Will WD-40 harm a Fender relic Nitro finish?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Jim-Dandy, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. Jim-Dandy

    Jim-Dandy Member

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    I was wondering if WD-40 will harm a Fender relic Nitro finish? I have a relic Strat with seized a seized up bridge (saddles and screws were a rusted mess from the factory) that I am trying to clean up so that I can adjust the guitar. I cleaned off most of the rust with water an scrubbing, but the screws are still seized so it is time to go for the WD-40.

    FWIW, I am not the original owner, so calling Fender is probably not an option.
     
  2. bloozetubes

    bloozetubes Member

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    i would say do a unsuspecting spot on the back and wait it out to see if theres any damage
     
  3. Fitzer

    Fitzer Member

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    If it's a Custom Shop Strat, get in contact with Mike Eldred. He might be able to help you out.
     
  4. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    Take the whole tremelo off the guitar! Then use a good penetrating oil like Kroil or PB'Laster to loosen the screws. Spray it on liberally, wait a few minutes then use a quality allen key to turn the screws

    (WD-40 is not a penetrating oil)
     
  5. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    WD-40 is a plot released upon the unsuspecting citizenry!

    Really though, it's crap.
    IT might free it and then rust up worse than it was.
    This from experience.

    Even 3 in1 Oil allowed to sit on it would be better and works quite well.
     
  6. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    Exactly what I would have said. WD-40 was designed to displace water (Water Ddisplacement formula #40). P'Blaster is the bomb, I have used it successfully on seized exhaust manifold studs-and those are about as seized as it gets.
     
  7. modernp

    modernp Member

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    Break free and remove tremelo like stated above.
     
  8. RussB

    RussB low rent hobbyist Silver Supporting Member

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    The issue with a relic finish is that there are scratches and dings. Any oil can seep into and under the finish, which could be bad...
     
  9. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Same with a relic finish and guitar polish too.
     
  10. pbmw

    pbmw Member

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    WD40 is primarily kerosene. Not good for a nitro finish.
    Taking off the trem and soaking it in penetrating oil is your best solution.
    Kroil is my first choice. PB Blaster is my second choice...
    I used to work on surgical instruments. Heating Kroil has never failed to work.
     
  11. Jim-Dandy

    Jim-Dandy Member

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    Thanks for the replies everyone! It is a custom shop heavy relic, but since I am not the original owner, I don't think Fender will assist with this. If someone has Mike Eldred's number, send me a PM with it and I will try to contact him.

    I will definitely not use WD-40 here. It looks like removing the bridge and using penetrating oil is the consensus for the next step. Maybe I'll swap out the trem block for grins while I'm at it. I have been curious about the Callaham block anyway...
     
  12. ef_in_fla

    ef_in_fla Member

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    I've used WD-40 successfully on several nasty strat bridges. I guess I didn't realize it wouldn't work.
     
  13. tamader74

    tamader74 Supporting Member

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    Easy answer is YES....Think of it as a modern day navel jelly, It diplace's water, But if used liberally, It will cause damage, i.e. spray it on the bridge, it will appear to 'lube' it for a second, But when it dries,all the goup,gunk, and rust will form with it and now you have a loc-tite bond per'se...it's used only in this house to "coat" something that just HAD to be cleaned with soap and water, Kroil (or a high end white grease SPRARINGLY and alot of wipe time) is just about your only choice ....the WD way, is like when we were young and had pits in our car's wheel trim rings, or bumpers, and used a little jelly and QUICKLY rubbed it off, great job....leave it on a little longer, and it was time to pull the bumper and get a re-chrome....( I hate when I date myself)...
     
  14. Quartertank

    Quartertank Member

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    i had the same problem with the saddles on my relic tele fusing together. I ended up trying to use penetrating fluid to free up the saddles. after applying the fluid and letting it sit for a little while, i tried to loosen the saddle from the screw and the screw immediately broke. i hacked off the other 2 and replaced them with callaham saddles. guitar sounds better, sets up better and intonates better. i vote for just replacing the hardware.

    mike eldred is on here and will respond to your pm.
     
  15. SteveO

    SteveO Member

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    A butter knife will work on many flatheads screws, too, but sometimes it's better to use the tool that was designed for the job... ;)
     
  16. stormin1155

    stormin1155 Member

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    I know a guy that uses WD-40 for a neck lube.... sprays it on his neck and hands before every gig. As far as I know all his guitars have nitro finishes... he's been doing that for years with no apparent ill effects.
     
  17. smallstoner

    smallstoner Member

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    I used it to get dried up duct tape goo off a Peavey (not nitro of course), and it took the shine right off the finish. Not recommended.
     
  18. blong

    blong Supporting Member

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    You don't have to take the bridge off. Get an old lid off a 20oz water bottle and a toothpick. Get some 3-in-1 oil and put a few drops in the lid. Dip the toothpick in it and touch it to each screw head a few times. You will see it form a drop. Do this to each frozen screw head, and on either side of the screw threads as they pass through a saddle. Let it sit for an hour or so. Then try to work the screws back and forth. Go a little one way, then a little the other. Some of the crud on them will get impacted in the threads, so backing out and going in again displaces some of that.

    If you have a steady hand you can use a stuff I like called Tri-Flow. It has teflon in it so some may not like it on their finishes, but if you use the toothpick to apply it, you will only get some on the threads. Spray it in a lid and apply with a toothpick. It won't take much, just 3 or 4 little touches with the toothpick to get enough on there. I actually mix Tri-Flow and 3-in-1 oil mixed.

    Again, just a few drops and you won't have to take the bridge off. Also, if some drips onto the finish just wipe it up with a cloth and a drop of naptha (lighter fluid). ONce the pieces are separated, soak 'em in another lid (I use and old ice-tray from the freezer so I can keep the parts separated by string) in some lighter fluid to remove dirt and lubricant, let 'em air dry a few minutes, then reassemble.


    Hope this helps. Removing the bridge is totally unnecessary.

    I've been doing this for years with 100% success, 0% damage to finishes.

    Bob
     
  19. Nurk2

    Nurk2 "Ignore Everybody" ~Hugh MacLeod

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    Does no one else see any irony in this? Am I the only one?
     
  20. Jim-Dandy

    Jim-Dandy Member

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    Thank you for the replies and the advice.

    blong - I'll try your method first! If that doesn't work, I'll take the bridge out of the guitar.
     

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