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> I Need Help! My Guitar Keeps Getting Rusty!
Praetorian
post Sep 16 2008, 12:58 PM
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I noticed a short time ago, that my metal dots on the pickups and the screws holding the pickguard on where all rusty. I cleaned them up and didn't think too much of it. Then I noticed a few weeks later, that they were getting rusty again! I have never had the guitar outdoors playing or anything like that. My family room that I play in is damp sometimes, as it is a finished basement. Also, there is a 30 gallon fish tank in the room. We do have a dehumidifier, but it is really loud and throws out a lot of heat so I would rather not have to use that all the time. Is there anything I can put inside the guitar case that could help this? Any ideas?

Thanks!


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ZakkWylde
post Sep 16 2008, 01:01 PM
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Which guitar? all of them or just one?


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Chris Evans
post Sep 16 2008, 01:03 PM
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sometimes I get this on the bridge pickup, and just at the top of the bridge on the saddle screws, its down to sweat from my hands, I just make sure I wipe the guitar off after every use.

If you think its down to a damp environment then you could try two or three packs of silica gel in your guitar case, you may have seen them in packing boxes when you`ve bought eletronic goods etc anyways I believe they are supposed to help with this problem too smile.gif

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Silica_gel


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Praetorian
post Sep 16 2008, 01:05 PM
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QUOTE (ZakkWylde @ Sep 16 2008, 08:01 AM) *
Which guitar? all of them or just one?


Well, the Ibanez has been at the shop for a few weeks now so it is tough to compare, but it has been the Strat both times. I will try some Silica Gel packets as well!


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MickeM
post Sep 16 2008, 01:14 PM
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Yeah, what Smells said - sweat from hands could be it. Also the fishtank doesn't help. Living close to the sea could also be a negative thing, unless you concider the great ocean view smile.gif


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Ivan Milenkovic
post Sep 16 2008, 09:53 PM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Sep 16 2008, 02:14 PM) *
Yeah, what Smells said - sweat from hands could be it. Also the fishtank doesn't help. Living close to the sea could also be a negative thing, unless you concider the great ocean view smile.gif


I would love to live close to the sea smile.gif And plus you get that vintage vibe on the guitar cool.gif


Regarding rust, it is best as everybody suggested that wipe the guitar before and after every playing. It could be boring, but if you get used to it, the guitar will look a lot better in a long run.


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sigma7
post Sep 16 2008, 10:02 PM
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hmm ya it could be extremely humid and that does a number on the metal...my dad has 10 guitars, all rusted because of the humidity


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Praetorian
post Sep 16 2008, 11:39 PM
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QUOTE (Ivan Milenkovic @ Sep 16 2008, 04:53 PM) *
And plus you get that vintage vibe on the guitar cool.gif


Vintage look on a Strat - nothing cooler! Vintage look on an Ibanez = wacko.gif


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Saoirse O'Shea
post Sep 17 2008, 12:12 AM
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Also if it continues to be a problem then think about replacing the screws. If the plating on the screws is worn then wiping off sweat may not achieve much in the medium/long term. In my experience screws are very often poorly plated and so the plate is easily damaged. Once damaged things often get worse - moisture gets under the plate and it flakes off, or rusts, or tarnishes. Cleaning/polishing sometimes just accelerates this - you rub/flake off the dodgy plating. In these cases you're better off just replacing them. If you do replace then you may also want to think about using stainless steel screws etc...

Not sure what you mean by the metal dots on the pickups? If it's the pole pieces you may have to replace them in the long term for pickups that have been dipped in resin/are fully enclosed (ie like an EMG) to get over this issue fully . I'm assuming here that continual corrosion of the magnet pole piece will eventually lead to loss of signal albeit this may take many years to be really noticible - I'm not sure though so anyone?

Cheers,
Tony


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Praetorian
post Sep 17 2008, 02:36 AM
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Do Silica gel packets ever expire...or run out? How long should you use them before you change them?


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RIP Dime
post Sep 17 2008, 09:12 AM
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Yea, humidity can suck, it's very humid over here, and sometimes my strings will go bad in a matter of days. I don't have a problem with rust though, probably because the hardware on my guitars is coated.

And my friend lives about 50 feet away from a beach, he has problems with rust as well.


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javari
post Sep 17 2008, 09:23 AM
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QUOTE (Praetorian @ Sep 17 2008, 03:36 AM) *
Do Silica gel packets ever expire...or run out? How long should you use them before you change them?


I used to use them on photographic equipment. They change color if they are saturated. (from pink to blue if I remember correctly)
If that happens, you can dry them out in an oven.
If you buy packets, the manual should tell you how to do it, if not, Google for times and temperatures...


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Jeff
post Sep 17 2008, 04:36 PM
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Go to Radioshack or somewhere like that and get a digital barometer /electronic device to measure the humidity in your room. They are cheap $10-$15. You can even place them in your case to check the levels when your case is closed. I have a couple of them and they work great. With the guitar rusting that quickly I guarantee your humidity is well above 45-50% which is optimal for guitars. You should leave the dehumidifier on in that room. In fact, it may surprise you, but it might not be big enough!

