steal wool and my stingray

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by JJd2sc, Nov 23, 2003.

  1. JJd2sc


    Jul 31, 2003
    Marietta, Georgia
    I just took steal wool to rub off the amazing amounts of rust of my 83 ray, first off, was this a bad idea that can damage the pickup? Secondly now there are little bits of steal attached to the magnetic pickups, what do i do? :(
  2. steel wool + pickups = BAD!

    For one thing, its hard to get off, and 2nd, I heard it can actully damage the pickup, can someone confirm this?
  3. You might try "Scotch" tape. press it on the pick up and see if the filings come off when you pull it off. Compressed air is a last resort, it is dangerous, you might get filings in you eyes and other places you don't want them. Don't try solvents, they won't work in this case, you will have to physically remove the filings from the magnets. Be resourceful and inventive, you will overcome the dilema.

    Good luck, John
  4. pilotjones

    pilotjones Supporting Member

    Nov 8, 2001
    As far as I know the steel wool is bad because the iron dust sticks to the polepieces and is hard to remove, but not for any damage reasons.
  5. bassic1959


    Jan 16, 2003
    Try naval jelly. It comes in a small bottle and removes rust without harming the metal.
  6. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Those filings also get UNDER the pickup, inside the cavity. You must ALWAYS first cover the pickup with masking tape BEFORE taking steel wool to it.
  7. ganttbos

    ganttbos The Professor Supporting Member

    Dec 18, 2001
    New Orleans area
    Another thing the filings will do is possibly get into the cavity and short the wiring. I once used 0000 steel wool to tone down the gloss on a bass body and when I plugged in the bass I got no sound. I used an air compressor to blow out the cavity (wear goggles) and everything was OK. Another trick to remove filings is to use a magnet like the one sold to retrieve metal objects that get dropped into difficult places (like inside an engine block - not good!). You can buy a nice slim one on a telescoping tube at any auto parts store. They remove the filings very well.
  8. xyllion

    xyllion Commercial User

    Jan 14, 2003
    San Jose, CA, USA
    Owner, Looperlative Audio Products
    I wish you the best of luck on cleaning this all out. You may even need to remove the pickups from their cavities to get all of the dust from the steel wool.

    In the future, I would avoid use steel wool or if you do, then remove the pickups from the bass first. Scotch Brite or some other synthetic scouring pad is a better choice. The dust produced by synthetic pads is not magnetic and thus is safe for your pickups.

    I have heard the suggestion of carefully masking the pickups first before using steel wool. This method with also work, but it does require that you do a good job of it. You don't want any of that dust to find a flaw in your taping.