

    - D
     
  9. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    Yes, that's been my experience with Fender stuff: copper beneath chrome plating. I ran into that on a Fender Pure Vintage Telecaster neck pickup cover.
     
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  10. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    Thanks for the tips, lads.
     
  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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  12. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    What did you do about the copper?
     
  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Are you relicing or trying to remove the plating?

    Relicing should just weather the chrome a bit. How long did you leave it? Submerged or fumes?
     
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  14. Jackroadkill

    Jackroadkill Tele-Meister

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    Just trying to age it without letting the copper show through too much. I had another go and found that submersion for a bit less time seems to work ok.
     
  15. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    As referenced above you want to be using the fumes rather than submersing the parts in acid if you are shooting for natural aging. Submersing it will give the lost at sea for 50 years and barnacle damaged look. Chrome is a little harder to achieve natural looking results than nickel.
     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  16. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Yes. Good description. Elevate your item in a container with a lid. That'll knock back the finish subtly.

    I'd use a good respirator too without fail, even outside. Those fumes will take your breath away for good.
     
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  17. Chunkocaster

    Chunkocaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    I watched a video of it years ago by a guy called Billy Penn? before attempting it myself. Its on YouTube and shows what to do in detail. Worked great for me. I think chrome took several 20 min sweats and then rinse before you think its done, nickel took a few 10 min sweat sessions then rinse when you think it's not quite done. The nickel turned out perfect, lightly aged grey looking with no spots. The chrome reacts weird and turns blue, yellow looking but settles down to have a slight rust tint to it. The fumes will strip the chrome off if you leave it too long.

    Here's the Pennaliser to fill you in on the fine details.:)

     
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2019
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  18. Paul G.

    Paul G. Friend of Leo's

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    Chrome on steel usually goes over copper plating. It gives added corrosion resistance, fill in any imperfections and helps with adhesion. The copper is polished, then chrome plated.

    Sometimes chrome goes over nickel.
     
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity Vendor Member

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    the reason for the copper is. . . Chrome does not adhere to raw steel... but it "sticks" superbly to copper .. Problem.. copper doesn't "like" steel much either... but it loves Nickel.... thus the "triple plated" process... Nickel loves steel.. so it's a applied first, then the copper, which will stick to nickel... and finally a copper film is applied because it sticks to nickel and Chrome sticks to it...

    Now. careful. Muriatic acid will dissolve the Chrome at light steel... try it .. the chrome will disappear faster than the light can be carried to your eyes... (not really) but fast non the less.... Copper is much less reactive,, so it will hang in there for considerably longer... same with Nickel...

    So just be careful with whatever you're doing... sometimes the info on You Tube, isn't all that it could bre..

    fk
     
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  20. theprofessor

    theprofessor Friend of Leo's

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    I just left it alone. I relic'd the pickup cover with 600-grit sandpaper, and the copper shows through just a bit on one edge of the pickup cover.
     
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