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Stub Mandrel

Stripping Lacquer off Brass Hardware

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I'm tarting up the Westone Thunder 1.

So far most things have gone OK, the tuning heads are fine once tightened up, acetone got the crud off the fingerboard and it's lovely after oiling it. Grip Filth wipes cleaned the body. I even found an unopened set of Elites Standard.

Problems are:

Screws - the bridge has been swapped out then replaced with a mixed bag of screws and has a short intonation adjustment screw. Anyone know an affordable source of black M3 40mm pan-head pozi screws (the only source I could find was about £13 for six - made to order! - don't suggest the ones on eBay - they are plastic and intonation screws seem to always be American threads and/or not black)

Tarnished hardware - the bridge and knobs. I can clean up in ketchup (yes, honestly), polish with brasso and re-lacquer. But how do I get the old laquer off? I've tried soaking in concentrated washing soda. Then caustic soda (as used for stripping pine doors...), then acetone, then I found some nitro-mors. Nothing touches it.

I'm leaving in the nitromors overnight.

I wonder if its shellac? In which case meths should do the job, but I've lost my bottle 🙂

Has anyone else succeeded in  doing this? The net suggests variations on using washing/baking soda or methyl chloride (which is nitromors).


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11 hours ago, tauzero said:

M3x40 black, pan-pozi - 50 for a fiver: https://cpc.farnell.com/unbranded/mrpm030040cb/screw-pan-head-pz-blk-m3x40mm/dp/FN03635?st=m3 machine screws

Nitromors no longer contains dichloromethane/methyl chloride. It's got to be worth a try with baking soda first, that's not going to be exactly expensive.

Thanks, now in my basket, I had missed those because of the stupid photo showing such a short screw!

I'll check out the overnight soak in a minute.

Baking soda is just weaker version of washing soda, which is a puny version of caustic, so I suspect resistant to one, resistant to all... I suspect it's a polymer based lacquer (like polyurethane) rather than a traditional lacquer.

...  the Nitromors has done it. I've submerged everything in vinegar and salt and teh brass is coming back bright, except the heavy tarnish which is going copper-pink.


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