Don't Use Steel Wool On Chrome

roundbadgedude

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man there are so many less abrasive ways to clean chrome. steel wool is too risky.
 

Kcmcc

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so reading this and other threads it is pretty apparent that:

1. Steel wool, even 0000, IS CAPABLE of scratching chrome
2. 0000 Steel Wool OFTEN (maybe even usually) doesn't damage chrome
3. people who don't understand that their own experience doesn't outweigh a mountain of outside data (particularly in a question of possibility rather than a question of likelihood) use #2 to convince themselves that #1 can't possibly be true.
 

xsabers

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Kcmcc said:
so reading this and other threads it is pretty apparent that:

1. Steel wool, even 0000, IS CAPABLE of scratching chrome
2. 0000 Steel Wool OFTEN (maybe even usually) doesn't damage chrome
3. people who don't understand that their own experience doesn't outweigh a mountain of outside data (particularly in a question of possibility rather than a question of likelihood) use #2 to convince themselves that #1 can't possibly be true.
I don't know if your point #1 is accurate. Did I miss something in this or the other thread that definitively showed #0000 wool causing damage? Or just that some type of steel wool apparently caused damage? Most of the opinions I read were simply that, opinions. Steel wool is an abrasive, therefore it MUST be harmful. Well, sandpaper is an abrasive, but the smoothest, most perfect wood finish is only that way as a result of the sandpaper. Just because it seems as if it shouldn't work, doesn't mean it actually doesn't work. In talking to people with a lot of experience with #0000, the only thing I've heard is that there is the possibility that you may have residual steel shards left over. I went over a very shiny chrome drum that had just been brought to life with #0000, with a magnet to attract any potential remnants. Nothing visible to the naked eye though. Four years later, the drum still looks like a million bucks. So apparently, I'm a #0000 steel wool denier, right?
 

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They mention magic erasers in the other thread. That is an abrasive, you're basically wet sanding, it's how they work.
 

retrosonic

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My take is that why would anyone even take a chance using steel wool, when there 1,000 other ways to clean chrome that dont scratch or even have the risk of scratching? Does it make sense? To me, it doesnt.

Another thing I experienced first hand was that some of us who are a bit older and our eyesight isnt what it used to be will not really be able to notice the scratches because they arent obvious. Others will better eyesight might. And if youre planning on selling the drum someday, isnt that a pretty big risk?

I mean, for goodness sake, just use chrome polish and a soft rag. Whats the problem?
 

ARGuy

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Kcmcc said:
so reading this and other threads it is pretty apparent that:

1. Steel wool, even 0000, IS CAPABLE of scratching chrome
2. 0000 Steel Wool OFTEN (maybe even usually) doesn't damage chrome
3. people who don't understand that their own experience doesn't outweigh a mountain of outside data (particularly in a question of possibility rather than a question of likelihood) use #2 to convince themselves that #1 can't possibly be true.
What "mountain of outside data"? The posts in this thread are neither mountainous in number, nor do they contain any data. Are you referring to some other study somewhere?
 

Kcmcc

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Anecdotal data is still data. You have to look at it more critically but it is still data. This isn't a complicated question.
Q: can steel wool scratch chrome.
As soon as you find ANYONE who can say that they have seen steel wool scratch chrome, the answer is yes.
All over the internet, car sites, drum sites, wherever, you can find people who can say "I have seen steel wool scratch chrome." That's plenty.

People who haven't seen such scratching can't say it hasn't happened, but anybody who has seen it can say that it has.
 

ARGuy

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Kcmcc said:
Anecdotal data is still data. You have to look at it more critically but it is still data. This isn't a complicated question.
Q: can steel wool scratch chrome.
As soon as you find ANYONE who can say that they have seen steel wool scratch chrome, the answer is yes.
All over the internet, car sites, drum sites, wherever, you can find people who can say "I have seen steel wool scratch chrome." That's plenty.

People who haven't seen such scratching can't say it hasn't happened, but anybody who has seen it can say that it has.
You're only presenting one side of the argument.
Q: Can steel wool be used to clean chrome without scratching?
A: Yes, according to some members here who have used it.
So, you have a "yes" to both questions. That complicates things somewhat because neither argument is absolute.
Personally, I'm hesitant to use steel wool, but I'm not going to try and tell those that use it that they are wrong.
 

MonkeyGrass

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Why is this so hard to understand?

Steel is stronger than chrome plating. That's not "anecdotal evidence". It's SCIENCE. It's not open to debate. Well at least not if you believe in the periodic table... :laughing6:

IF you are super careful and barely rub, use lots of polish/cola/whatever as a lubricant, there is a chance you won't press on the shell hard enough anywhere to create micro-scratches in the plating. It's very, very risky, and all it takes is one hard push and there are permanent scratches in the shell.

CAN polishing be done with steel wool? Sure. If you have the touch of a surgeon and make zero mistakes it is possible.

But again, WHY? Why use a method that has a very large chance of ruining your drum, when there are MANY other ways to do it that do NOT have a high-percentage chance of destroying the finish?

:idea1:
 

xsabers

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MonkeyGrass said:
Why is this so hard to understand?

