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  1. #1

    Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnished

    Dear friends, my Les Paul is about 2 years old now. The pickups, bridge and tailpiece have tarnished. They were shining initially when I bought my guitar. I store my guitar in a Gator Les Paul case. The frets are slowly beginning to collect rust. Is there anyway I can remove this rust? Will the Jim Dunlop 65 Ultimate Lemon Oil help to remove this rust?

    I tried using some 00 steel wool to clean some frets but I'm afraid I might chip away the frets. I really don't want to damage the guitar in anyway. Also, is there any way to remove the oxidation or tarnish on the pups, bridge and tail piece? If I don't clean them, will it affect the guitar in anyway?

    Please share with me your kind thoughts and ideas. Thanks very much in advance!

  2. #2

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    You know what - did the fret polish/board oil routine for years, since I have a heap of guitars on which frets may sometimes oxidate due to them not being played for a longer time.

    A lot of hassle - taping off the fretboard, taking care that no steel wool particles attach to the pickups etc. Plus polishing frets is IMO not a good idea anyway.

    I stopped doing this a few years ago and have since been using Gorgomyte for both tasks. It's a soft piece of cloth lightly impregnated with some waxy stuff, which cleans both fretboard and frets. I even use it to revive oxidated strings and on pickup covers. Quick and easy, and a great playing feel afterwards.

    http://www.gorgomyte.com/index.html

    Still have my ages old bottle of Fret Doctor - great stuff, but oiling the board is no longer necessary on most guitars now.

  3. #3
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    Posts
    7

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    Actual orange or brown rust?

  4. #4

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    Quote Originally Posted by Wallaby View Post
    Actual orange or brown rust?
    Orange in colour

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2015
    Location
    Shakedown Street
    Posts
    2,752

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    How strange and bizarre . I have been playing for over 45 years and have never encountered this with any of my Gibson's or Fenders . I also humidify my home with 2 humidifiers running non stop , and in the summer it gets pretty hot and humid where I live and never have any frets been tarnished ,or any hardware .

  6. #6
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2019
    Location
    Midwest, USA
    Posts
    7

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    I have seen tarnish, but haven't worried about it too much.

    I have never seen actual rust, that is amazing to me.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Location
    England
    Posts
    443

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    The majority of frets are made from nickel silver which is an alloy of copper, nickel and zinc (despite it's name it doesn't actually contain any silver). This is a non-ferrous metal and does not rust, only ferrous metals (iron and steel) will rust, it can tarnish but nickel silver is fairly good at resisting corrosion and the worst that usually happens to it is the surface dulls somewhat. There are some frets made from stainless steel which could theoretically rust but stainless steel is also a good resistor of corrosion and it would have to be a fairly harsh environment (think high humidity and salt water) for stainless steel to rust. I think it is probably likely that what the OP is seeing is not actually rust but some other sort of contamination that possibly looks like rust, can't immediately think what it might be though!
    Last edited by PaulD; 01-31-20 at 03:46 PM.

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    May 2016
    Posts
    177

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    Some people have much more acidic sweat than others; I had a friend who had to change strings frequently as they'd pretty much start turning black after only a few days of playing. All my guitars look great but I keep them clean and take an extra effort if they are going into a case for any length of time. Much of the gold has rubbed off my LPC pups but otherwise the components are OK. I've never experience tarnishing of any kind on my frets and I've owned my LP since 87.

  9. #9
    Les Paul Forum Member Don's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    5,583

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    Frets don't rust, but the oxidization and contaminates can sometimes be sort of rust colored. I use Gorgomyte between string changes to keep frets looking good.

  10. #10
    Les Paul Forum Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Location
    Weston super mare , engalnd
    Posts
    109

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    I am a very sweaty player , i HAVE to wipe down and clean my guitars as soon as i can affter gigs ,because if thier left for more than 2 days then i run into rust problems .
    As for guitars stored at home in cases or on stands they need to cleaned every couple of weeks or i get mildew problems because my old victorian home suffers from humity , condensation and damp problems, ive recently invested in a de humidifier which helps A LOT

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Location
    Lake Ontario shore
    Posts
    13,827

    Re: Frets slightly beginning to rust and pickups, bridge and tail piece have tarnishe

    Clean the poor thing and learn some basic maintenance.
    The older I get, the better I was.

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