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  1. #1

    Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Purchased a 59' reissue V. The tailpiece is pretty tarnished and not really in an attractive way either. Is there a way to safely clean it? Removing it appears to be a bitch and trying to find a replacement would be challenging at best. Don't really want to change it. Just clean it.





  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    If it is just surface tarnish then a good metal polish (Brasso or similar) should remove it. Removal from the guitar is simple if it needs to be removed, just remove the strings and undo the three screws that hold it in place.

  3. #3

    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by PaulD View Post
    If it is just surface tarnish then a good metal polish (Brasso or similar) should remove it. Removal from the guitar is simple if it needs to be removed, just remove the strings and undo the three screws that hold it in place.
    They're not screws. It's either rivets or nails holding it in place. This adds to my hesitance to just buy a replacement.

    Update, I actually just removed the tailpiece myself. I use some dental floss underneath to life it up and the nails popped right now. The brasso seemed to remove the plating but Gibson had sent me the link to the place that does plating for them. I tried to see if I could just flip it over but the bottom plating looked bad as well. I'll just get it redone.
    Last edited by Big Daddy B; 10-21-19 at 05:33 PM.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member Strings Jr.'s Avatar
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    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy B View Post
    They're not screws. It's either rivets or nails holding it in place. This adds to my hesitance to just buy a replacement.
    They're basically "nails" holding it down.

    Don't remove it.

    I would use masking tape around all the edges, then use a mild cleaner. Don't use anything harsh or you could remove the gold.

  5. #5

    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Strings Jr. View Post
    They're basically "nails" holding it down.

    Don't remove it.

    I would use masking tape around all the edges, then use a mild cleaner. Don't use anything harsh or you could remove the gold.
    Actually I removed it. Was super easy. They were nails that popped right out. I am looking into just getting it professionally replated now since there were some worn spots to start with. Glad I could clean all the crud out from underneath as you will see.


  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    I owned a similar Gibson Historic Flying V Korina, 1958 reissue. The "V" tailpiece had very poor gold plating from the factory. I'm not even sure if it is gold plating, or some other metal.

    Unfortunately there is little you can do to restore the original luster and plating. I actually sent my Flying V's tailpiece to Advanced Plating in Nashville, TN to have it professionally plated in 24K gold. They did a fantastic job and it only cost me about $125.00, plus shipping both ways. It was a HUGE IMPROVEMENT over the Gibson factory gold tailpiece that most of these guitars ship with.

    Give them a call if you choose to go the repeating route. Realistically this is about the only option you have if you desire a nice looking tailpiece that matches the gold hardware on your Flying V.

    https://www.advancedplating.com/site/
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  7. #7

    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    I owned a similar Gibson Historic Flying V Korina, 1958 reissue. The "V" tailpiece had very poor gold plating from the factory. I'm not even sure if it is gold plating, or some other metal.

    Unfortunately there is little you can do to restore the original luster and plating. I actually sent my Flying V's tailpiece to Advanced Plating in Nashville, TN to have it professionally plated in 24K gold. They did a fantastic job and it only cost me about $125.00, plus shipping both ways. It was a HUGE IMPROVEMENT over the Gibson factory gold tailpiece that most of these guitars ship with.

    Give them a call if you choose to go the repeating route. Realistically this is about the only option you have if you desire a nice looking tailpiece that matches the gold hardware on your Flying V.

    https://www.advancedplating.com/site/
    Thanks for your post. That's actually who I reached out to as that is who Gibson Custom Shop recommend. Looks like they might actually sell the tailpiece itself and a number of other parts. Gibson sent me their e-Catalog. I have emailed Frank per the link on their site. Glad to hear you got good results at a reasonable price. What was the turnaround time?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member marshall1987's Avatar
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    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Daddy B View Post
    Thanks for your post. That's actually who I reached out to as that is who Gibson Custom Shop recommend. Looks like they might actually sell the tailpiece itself and a number of other parts. Gibson sent me their e-Catalog. I have emailed Frank per the link on their site. Glad to hear you got good results at a reasonable price. What was the turnaround time?
    I recall it took about 2 weeks from the time I mailed the tailpiece to when I got it back. I'm right next door to Tennessee (Virginia) so shipping time was minimal. They got right on it with no delay. Outstanding customer service IMO. They will advise you to apply a protective coating to the part which I think was lacquer.
    "Scan not a friend under a microscopic glass; you know his faults so let his foibles pass".

    Sir Frank Crisp
    Friar Park
    London, England

  9. #9

    Re: Best way to clean a flying V tailpiece?

    Quote Originally Posted by marshall1987 View Post
    I recall it took about 2 weeks from the time I mailed the tailpiece to when I got it back. I'm right next door to Tennessee (Virginia) so shipping time was minimal. They got right on it with no delay. Outstanding customer service IMO. They will advise you to apply a protective coating to the part which I think was lacquer.
    Parts are on the way to OP. I also ended up sending my bridge and thumbwheels too to get done properly. Their prices are very reasonable on turnkey hardware as well. May place a separate order down the road. Non wire ABR-1 was like $20. V tailpiece $25 new.

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