Clear coat to prevent rust?

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by beaglesandbass, Nov 13, 2017.


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  1. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    So I've noticed that on the pickguard screws near the bridge/pickup, there is a good amount of rust. I bought new screws and was wondering if I spray them with clear coat before I put them on the bass, that will prevent rust on them.

    Should work fine, right?
     
  2. It will help, but the act of installing the screws may damage the clear coat. You could also use a small paint brush and coat the installed screws. Paste wax would work. Stainless steel screws won't need any protective coating.
     
    pcake and tlc1976 like this.
  3. 96tbird

    96tbird PLEASE STAND BY

    New Chrome screws shouldn’t rust if you don’t chip the chrome off. Solution: don’t crank hard on them. Use a driver that fits perfectly. Tighten them just snug so as not to mar the chrome plating. Use only two fingers on the driver.

    As suggested above, beeswax would be an excellent extra protection measure.
     
    sissy kathy likes this.
  4. Stumbo

    Stumbo Guest

    Feb 11, 2008
    Rust means moisture on metal. How is your bass getting moisture on it? Maybe a desiccant in the case and wipe down after use may help.
     
  5. Or flat rubber band between screw driver and screw?
     
  6. tlc1976

    tlc1976

    Aug 2, 2016
    Michigan
    Beat me to it, I'd go stainless. Stainless screws do have thread seizing issues in some metal applications, but no issues going into a wood body.
     
  7. beaglesandbass

    beaglesandbass Think first, then post? Staff Member Supporting Member

    Aug 14, 2001
    Philly Suburbs
    I just sweat a lot when I play and don't wipe it off after as many gigs as I should.
     
  8. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    Another vote for stainless.

    18-8 if you want a brushed look or 316 if you want a polished look.
     
  9. Gilmourisgod

    Gilmourisgod

    Jun 23, 2014
    Cape Cod MA
    Ever see a shiny brass door knob with scaly tarnished patches? That’s the laquer worn off, inevitable on any surface that gets touched. Human skin oil is corrosive. Stainless or chrome screws, available in packets on eBay cheap.
     
  10. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Right out of the package, 18-8 (which is effectively 304 alloy) stainless screws are sort of a brushed satin shine. But you can quickly polish up the heads and they will look almost like chrome. Once buffed up, they will stay shiny and look better longer than chromed screws.

    To polish them, clamp the body of the screw in the jaws of a small drill chuck. Then hold it for a few seconds against a spinning buffing wheel, charged with a bit of buffing compound.

    I use stainless screws for all the pickguard, tuner, and strap button screws on the basses I build. They are commonly available and less expensive than chromed screws, and I like them better.

    If you didn't know it, in regular industry terms, pickguard screws are Phillips Oval Head Sheet Metal Screws, usually #3 x 3/8" or #4 x 1/2". Tuner screws are Phillips Pan Head Sheet Metal Screws, #2 x 1/4". Strap button screws are Phillips Oval Head Sheet Metal Screws, #6 x 1 1/2".
     
    tlc1976 and Gilmourisgod like this.
  11. fhm555

    fhm555 So FOS my eyes are brown Supporting Member

    Feb 16, 2011
    I was talking about out of the box. IME with small stainless fasteners, those made from 316 come out of the box already shiny where those made from 18-8 appear to be brushed. I don’t know if it’s the difference in hardness or what, but the 316 screws i get from my usual source (mcmaster carr) have always shined while the 18-8 stuff always appears brushed. I’ve been using stainless on my pickuard and control plate screws since i first gave in to my tinkeritius and took apart that first little MIM J. :D
     
  12. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    Yeah, on most of my basses, I use the common 18-8 screws as they are, the satin sheen. That's basses with satin hardware and an overall wood theme. I like the satin look better on them. I only buff the screws up on basses with the '60's look; gloss finishes, nickel plated hardware, etc.
     
    fhm555 likes this.
  13. Primary

    Primary TB Assistant

    Here are some related products that TB members are talking about. Clicking on a product will take you to TB’s partner, Primary, where you can find links to TB discussions about these products.

     
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