Remove tarnish on recovered guitar

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by Alcohen, Jun 14, 2018.

  1. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    What's the best way to remove tarnish from the hardware on a guitar that's been sitting in a garage for a long time? It's appears to be in pretty good shape otherwise, but all the metal is tarnished. As a bonus a got a box full of old Guitar Player magazines to leaf through!
     
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  2. drmmrr55

    drmmrr55 Tele-Holic

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    I'd try Simichrome polish. It worked wonders for tarnish on aluminum and chrome on my old motorcycle.
    Simichrome-TUBE-50G-Metal-Polish-Tube_330x280.jpg
     
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  3. Bones

    Bones Telefied Ad Free Member

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    post a pic of what you are trying to clean up.
     
  4. john_cribbin

    john_cribbin Tele-Afflicted

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    giphy.gif
     
  5. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    Every bit of metal in the guitar to some extent or another. Hope these pics come through, never did this before.

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  6. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Polish the frets and just play the guitar. A lot of that is not ever gonna look new again.
     
  7. scottser

    scottser Friend of Leo's

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    Are the pots, switch and jack ok?
     
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  8. beagle

    beagle Friend of Leo's

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    That's what I would do too.
     
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  9. ale.istotle

    ale.istotle Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I would need to clean that up a bit. Scotch-brite light duty white pad would be good enough for me. If I was really motivated might polish with dremel tool and car compound or polish similar to what drmmrr55 posted.
    I'd probably take the bridge apart to get to the plate. Would not worry about getting into the humbucker pole piece screw slots. Now, the rusty pole-pieces on the single coils - they are bothering me all the way over here on the east coast. If you clean those please post pics so I can relax.

    On the other hand if you are someone who likes patina just play it and the stuff you touch will get 'honest wear' through the oxidation.
     
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  10. kanegon

    kanegon Tele-Meister

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    Are you kidding? That’s patina and mojo money can’t buy. Leave it, but if you must, try Flitz.
     
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  11. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    Some of that is pitted and it is just gonna look like someone "tried" to clean it. Let it be.

    People pay big money for things that have an aged look and theirs don't look at honest as yours.

    Dremel tools, polishing compounds, scotch brite pads are all abrasives and are all gonna make matters worse by sanding off what is left.
    Flitz might help but I wouldn't mess with it.

    .
     
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  12. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    Dod NOT try to remove tarnish from the pickup poles - you can screw them up. Just carefully treat covers. And don't rub anything in to the inner workings of the tuners. Metal polisjh will gum things up. After polishing flush them with naphtha and then lube with dry Teflon lube.

    Not all of it is goin o go away as others have mentioned. I would suggest having a tech do the frets, as they will probably need leveling/crowning after the tarnish/pits are removed.

    I prefer Flitz metal polish on nickel and chrome.

    Did you store them like this? If so please don't do it again. Garage storage is a good way to ruin nice guitars.
     
  13. Big E Folsom

    Big E Folsom TDPRI Member

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    Polish the frets,thats it!
     
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  14. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Leave the tuners they're supposed to look like that. Sorry about he pickup cover but to remove the rust you'd probably have to desolder the cover, immerse it in electrolyte and apply a current to it to use electrolysis to remove the rust - Dan Erlewine at Stewart MacDonald has some videos on how to do it but it's really a procedure meant for preserving valuable vintage pieces. I've tried to polish too many old pieces like that and they now look worse.

    So okay, you're not going to be able to keep yourself from trying, and you probably already tried something. So here's the next step: some Brasso wadding polish might make sense, but be very careful about your end game - I'd stop as soon as the green gunk is off of there and do not go any further or try to make anything shine.

    As for the bridge, I might be tempted to clean gently with a rag and soft toothbrush and some pump-spray polish, nothing abrasive. Soak some penetrating oil on those grub screws for the saddle height adjustment and that might help clean some of the gunk off of there. But I wouldn't try to remove/restore any of the patina or tarnish.

    Just remove the dirt and play the heart out of that guitar.
     
  15. kanegon

    kanegon Tele-Meister

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    Is it a Robin Ranger? Always wanted one, or the Wrangler...
     
  16. Finck

    Finck Tele-Afflicted

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    A lot of people could kill to have that patina...
     
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  17. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Look up my thread about sweet sixteen tele I rescued. Shows before/after using a Jay Leno antique car trick of vinegar and aluminum foil. As others said treat the pickups gently.
     
  18. R. Stratenstein

    R. Stratenstein Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I’ve used this stuff on all kinds of metal, it’s gentle and non-abrasive, you just pull off a small,piece of the wadding which is impregnated with cleaning stuff. And rub it on the metal. But as others have said, I’d clean up the frets and leave the rest of it. Never-Dull won’t hurt the fretboard finish, but I’d have a clean, soft towel to shine up the frets, and remove the never-dull residue from everything.

    https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000CNBI1A/?tag=tdpri-20

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  19. Alcohen

    Alcohen Tele-Meister

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    Yup, Robin Ranger Custom, good eye. I left it at the ex's when we broke up, it's been in her garage for a few years. I bought it new but never bonded with it and bought my Tele soon after. I'll take another run at it and if I still don't love it I'll put it up for sale (hence my question). Looks like they have some value these days.

    Thanks, all, for the helpful suggestions.
     
  20. OneHenry

    OneHenry Tele-Holic

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    Seeing that can of Nevr-Dull brought back a lot of memories of using it when I was in the Air Force. I also used a lot of Brasso, but Brasso left a nasty residue if you didn't get it polished off immediately after putting it on. Brasso was especially messy if there were cracks and crevices or some sort of engraving.
     
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