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Post new topic Machinist, “What type of metal are these pieces made of?"
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Author Topic:  Machinist, “What type of metal are these pieces made of?"
Paul Brockett


From:
Connecticut, USA
Post Posted 9 May 2017 7:11 am     Reply with quote

The picture below shows two scissor mechanisms. One from a Sho-Bud guitar and the other from a Fender 400. I know there are many machinists here on the forum and I would like to ask them, “What, exactly are these pieces made of?”
They feel like steel but they don’t seem to rust easily.
I’ve researched the archives and found information on what the tops of the fingers are routinely made of but not the rest.
Thank you in advance. Paul


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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 9 May 2017 7:37 am     Reply with quote

almost certainly steel of some sort....mild steel most likely. Check with a magnet if the attraction is there but not super strong, they're likely some grade of stainless (yes some of it magnetic and some of it will rust). If there is no magnetic attraction it'll most likely be some stainless alloy or other.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 9 May 2017 7:46 am     Reply with quote

Galvanized steel, perhaps, with rust occurring where the zinc went away? The other steel in a Bud got zinced (zunc?)
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Ross Shafer


From:
Petaluma, California
Post Posted 9 May 2017 7:52 am     Reply with quote

oops, yes Lane is correct, there's some sort of plating there as well.

Last edited by Ross Shafer on 10 May 2017 5:56 am; edited 1 time in total
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Paul Redmond


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 9 May 2017 7:32 pm     Reply with quote

Those seem to be mild steel which has first been carburized, then galvanized. Those Fender parts are rock hard.
PRR
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Paul Brockett


From:
Connecticut, USA
Post Posted 10 May 2017 10:45 am     Galvanized sheet metal it is! Reply with quote

Thank you for your responses. As soon as I read your posts a light went on.
I ordered the material from Mcmaster-Carr and was able to mock up a serviceable finger for my fender 400. The picture is the first one I cut out. I’m sure I can get it much closer with some practice. Still this part will make music. Thanks again, Paul


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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 10 May 2017 4:41 pm     Machinist :What type of metal are these pieces madew of Reply with quote

I may be late. Been off a few days.
It looks simuliar to galvanize, But it does not have the blotchy pattern of galvanize. There is a coating called Cadmium, It is in the family with galvanize. It is applied by eletro plating. Either to the sheet of metal, Or to the part once made. It has a smoother finish than galvanize. Many bolts and chains and hardware are Cadmium plated. They look good, But will rust if not protected.
The metal its self could be rolled mild steel. A magnet would tell.

Good Looking duplicate copy you made.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 10 May 2017 10:48 pm     Reply with quote

At Performance Guitars, we used some cadmium plating. Not healthy to breath though.
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Paul Brockett


From:
Connecticut, USA
Post Posted 11 May 2017 3:48 am     Electroplating makes a lot of sense. Reply with quote

Thanks again for the replies.

I fully agree; the look of the galvanized metal is different than the look of the original pieces.

Electroplating makes a lot of sense.

Does anyone know if the original parts were stamped out at a factory? Also, would the same factory that stamped the parts, (if that’s what they did) would they have applied the Cadmium coating?

For the record, the original pieces I have are easily attracted to a magnet.

Maybe someone in future years will find this post useful when they need to create a one off piece like I did.
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Bob Guichard


From:
Texas, USA
Post Posted 11 May 2017 4:06 pm     Reply with quote

This finish is electroplated zinc, not to be confused with galvanizing which is a form of zinc coating but does not look anything like this. If interested the ASTM Specification B633-13 gives a good overview of the process. Cadmium has been virtually removed from industry due to its toxicity and is fairly nasty stuff. It has been relegated to specially applications primarily in the aerospace industry. If you plate with cadmium plan on becoming very familiar with your local EPA rep.
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