I can tell you that humidity or lack of humidity especially for an acoustic guitar is the no. 1 destroyer of them - unless you are doing some Jimi Hendrix type of moves. wink.gif Sweat can easily be wiped off, so that doesn't sound like your problem. Noise from a humidifier could be annoying at times but you can turn it off while you play and back on when you are done. I put one in my guitar room a few years ago after I started to notice that my guitars were going out of tune frequently and the strings were rusting quickly. When I started using the dehumidifier I noticed an immediate difference.

I didn't know about the effects of humidity at that time so I never payed attention until I started to read about the damage it causes. My humidity was swinging back and forth over the seasons from 70 - 80% in Summer to 30 - 40% in Winter. My acoustic started to check - meaning getting little cracks on the surface. This was upsetting because it was on a 1983 Martin D-28 - not so cheap sad.gif . Anyway, the bottom line is that investing in a good dehumidifier is well worth the price of saving a nice guitar. Electric guitars may not feel the effects as much as acoustics, but they still do. And, so do the other electronic devices that you use.

One other thing, if at all possible, try to locate the dehumidifier at a place where you can hook up a hose to drain it automatically. Otherwise you will need to empty the bucket very often to maintain 50% humidity. That's what I have to do. Also, the other side is that you might need a humidifier in the Winter! Sounds like a lot of work right? sad.gif It is a little more inconvenient using the humidifier and adding water in the Winter but your guitars and equipment will thank you later.

With all of that being said, there may be one alternative to try: If you have a closet in that room, get the barometer and check the humidity in the closet - shoot for 50%. Your local home depot or hardware store should sell this stuff called "damp rid". It's usually in a carton or tub container. It looks like little white foam pebbles in a box. You can place several of the containers in your closet and keep the door closed. They will suck up some of the extra humidity in the closet and may get you closer to the conditions that you want. You'll have to compensate for the crack at the bottom of the closet door by using a towel or something like that so the humidity doesn't creep underneath. I have done this before with some success. Just store the guitars in there when you are not playing them. It's a cheap alternative that you can try.

-Jeff
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Praetorian
post Sep 17 2008, 08:26 PM
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QUOTE (Jeff @ Sep 17 2008, 11:36 AM) *
Go to Radioshack or somewhere like that and get a digital barometer /electronic device to measure the humidity in your room. They are cheap $10-$15. You can even place them in your case to check the levels when your case is closed. I have a couple of them and they work great. With the guitar rusting that quickly I guarantee your humidity is well above 45-50% which is optimal for guitars. You should leave the dehumidifier on in that room. In fact, it may surprise you, but it might not be big enough!

I can tell you that humidity or lack of humidity especially for an acoustic guitar is the no. 1 destroyer of them - unless you are doing some Jimi Hendrix type of moves. wink.gif Sweat can easily be wiped off, so that doesn't sound like your problem. Noise from a humidifier could be annoying at times but you can turn it off while you play and back on when you are done. I put one in my guitar room a few years ago after I started to notice that my guitars were going out of tune frequently and the strings were rusting quickly. When I started using the dehumidifier I noticed an immediate difference.

I didn't know about the effects of humidity at that time so I never payed attention until I started to read about the damage it causes. My humidity was swinging back and forth over the seasons from 70 - 80% in Summer to 30 - 40% in Winter. My acoustic started to check - meaning getting little cracks on the surface. This was upsetting because it was on a 1983 Martin D-28 - not so cheap sad.gif . Anyway, the bottom line is that investing in a good dehumidifier is well worth the price of saving a nice guitar. Electric guitars may not feel the effects as much as acoustics, but they still do. And, so do the other electronic devices that you use.

One other thing, if at all possible, try to locate the dehumidifier at a place where you can hook up a hose to drain it automatically. Otherwise you will need to empty the bucket very often to maintain 50% humidity. That's what I have to do. Also, the other side is that you might need a humidifier in the Winter! Sounds like a lot of work right? sad.gif It is a little more inconvenient using the humidifier and adding water in the Winter but your guitars and equipment will thank you later.

With all of that being said, there may be one alternative to try: If you have a closet in that room, get the barometer and check the humidity in the closet - shoot for 50%. Your local home depot or hardware store should sell this stuff called "damp rid". It's usually in a carton or tub container. It looks like little white foam pebbles in a box. You can place several of the containers in your closet and keep the door closed. They will suck up some of the extra humidity in the closet and may get you closer to the conditions that you want. You'll have to compensate for the crack at the bottom of the closet door by using a towel or something like that so the humidity doesn't creep underneath. I have done this before with some success. Just store the guitars in there when you are not playing them. It's a cheap alternative that you can try.

-Jeff


Thanks Jeff! Great info!!


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