Best way to clean chrome lugs?

dtk

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I have a project to revitalize an old set of Fiberglass Fibes.

the lugs are grungy but not really pitted. I thought I'd hit them with some Bar Keepers Friend foam and viola...but...even using a soft toothbrush for scrubbing it really wasn't cutting it (literally).

I'm thinking..Dawn Bath and then aluminum foal scrubbing? Anyone got any better ideas? Also...do you also clean the springs and threaded inserts? How?
 

J-dubya

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I like Turtle Wax's Chrome Polish and Rust remover for my old chrome parts. It's made specifically for chrome and does a good job of removing light pitting and really gives it a good shine. #0000 steel wool works good too.

Springs and inserts, it would all depend on how bad they are, but I would use a similar procedure as suggested above.
 
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ARGuy

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I like Turtle Wax's Chrome Polish and Rust remover for my old chrome parts. It's made specifically for chrome and does a good job of removing light pitting and really gives it a good shine. #000 steel wool works good too.

Springs and inserts, it would all depend on how bad they are, but I would use a similar procedure as suggested above.
I absolutely would NOT use steel wool on anything I cared about.
 
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J-dubya

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I absolutely would NOT use steel wool on anything I cared about.
Understandable, but #0000 is perfectly safe for chrome plated parts. Any old hot-rodder will confirm.

Glad you replied as I just noticed that I only got three "0"s in my initial post. Editing now. It should be #0000!
 

kdgrissom

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I generally start with an over-night soak in Dawn (Blue) and go over the next day with an old tooth brush followed by a good chrome polish like "Flitz".
 

ARGuy

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Understandable, but #0000 is perfectly safe for chrome plated parts. Any old hot-rodder will confirm.

Glad you replied as I just noticed that I only got three "0"s in my initial post. Editing now. It should be #0000!
#0000 steel wool might be fine for chrome plated auto parts, but I have seen chrome plated drum parts scratched beyond repair by #0000 steel wool. When there are so many other options that don't scratch, I don't see any reason to use steel wool.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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I would not use steel wool - I have, and on some chrome,it was fine; others got scratched.

I'd soak the lugs, inserts and mount screws in a few drops of Dawn and hot water. Just enough to be soapy. You're not washing Thanksgiving dishes here! After a few minutes soaking, I use an old toothbrush and brush off what you can. Or I will use a 2 sided sponge (NOT an abrasive one) - go to the $1 store and buy one of those multi packs - foam on one side, green on the other. Those sponges are pretty poor quality but perfect for this use and won't scratch the chrome, Use the green side and it works well. I don't soak springs. I do soak tension rods/washers only if bad. And I only soak for a few hours tops. I've done overnite and had some chrome get dull like nickel.

If it's just light gunk and needs to be lightly cleaned, you can use the old toothbrush and windex/blue window cleaner.
It shinys chrome right up and you can get a gallon for $1 at the $1 store.

As for re-assebly, I take the screws and dip them in a small cup of WD40 - about 1/16" of the way. I dip tension rods about 1/8".
 

J-dubya

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Ok, scratch (pun intended) my idea of using #0000 steel wool.
I appreciate the heads-up as this is the first time I've ever heard of it scratching chrome. The guy who does all of my plating even suggested it but this was for show cars, not drums, so my only experience with restoring old drum hardware only goes back as far as the 60's American made drums. It's possible that others may nickle plate rather than use chromium?
Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry if you don't know what plating, or the quality of it, was used.
I'll be talking to my plating guy today and will ask if he has any other suggestions, but thanks again for the words of warning.
 

