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Author Topic:  Cleaning Metal
Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 3:23 am     Reply with quote

I am refurbishing a Dekley. It's my fall "therapy project": life stressing me out? go polish thirty bellcranks! It played perfectly fine when I acquired it, but looked old and dirty underneath, and I suspected pretty strongly it had never been given a proper bath. Aside from the requisite stripped allen screws needing special attention, everything came out easily.

I have already cleaned one changer. it was not too bad: I suspect it had not been lubed in a lonnnng time; not gunky, just tacky to the touch. I soaked it in Oil Eater, which did what its name implies. But here's a question: when I see pics on the Forum of changer parts that others have cleaned, they look absolutely brand new. Whenever I clean them with a non-toxic product like Oil Eater (or dish soap, which I really think works about as well on many parts) they are "clean," but still display a fair amount of discoloration on things like the steel raise- and lower-fingers. Would using something like Naphta take off that discoloration? I am hesitant to get into solvents that create disposal hassles, but would do it if I new this was going to remove that discoloration. And October would be the right month to work outside with these materials.

All of this begs the question of why I care about the appearance of a part that can't be seen when the steel is reassembled, so long as it is clean, lubed, and functioning properly. I guess I'm thinking it might also be better for cleaning up those 30 bellcranks than my sanding and polishing method. (Of course then, how will I reduce stress this fall?)

Last question: when I sand off the white oxidation crud on the bellcranks and crossshafts (Oil Eater doesn't touch that stuff), am I removing some manufactured-in protective coating? Making it look spiff only to have it corrode faster down the line?

Thanks.
Dan
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Jack Stoner


From:
Inverness, Fl
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 5:36 am     Reply with quote

When I cleaned the changer in my Franklin the changer parts did not come completely clean. There is discoloration still left but I don't think it will really matter (three months after the cleaning/oiling/reassembly it hasn't mattered).

Naptha didn't really do much for my changer parts. Even after soaking in Naptha for an hour it had no affect. Carburetor cleaner and a soft wire brush was the best.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 11:53 am     Reply with quote

If the white stuff on the crossrods is actually Cadmium plating, probably best not to fool with it, as it's quite toxic/cancer causing. You might take them outside on a windy day, wear a GOOD filter mask and rubber gloves, old clothes, and toss everything when you're done using 0000 steel wool.
I'd probably just wipe them down with lacquer thinner, and spray a thin coat of aluminum paint, or whatever, over them.
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"74 Bud S-10 3&6
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 12:06 pm     Reply with quote

I hope not: I've already sanded clean two Dekley's and a Sho Bud with this stuff in the past. Anyway it is pretty cruddy and irregular looking, so I don't think it was put on there purposefully.

you can see it on the knee lever attachment and, to some extent, the cross shaft in this pic. (Ignore the "M": not sure how that got there!)




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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 12:17 pm     Reply with quote

I can't tell fur shure what it is. Ricky might know. You could send him a PM. Coop wouldn't use Cad. He used chrome, even though it's more expensive.



_________________
Dr. Z Surgical Steel amp, amazing!
"74 Bud S-10 3&6
'73 Bud S-10 3&5(under construction)
'63 Fingertip S-10, at James awaiting 6 knees
'57 Strat, LP Blue
'91 Tele with 60's Maple neck
Dozen more guitars!
Dozens of amps, but SF Quad reverb, Rick Johnson cabs. JBL 15, '64 Vibroverb for at home.
'52 and '56 Pro Amps
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 7 Oct 2017 12:22 pm     Reply with quote

Cad isn't smooth and glossy like chrome. It's dull, and sorta whitish.
_________________
Dr. Z Surgical Steel amp, amazing!
"74 Bud S-10 3&6
'73 Bud S-10 3&5(under construction)
'63 Fingertip S-10, at James awaiting 6 knees
'57 Strat, LP Blue
'91 Tele with 60's Maple neck
Dozen more guitars!
Dozens of amps, but SF Quad reverb, Rick Johnson cabs. JBL 15, '64 Vibroverb for at home.
'52 and '56 Pro Amps
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Jim Sliff


From:
Lawndale California, USA
Post Posted 11 Oct 2017 9:00 pm     Reply with quote

Is it plated steel, or stainless, or aluminum? Normally white rust appears on aluminum, especially where aluminum is in contact with any other metal - it's a reaction that is essentially a battery - electron flow - between dissimilar metals. Especially withaluminum it's best to use rubber or plastic spaces between parts are coat threaded areas to keep them apart.

