Identifying metals in hardware question...

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by doc, Dec 8, 2016.

  1. doc

    doc Member

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    I have several Les Paul style guitars, and have changed around hardware on a few of them, so I know what those parts are. I've acquired a few used instruments that may not be stock. I'm considering changing a few parts to tune them up a bit, but not sure what I'm starting from. Any tips for telling about metals in parts - for instance if you are handed an unknown tailpiece, how do you know if its zinc vs. aluminum? I'm aware of the use of a magnet to check for steel, and looking for a casting seam, but beyond that I'm not sure.
     
  2. 1radicalron

    1radicalron Member

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    Welcome to wonderful world of ZINC, Or perhaps a chrome plated version?
     
  3. cardinal

    cardinal Supporting Member

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    I assume the AL piece weighs different from zinc? If you have some known AL pieces, you could weigh them and compare to the unknown pieces.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2016
  4. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    it will be obvious! the zinc tailpiece will feel like you expect for a hunk of metal while the aluminum one will be shockingly light, as if you were holding a piece of chrome-plated wood.
     
    swiveltung likes this.

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