Steel is stronger than chrome plating. That's not "anecdotal evidence". It's SCIENCE. It's not open to debate. Well at least not if you believe in the periodic table... :laughing6:

IF you are super careful and barely rub, use lots of polish/cola/whatever as a lubricant, there is a chance you won't press on the shell hard enough anywhere to create micro-scratches in the plating. It's very, very risky, and all it takes is one hard push and there are permanent scratches in the shell.

CAN polishing be done with steel wool? Sure. If you have the touch of a surgeon and make zero mistakes it is possible.

But again, WHY? Why use a method that has a very large chance of ruining your drum, when there are MANY other ways to do it that do NOT have a high-percentage chance of destroying the finish?

:idea1:
Hyperbole at best. I do not possess the touch of a surgeon nor do I require copius amounts of lubricant. The fact is most people assume #0000 wool will scratch because it seems as if it should. As far as the anecdotal evidence mentioned, that was largely about steel wool in general, but we are talking about a specific grade that has its own unique qualities.
 

ThePloughman

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I have tested this. Put it on a test shell. Chrome on Steel Rogers, 1976 era SuperTen. No drum was damaged in the test. The drum shell is already toast. Has some chrome chipping on one panel with rust spots. It was a parts grade drum. I also took a generic hoop in good condition for the test. My sunshiny results showed the typical micro scratches routinely complained about. I did use it on a Rogers Memriloc Snare stand, that was rusted over the entirety of its chrome surface. The matte finish surface of the riser tube was also covered in its entirety by spotty rust. Nothing else would clean that up. The steel wool did fantastic. The surface is however covered in micro scratches. The virgin rusty chrome was visibly less scratched than the cleaned rust free chrome after it was finished. It is a presentable piece of hardware. 0000 steel wool

So, some of you will say, I skewed the results by over rubbing to get my own desired opinion. Not true. I used WD-40 as well as a Chrome Polish as a cutting agent. I worked on separate drum panels that had never seen steel wool. The panels I tested on, after final clean up with soft cloth and polish show micro scratching similar to an old car bumper. This overall result on shell panels that previously showed very little micro scratching in sunlight. The hoop, had noticeable different chrome appearance in the area steel wool cleaned vrs. the area cleaned by polish and cloth. If anyone doesn't believe my results... try it on one of your good drums.

There is no way I would recommend this to anyone, nor trust anyone who does to work on anything I own.

It is without a doubt the stupidest thing a person who cares about what they have could do with what they have got. If you have a drum so damaged that Steel Wool is the only alternative to black spray paint, have at it. You will get satisfying results. For anything not quite that bad, there are a hundred different alternatives none of which involve abrasives. I have done some horribly bad drums with great results using non abrasive methods.

I hope those who continue to pursue this method for cleaning chrome have the decency to tell the rest of us when it comes time to market your drums. I wouldn't be buying. It is a deal breaker.
 

MonkeyGrass

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xsabers said:
Why is this so hard to understand?

Steel is stronger than chrome plating. That's not "anecdotal evidence". It's SCIENCE. It's not open to debate. Well at least not if you believe in the periodic table... :laughing6:

IF you are super careful and barely rub, use lots of polish/cola/whatever as a lubricant, there is a chance you won't press on the shell hard enough anywhere to create micro-scratches in the plating. It's very, very risky, and all it takes is one hard push and there are permanent scratches in the shell.

CAN polishing be done with steel wool? Sure. If you have the touch of a surgeon and make zero mistakes it is possible.

But again, WHY? Why use a method that has a very large chance of ruining your drum, when there are MANY other ways to do it that do NOT have a high-percentage chance of destroying the finish?

:idea1:
Hyperbole at best. I do not possess the touch of a surgeon nor do I require copius amounts of lubricant. The fact is most people assume #0000 wool will scratch because it seems as if it should. As far as the anecdotal evidence mentioned, that was largely about steel wool in general, but we are talking about a specific grade that has its own unique qualities.
It's steel wool. A fine grade of it, but STEEL nonetheless... Harder than Chromium plating. No matter how you slice it, or what grade it is.

LOL "specific properties" of 0000? :laughing3: Now you're just making me laugh :laughing5: :laughing6:

I'm not assuming anything... this is proven SCIENCE. See the post right after yours... Yes there are always folks who claim "There aren't any micro scratches" - you're either blind, or lying.

Here's an idea.. :idea1: why don't you give Jack Lawson or any other respected vintage drum restorer a quick call, and ask him how often he uses steel wool on chrome.

I'll wait....

:hello2:

In the meantime, I'll leave you with a re-post of my last question to ponder (which you ignored in your reply)...

But again, WHY? Why use a method that has a very large chance of ruining your drum, when there are MANY other ways to do it that do NOT have a high-percentage chance of destroying the finish?
 

Beatnik

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curotto said:
I've used 0000 steel wool, it works fine.
No issues and QUITE different than any differing grades.
I concur...

Mike Curotto
Mark Cooper said:
I use 0000 steel wool all the time and it works great. Any "patina" on chrome is most likely dirt and grime and rust and should be removed. Three cheers for 0000 Steel Wool!
 

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