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Yellow Rusty Frets

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by Growly Lytes, Dec 16, 2012.


  1. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    Hi guys,
    I recently bought a Cort Punisher Bass & disovered that the fret wire was kind of yellow.Most if not all the frets were this colour.So i bought Micro Mesh pads & went at it getting it out.
    It was a success nice shiny silver...But 1 week later i open the case its back on the frets again.
    Yellow like rust but not rough to touch.I did what the store said to do that is....try extra fine steel wool & i had the same effect happen again after a week.
    Does anybody know whats going on here,why are the frets changing colour so fast ?
     
  2. Geroi Asfalta

    Geroi Asfalta

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2011
    Could it be something in the metal? Im a bit curious too. My Patriot has some yellowish rust on and around the upper 7 or 8 frets. It keeps coming back.
     
  3. ampegfuzz

    ampegfuzz Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2007
    Location:
    Davenport, IA
    I would see if you can exchange it for a new bass or write cort and express your issue
     
  4. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    Sounds like an oxide layer is forming on the frets. After you buff off the yellow rust you need to apply a bit of oil like wd-40 to act as a corrosion inhibitor. It sounds like the frets are cheap steel.
     
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  6. WoodyG3

    WoodyG3 Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    I wonder if there is something in the case that is causing some sort of a chemical reaction? I can't imagine what that would be, though.
     
  7. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    Sometimes it can be a reaction to your Sweat/oils or the chemicals from your skin. +1 on a light oil maybe even lemon oil. I also wonder if the humidity is high where you store the bass?
     
  8. Texan

    Texan 667 Neighbor of the Beast. Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2004
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    One other thing, you might try putting a desiccant in the case to help absorb the moisture. I keep a bag of instant rice in my gun cases and it works well.
     
  9. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    I had read this today on TB.
    Some brand new cases give off fumes from the glue used.Also we are in Summer now & its really hot Downunder.Im thinking the fret wire is just really cheap & may get all new frets put in if nothing works.The bass is great just the frets arent.
    Ive opened the case to let it soak up some fresh air.My hands sweat like mad when i play....i cant keep touching up the frets once a week to keep them shiny,thats a chore for gods sake ! It should only have to be done once a year i think.
    Im thinking about taking it back & asking for a new one.
    I used Orange Oil to clean & condition the fretboard could it be the Orange Oil is now coming out of the wood & effecting the frets colour ?I will never use an Orange or Lemon Oil on a bass again thats forsure.
     
  10. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    Both of these points i think are in the ball park !
    Only the other 3 basses that i have (2 Fender Lytes & a Shergold) have never done this & the Fenders are over 10 years old & the Shergold in her 30`s.Shine them once & their great.
    The Cort bass has something going on that i cant work out.
     
  11. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    Leave it out if the case for a week and see what happens. I kinda think it's a glue solvent problem with the tolex and or lining on the case. If sitting out for a week it stops my next move wood to take the case out in the 45 degree outback, leave it open and let it bake whatever fumes are in there out of it.
     
  12. SBassman

    SBassman

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2003
    Location:
    Northeast, US
    Disclosures:
    PiccoBass Dealer
    How old is that bass?

    I have seen this. It's not a rust, it's a smooth tarnish.

    I have seen it on low end basses that had fret wire made of questionable metal.
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Gold Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    no and no.

    keep WD-40 away from your guitar, especially the fretboard.

    real steel frets (stainless, actually) are expensive, not cheap. normal fretwire is made of something called "nickel-silver", sort of a brass alloy.

    +1 more to maybe something in the case "outgassing" and tarnishing up the metal.
     
  14. NYCbassist

    NYCbassist Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Location:
    Mount Airy, North Carolina
    I used to get that on My Warwicks. They use Bell Brass and they would turn green but only on the edges. I just used a microfiber cloth on them by sliding it under the strings and back & Forth. I like Cort basses and don't thing the frets are inferior per say. Could be the orange oil. I've never tried it but I do use lemon oil on my Rosewood boards.
     
  15. awamori

    awamori

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Cort in the past has used monel fretwire that they listed as nickel silver. It's not good metal for frets since it reacts to other metals like iron and zinc in the right conditions. It's also reactive to nitric oxide, sulfur dioxide, nitric acid, nitrous acid, sulfurous acid, hypochlorites, and oxidizing salts(ferric chloride, silver nitrate, cupric nitrate, stannic chloride, and ferric sulfate).

    Some of these are salts are found in certain brands of fretboard conditioners a.k.a "lemon" oil.
     
  16. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    YES ^^
    These basses by Cort only came out about a year ago & im pretty sure the wire they used for these basses is just that 'Low-end'.
    The Axe was first though & i havent heard anything about this problem as of yet.
    Should i try & get the store to replace it or just suck it up & take it on the chin ?
    Ive tried Micro Mesh & then a cream polish & its still comes back very quickly.
    Im dissapointed in the quality of these basses.
     
  17. SBassman

    SBassman

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    Jun 8, 2003
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    Northeast, US
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    PiccoBass Dealer
    I don't think it sounds like a situation where the store would take it back.
    I think your options are - don't worry about it, chalk it up to unique bass mojo :) , or, have the frets replaced.

    If it was me, as long as the tarnish was smooth and not abrasive in any way, I'd just roll with it.
     
  18. Growly Lytes

    Growly Lytes

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2009
    Location:
    Downunder Oz
    Disclosures:
    Bass player
    Guys im sratching my head now !
    I cleaned the frets about 5 days ago BUT left the bass out of the case & ive let the case air too.
    This i havent done before.The frets are keeping their colour now & i cant understand it !
    First time i did this put the bass back in the case right after cleaning the frets & thought great next time it`ll be nice & shiny,smooth but they were always going yellow or rust colour within a week or say 10days it would be full`on.
    Today im thinking i bet their yellow again but the frets havent changed at all since its out of the bag.
    Does somebody actaully know what the hell is happening ?
    Im thinking cause its so hot Downunder Summer the glue or the internal fabric used maybe the coulprit.Im only guessing, i havent played it as of yet,first i wanted to see what happens without the case.
    I havent yet played the bass & it may still be my sweat that reacts with the metal.
    Il report back soon.
    Cheers.
     
  19. 96tbird

    96tbird This Indian movie is really boring man.

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2010
    Location:
    Manitoba, Canada
    What's the best sweat for metal? I had a feeling it was the case. Definitely fumes from something in there.
     
  20. Jay2U

    Jay2U Not as bad as he lóòks Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2010
    Location:
    22 ft below sea level
    Some metals do turn yellowish due to oxidation. This layer of metal oxide protects the material from further oxidation. If it is removed by polishing, a new layer of metal oxide will form. To my opinion it's better to leave this layer on the metal.
     
  21. bolophonic

    bolophonic

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2009
    Location:
    Durham, NC
    Sounds inevitable unless you replace the frets.
     

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