Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

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Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by fish on Sun Jul 10, 2011 4:19 pm

Very Happy The Gold plating on my Prestige wasn't just worn but had stated to corrode, especially the azUsa bridge & swiftlock tailpiece. Having filed out pits on the bridge & tailpiece, then flatted & polished all the components, I took them to be plated, to cut a long story short I decided to have a go at plating them myself.

I used a kit from Gatreros plating on eBay & though I had a problem with nickel plating the die cast, with the help of Gagtros & plenty of patience it all worked out fine.

Unfortunately I can't find all the pics I took at the time but you'll get the idea.................



Here I'd already polished up the rusty pole piece ends in the lath & prepared the tailpiece & bridge,



some of the items ready for plating.



The Gateros kit & the finished items, I found the plating wands a bit poor but that was reflected in the price of the kit, though they did the job having replaced the foam ends & learnt not to let the electrode push through the plastic handle. All in all I was happy with the result & can recommend Gateros as being very helpfull.

Gateros plating site videos, here.

Gatreros kit on the Bay, here.

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by hoax on Sun Jul 10, 2011 5:02 pm


Excellent Mike and thanks for the PM to which I have replied.

The finished results look fantastic!

Hoax

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by Barry on Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:07 pm

hoax wrote:
...The finished results look fantastic!
+1! Nice work!

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by grogg on Mon Jul 11, 2011 3:53 pm

Fantastic job. Was getting someone else to do it very expensive? Its getting the metal smooth enough to plate that puts me off.

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by fish on Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:26 pm

grogg wrote:Fantastic job. Was getting someone else to do it very expensive? Its getting the metal smooth enough to plate that puts me off.

I didn't ask the price grogg but for sure it would have cost more than the kit. The problem I had was getting the plater to do it, he'd had the bits for six weeks. Another problem was, though pretty well all the plated component on guitars are die cast, in production the plater knows what type of pot metal they're dealing with, the guy I dealt with wasn't happy when I asked him if they could guaranty not to damage the bridge & tailpiece. Some types of pot metal have been known to dissolve in immersion plating What a Face

In this case, I had to file a lot off the tailpiece & bridge to get down to good metal, the saddle adjusting screw head holes in the bridge were now very close to the top face & I didn't want them to brake through, on top of that were do you get another, unless Ice Cool gets his finger out.

I see a guy on the Guitar Gallery site says he's going to get round to make some using sand castings, quite the wrong way to do it these days.

As for polishing, flatting with fine wet & dry paper then finishing off with a mop & polishing compo, isn't a problem. I use industrial mops in my lathe on a high speed but you'll find the amateur type mops found on eBay will do the job, using an electric drill in a stand. Other than that if you want to use a bit of elbow grease, I sometimes use a reasonable sized rubber pencil eraser I have & T Cut or any motor paintwork cutting cream, some times using the the back of the wet & dry paper around it for a better cut, Small bits as on guitars come up well quite quickly Very Happy

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by grogg on Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:18 pm

Ok, now youve got me on the hook, whats "mop & polishing compo", I can guess but better spelt out for me.

Secondly, "a reasonable sized rubber pencil eraser" and "some times using the the back of the wet & dry paper around it for a better cut...."

How to get into the nooks and crannies???

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by fish on Tue Jul 12, 2011 1:22 pm

grogg wrote:Ok, now youve got me on the hook, whats "mop & polishing compo", I can guess but better spelt out for me.

Secondly, "a reasonable sized rubber pencil eraser" and "some times using the the back of the wet & dry paper around it for a better cut...."

How to get into the nooks and crannies???

There aren't many nooks & cranny's on guitar components, what there are you can work the polishing mop into, where you can't get in, probably wasn't polished anyway, take the saddle slots in the long travel bridge for instance. Other bits may benefit from a rub with a burnisher (any polished steel item, like the back of a spoon handle or something modified to get into a particular place.

Polishing mop & compo, here.

As for my rubber, any firm'ish small rubber block will do, the one I use for these small jobs is about 60 x 45 x 10mm but that's only because its to hand. Used with worn wet & dry paper, worn maybe from flatting out the deeper scratches, or rub two pieces together. I find rather than having a load of different grads of paper, 3M 1000 grit dose the job. I even use the plain side/back of the wet & dry paper with paint cutting polish when getting down to a finish, or even (depending on the rubber) just the rubber used with the cutting polish.

Wet & dry paper, here.

Needless to say, scratches in the lacquer on the body of the guitar can be dealt with in the same way, it's amazing how deep the lacquer is on Westone's though you need to be careful not to go through it.

There are no end of ways to polish metal or paint/lacquer finishes, you can use a compound head or a paint polishing bonnet on a hand held polishing machine they're all available on eBay but the above is the methods I use on my axe's.

Or of course, you could get a life Very Happy

PS, as you said grogg, there are worse thing we could do with our time.

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by grogg on Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:36 pm

Hey Fish,
Thanks for the advice, I do have the mop stuff for steel which was bought to repair my crashed bike, its sold now.
Guess I need to get similar but for softer materials, I have used a few of the techniques you describe on wood finishes, experimentation at the time on my part which worked better than I thought. Difficulty is getting flatness over a larger surface, advice here would be great..
Anyway onto the next thing, plating..

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

Post by jim on Tue Jul 12, 2011 6:13 pm

Nice Fish! You did it! Great job! Thanks for sharing!

I ran into some video's lately of a Japanese gentleman who does repairs it deals solely with acoustics however.
It consists of a lot video's where he's doing refretting, glueing broken headstocks, toushing up finishes (different finish from the Mats electric guitars! But still..) etc.
One of the projects is a Westone W-40 eg Allthough it is strictly about acoustic guitars,
well worth a visit : A Japanese craftsman. http://www.youtube.com/user/shambliss :

Cheers

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Re: Gold plating my Prestige 250 bits

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