ARGuy

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Ok, scratch (pun intended) my idea of using #0000 steel wool.
I appreciate the heads-up as this is the first time I've ever heard of it scratching chrome. The guy who does all of my plating even suggested it but this was for show cars, not drums, so my only experience with restoring old drum hardware only goes back as far as the 60's American made drums. It's possible that others may nickle plate rather than use chromium?
Either way, it's better to be safe than sorry if you don't know what plating, or the quality of it, was used.
I'll be talking to my plating guy today and will ask if he has any other suggestions, but thanks again for the words of warning.
Auto parts would most likely be chrome plated steel, whereas drum parts, with the exception of hoops, would be chrome plated brass or die cast (pot metal), which is softer than steel. I have used #0000 steel wool on rusty low end chrome plated steel hoops before, and it didn't appear to scratch them, but it wasn't the smoothest plating to begin with.
Nickle plating and chrome plating are not the same; the difference in appearance is quite visible, and nickle is less durable. Some of the drum companies offered a choice of nickle plated or chrome plated drum hardware, with nickle plating being less expensive. Using steel wool on nickle would be a disaster. If I remember correctly, chrome plated drum parts are 3 layers - copper, nickle then chrome? So, I think that nickle plated parts leave off the chrome layer.
I think I have this right, but anyone should feel free to correct me.
 

J-dubya

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No matter the underlying surface, chrome plating is a top coating of chromium, which on the Mohs scale is much harder than steel. In fact, it's one of the hardest metals known to man.

True, that nickel plating is not the same, even though "show chrome" or "triple plated chrome" has a layer of nickel below the harder chromium layer. I'm guessing that the parts that people are scratching with steel wool are only nickel plated OR they are not using #0000 steel wool.

I'll be dropping off some parts to the plater over lunch so I will ask him about what he recommends (other than #0000 steel wool), but it seems like you guys have a safe and effective formula down already so it's pretty much pointless.
Besides, now knowing that some drum hardware is only nickel plated, I would certainly err on the side of caution and recommend against using steel wool.
 

ARGuy

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I'm guessing that the parts that people are scratching with steel wool are only nickel plated OR they are not using #0000 steel wool.
I have seen parts that are definitely chrome plated that were scratched using #0000 steel wool. As I said, there is a definite visible difference between chrome plated and nickle plated parts, and I know what to look for. I made the mistake myself on a couple of things before I knew better.
 

noreastbob

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A couple years ago I thoroughly detailed my Fibes acrylic kit in anticipation of selling it. Nine drums...ouch! I just used semi-chrome on the lugs after removing them. Easy peasy.
Never sold the drums. One guy out west wanted them for nearly nothing so he could make two sets and a lotta money. Oh well... so I still have my synthetic submersible drums.
 

J-dubya

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I have seen parts that are definitely chrome plated that were scratched using #0000 steel wool. As I said, there is a definite visible difference between chrome plated and nickle plated parts, and I know what to look for. I made the mistake myself on a couple of things before I knew better.
My apologies if it sounded like I was arguing or doubted you, as that was not my intention at all. I just stated my experience with restoring chrome parts on numerous things, and you shared your experiences, which have differed from mine.
Again, I retract my statement of using steel wool on anything that appears to be chrome shiny.
 

ARGuy

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My apologies if it sounded like I was arguing or doubted you, as that was not my intention at all. I just stated my experience with restoring chrome parts on numerous things, and you shared your experiences, which have differed from mine.
Again, I retract my statement of using steel wool on anything that appears to be chrome shiny.
Unfortunately, I speak from experience! Fortunately it wasn't anything super valuable. Maybe your friend that does plating can help us out. I have used #0000 on steel hoops and some stand bases, and I couldn't see any scratching. That's what leads me to believe that chromed steel might be more durable than chromed brass or zinc.
 

J-dubya

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Unfortunately, I speak from experience! Fortunately it wasn't anything super valuable. Maybe your friend that does plating can help us out. I have used #0000 on steel hoops and some stand bases, and I couldn't see any scratching. That's what leads me to believe that chromed steel might be more durable than chromed brass or zinc.
That would be a logical conclusion, based on your own experiences. Fortunately, I haven't had any issues using it on my stands, or my lugs (60's & 70's Ludwig). I can't say I ever tried it on the Yamaha Recording Customs that I used to have since they didn't need it.
I will certainly ask him about it as I am now very curious.
 

J-dubya

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I was unable to go to the plating place since they decided not to open today due to the close proximity to the peaceful protests rioting and looting going on and the anticipation of even more today due to a local incident.
I'll report back once I get more info.
 


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