Copper Bridge?

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Just curious, after a few months playing my new Standard 60's, is the ABR-1 made of chrome plated copper?
 

Attachments

61LPSG

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 31, 2007
Messages
1,813
Reaction score
646
Don't worry it isn't a copper bridge.

I worked in a plating plant many moons ago. The bare metal would get a copper coat then (sometimes) nickle coat then the chrome.
FWIW chrome plate is clear. The shiny color comes from the nickle or other layers beneath.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Don't worry it isn't a copper bridge.

I worked in a plating plant many moons ago. The bare metal would get a copper coat then (sometimes) nickle coat then the chrome.
FWIW chrome plate is clear. The shiny color comes from the nickle or other layers beneath.
Interesting and good to know. Thanks!
 

jimi55lp

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
2,023
Reaction score
333
What your ABR1 is showing is not common? I agree about plating being copper 1st then nickel and finished in chrome but the chrome being the very hardest in this process followed by nickel also being VERY HARD compared to copper, it's very unusual to see chrome wear thru the nickel and exposing the copper? There must have been something on the aluminum bridge surface or the copper plating that made the weak fault in your plating? That place on the bridge is not a common high traffic spot as to wear?
 

strayedstrater

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
218
Reaction score
294
What your ABR1 is showing is not common? I agree about plating being copper 1st then nickel and finished in chrome but the chrome being the very hardest in this process followed by nickel also being VERY HARD compared to copper, it's very unusual to see chrome wear thru the nickel and exposing the copper? There must have been something on the aluminum bridge surface or the copper plating that made the weak fault in your plating? That place on the bridge is not a common high traffic spot as to wear?
Les Paul Standard 60s comes stock with nickel plated hardware. And the hardware in the pic looks like nickel to me.

OP either misspoke about it being chrome, or he replaced the hardware with heavily "aged" chrome. Depending on the "aging" process they may have broken through the chrome in places, and then natural aging wore through the nickel to reveal the copper.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
I think the wear is quite common, just wasn't sure why I was seeing copper.

Les Paul Standard 60s comes stock with nickel plated hardware. And the hardware in the pic looks like nickel to me.

OP either misspoke about it being chrome, or he replaced the hardware with heavily "aged" chrome. Depending on the "aging" process they may have broken through the chrome in places, and then natural aging wore through the nickel to reveal the copper.
I misspoke about it being chrome. So either way, if it's nickel plated, is the copper color underneath just plating also? This is natural play wear from the past few months.
 

strayedstrater

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 21, 2014
Messages
218
Reaction score
294
I think the wear is quite common, just wasn't sure why I was seeing copper.


I misspoke about it being chrome. So either way, if it's nickel plated, is the copper color underneath just plating also? This is natural play wear from the past few months.
Yes, the copper is just the base plating.

Gibson doesn't specify whether the LPS60's has a zink/Zamak or aluminum bridge (so it's probably zink/Zamak).

Copper is very soft (so is pure aluminum, but most "aluminum" guitar parts are actually aluminum alloys that are harder/stronger than copper). I'm not aware of any ABR made of copper.
-----------------------
From the mottled look of the rest of the bridge and the top of the mounting post, I'd guess that you have very acidic sweat.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Yes, the copper is just the base plating.

Gibson doesn't specify whether the LPS60's has a zink/Zamak or aluminum bridge (so it's probably zink/Zamak).

Copper is very soft (so is pure aluminum, but most "aluminum" guitar parts are actually aluminum alloys that are harder/stronger than copper). I'm not aware of any ABR made of copper.
-----------------------
From the mottled look of the rest of the bridge and the top of the mounting post, I'd guess that you have very acidic sweat.
Possibly. Ever since I purchased it back in June I've put a serious amount of hours on it.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Apparently my Explorer has a little copper plating in it to. It's peaking through on the post.
 

Attachments

LtDave32

Desert Star Guitars
Super Mod
Silver Supporting Member
Gold Supporting Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2010
Messages
44,438
Reaction score
147,112
There is a common electroplating process called "triple chrome plating".

It's simply a layer of copper, then nickel, then chrome. It's a process of better chrome plating jobs.
 

jimi55lp

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2007
Messages
2,023
Reaction score
333
It doesn't read like the OP changed this part that came original on his RI LP and I agree it should be nickel if it is an RI from Gibson but still think the place where the copper is showing thru is not a typical wear spot for "aging". This is a Gibson issue and that is who I'd contact with this problem. Considering what they charged for this guitar I think the LEAST they could do is send the buyer a replacement ABR1 and if they feel "put out" they should provide a prepaid return for the ABR1 that is showing the plating problem?
 

CB91710

Double Platinum Supporting Member
Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 19, 2019
Messages
7,305
Reaction score
14,795
It doesn't read like the OP changed this part that came original on his RI LP and I agree it should be nickel if it is an RI from Gibson but still think the place where the copper is showing thru is not a typical wear spot for "aging". This is a Gibson issue and that is who I'd contact with this problem. Considering what they charged for this guitar I think the LEAST they could do is send the buyer a replacement ABR1 and if they feel "put out" they should provide a prepaid return for the ABR1 that is showing the plating problem?
Looks like OP's is a 60's Standard ($2500)... not a RI.
But I agree that unless he's put a loy of time on it, or his skin is very acidic, we shouldn't see that kind of wear in a few months.
 

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,457
Reaction score
2,007
As has been mentioned previously, most chrome or nickel plating starts with a copper base layer, which can be deposited to a considerable thickness, which serves as the body putty layer so the part can be filed, sanded, and polished to be smooth and perfect before nickel is plated on over it. After nickel, chrome can be applied. The chrome layer is very hard, very shiny, and tends to bubble up and peel off rather than just wear away, when it's been abused enough.

I used to do small scale plating of copper, nickel, and gold, but not chrome.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Looks like OP's is a 60's Standard ($2500)... not a RI.
But I agree that unless he's put a loy of time on it, or his skin is very acidic, we shouldn't see that kind of wear in a few months.
Definitely the Standard 60's and definitely A LOT of time on this thing since mid-June.
 

Wise Guy

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 11, 2020
Messages
154
Reaction score
103
Notice how the post on the treble side is darker than the worn side. I think there's an issue with their plating. The treble side is darkening and I really don't touch that side much.
 

Attachments

cmjohnson

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 12, 2012
Messages
2,457
Reaction score
2,007
The nickel dulls most where hands touch it most. It happens even on my guitars, though I have some of the LEAST acidic body chemistry going. Some people can put new strings on a guitar, play it for a while, and the strings will be rusty the very next day. My strings never get rusty even after they've been on the guitar for over a year. In fact if I play an acoustic guitar with tarnished bronze strings, after a while the tarnish transfers to my hands and the strings get shiny again where my fingers have been touching them.

Bizzarre, right? But that happens with me.
 


Latest Threads



Top