Can A Powder-Coating Place Refinish My Hardware?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by HubbardsFate, May 14, 2017.

  1. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    Hello TBers,

    Recently received this bass via a Reverb transaction.

    The bridge and tuners are, as far as I can tell, perfectly functional, but have definitely lost some of their luster over the years.

    I'm not in a panic about it, but, I am definitely contemplating eventually replacing the hardware, OR, maybe (hopefully) a more cost-effective solution - getting the existing hardware refinished?

    If I were to go with that second option, can anyone tell me what type of business might be able to provide that service? A powder-coating outfit perhaps?

    I would think that this would be a cheaper solution than replacing altogether (especially since I think I'd be going with Hipshot stuff if I were to go the replacement route), and less hassle in the sense that I of course KNOW that this existing hardware will fit this bass, no drilling of new holes, etc.


    Attached Files:

  2. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Find a business that does chroming and other finishes for cars,boats and other modes of transportation.

    Visit an auto paint store and check out what they recommend.
    HubbardsFate likes this.
  3. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I don't see anything obviously wrong with the hardware.
    Just take it all off & soak it in vinegar overnight, then brush them up (while they're wet) the next day.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
  5. Gilmourisgod


    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    I had some boat hardware re-chromed, took a couple months because they do them in batches, they wait until they have enough pieces to them in one job.
  6. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    Yeah, I could have taken closer-up pics I suppose...this hardware is far from the worst I have ever laid eyes on in terms of corrosion/dullness, but could definitely use some TLC.

    I've actually thought about the soaking-in-vinegar thing, and will likely give that a try before taking it to a chrome or powder-coating place or whatnot.

    Thanks for the suggestions so far! :thumbsup: :cool:
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  7. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    Grumry likes this.
  8. Geri O

    Geri O Endorsing Artist, Mike Lull Guitars and Basses Gold Supporting Member

    Sep 6, 2013
    Florence, MS
    Several years ago, I took 9 mic stands to a powder-coating facility in out city. They were functional, but looked pretty bad. As it turns out, we would need to have 25 or so stands treated to make the cost less than buying new stands.

    Don't know how it works with chrome plating or anodizing, but it's probably similar. Better if you can get it done in a batch.

    If it were me (and I'm about to tackle just such a project for a friend's Yamaha RBX 6-string. For $225, I can replace the bridge, tuners, and 5 control knobs with brand new pieces. Gonna go that route.
  9. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    why bother?

    this is not an expensive bass, a bit of age and wear is appropriate, and new parts will just get worn-looking again, especially gold. sinking $200 into replacing/plating those parts won't even help with resale value.

    if they're working, clean 'em up and keep on rocking.

    (if you just gotta sink some money into it, consider better pickups and electronics, that'll actually accomplish something. still won't help with resale value though.)
  10. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    I just had the bridge off my SRX last week & I totally could have soaked it in something
    it's not filthy, but it's not exactly clean either
  11. powder coat is thick and won't likely work for the small pieces. Re chroming will likely cost more than just replacing with new parts.

    I would recommend just getting new parts.
  12. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    Bridge, tuning machines, and associated screws are sitting in vinegar as we "speak"...

    Tomorrow after work I'll take 'em out, dry 'em as best I can (paper towel or whatever), then likely place 'em in the furnace room for several hours to hopefully make sure anything left over evaporates out of/off of those pieces.

    Then I'll probably spray the whole works with WD-40, wipe that off, and let it all air dry again prior to reinstalling.

    Funny side note: after removing the strings and all this hardware, the damn nut popped off :roflmao: - That would probably make a lot of people angry, but in my case it's a bit of a positive - the B-string slot is so rough-looking that I was thinking the nut would need replacing anyways...the fact that it wasn't solidly glued on actually saved me the trouble of trying to remove it without causing damage to anything! :cigar:

    (I'll be hitting the brick n' mortars early this week to see what, if anything, I can find...if nothing pans out that way, I might order a nut, or nut blank, directly from Graph Tech...but feel free to throw suggestions my way...):whistle:
    Last edited: May 14, 2017
    Killed_by_Death likes this.
  13. Killed_by_Death

    Killed_by_Death Snaggletooth Inactive

    if there's anything remaining, scrub it off while they're still wet, dipping the brush in the vinegar
    HubbardsFate likes this.
  14. HubbardsFate


    Oct 18, 2006
    Just for clarification, yeah - I have decided against taking this stuff anywhere for refinishing. I'll clean it up as best I can put it all back on, and see what transpires.

    My second option will be to go with new hardware, even if I don't necessarily NEED it...might take it on as a project at some point. Especially if she turns out to be problematic RE: staying in tune. I'm hoping that won't be the case, but you never know.

    The other four basses I own are essentially flawless, and my attitude with those is "if they ain't broke, don't fix 'em", but yeah, this ol' girl needs a bit of work, and I am fine with that - I've been wanting to get more involved with this sort of thing for awhile. It could be awhile down the road yet, but I might at some point start seeking out cheap beater basses for upgrading/project purposes...
    Stumbo and Geri O like this.
  15. walterw

    walterw Supportive Fender Commercial User

    Feb 20, 2009
    not at all, in fact any replacement would need real work by a pro to shape and fit right.

    best just glue the original back on; a couple tiny drops of superglue is all you need.
  16. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    I think I would try a little Simichrome polish and a clean soft rag. Works great on motorcycle chrome - and nickel, too. Even takes the blueing off bike exhaust pipes...:thumbsup:
  17. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
    The gold plating is too thin, polish will take it off pretty quick.
    wcriley likes this.
  18. GIBrat51

    GIBrat51 Innocent as the day is long Supporting Member

    Is it gold? Hard to tell from the pictures... but, Simichrome isn't very abrasive. I'd try a test spot, and see how it goes. If the hardware is that funky looking already, what's the harm? :eyebrow:
  19. wcriley


    Apr 5, 2010
    Western PA
    Saw this first hand back in the 70s when I sold a Firebird VII. New owner tried to polish the gold plating and ended up with bare nickel pickup covers.