Removing it without excessive pitting usually takes light to medium abrasion with various grades of 3M-type pads.

Naphtha is always safe to use and leaves no residue, but it's best for grease, oils, sticker adhesives and other petroleum-based crud removal (including dirt-caked oil/grease). It'll help clean up aftert eh white rust is removed.

If it is corrosion on aluminum be careful - most compounds made to take white rust/oxidation off of aluminum will also leave pits in it. And never use a cleaner that contains ammonia around aluminum - ammonia attacks it.
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Lane Gray


From:
Topeka, KS
Post Posted 12 Oct 2017 8:04 am     Reply with quote

My codriver suggests an overnight bath in CLR.
Or some jeweler's rouge on a felt wheel.
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2017 12:01 pm     Reply with quote

Word from Jim Smith is that the whitish coloring is indeed cadmium. I won't be sanding this stuff anymore(!), and I'd advise no one else do so either. I looked it up and JB is right about its toxicity. I never suffered any immediate ill effects on the last two Dekley's I refurbed. (Hope the carcinogenic part doesn't get me down the road.) Jim also thinks any other similar looking steel pieces are probably galvanized with cadmium as well. He recommends using silver or aluminum spray paint to touch them up if necessary.

Question (in case anyone knows): were the old sho-bud racks (or "baskets") galvanized with this too?

And here I thought I was avoiding danger by staying away from toxic solvents and power tools. Oy!
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John N Norris


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2017 12:06 pm     Cleaning metal Reply with quote

If that is Aluminum. Your crud on the metal is electrilitical corrosion. It would have to be ground off and would probably render the parts useless. I am speaking from just shy of 50 years in the aircraft business. 32 years of that was a a Machinist, the rest as a machine parts Inspector. I hope this helps. May not be what you wanted to hear.
John Norris
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John N Norris


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 14 Oct 2017 12:21 pm     Cleaning metal Reply with quote

If that is Aluminum. Your crud on the metal is electrilitical corrosion. It would have to be ground off and would probably render the parts useless. I am speaking from just shy of 50 years in the aircraft business. 32 years of that was a a Machinist, the rest as a machine parts Inspector. I hope this helps. May not be what you wanted to hear.
John Norris
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Justin Brown


From:
Chicago, Illinois, USA
Post Posted 16 Oct 2017 5:11 am     Reply with quote

I’m curious: why would they have used cadmium here? Besides being toxic and prone to unsightly corrosion, seems like plating these parts would have added an additional cost to manufacturing.
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Dan Beller-McKenna


From:
Durham, New Hampshire, USA
Post Posted 16 Oct 2017 6:28 am     Reply with quote

I think it was intended to prevent rust (which it did). I know that at least one other builder (Ernie Ball) used it; I'm guessing there might be others as well. It seems to have been a "thing" back then.
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John Billings


From:
Ohio, USA
Post Posted 16 Oct 2017 10:08 am     Reply with quote

Yeah, rust preventative, and way cheaper than chrome,
_________________
Dr. Z Surgical Steel amp, amazing!
"74 Bud S-10 3&6
'73 Bud S-10 3&5(under construction)
'63 Fingertip S-10, at James awaiting 6 knees
'57 Strat, LP Blue
'91 Tele with 60's Maple neck
Dozen more guitars!
Dozens of amps, but SF Quad reverb, Rick Johnson cabs. JBL 15, '64 Vibroverb for at home.
'52 and '56 Pro Amps
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John Brock


From:
Xenia, Ohio
Post Posted 16 Oct 2017 11:29 am     Reply with quote

Carboureter cleaner.....the old suff.
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