Guitar 911: Matching Hardware by Painting and Heat Treating

(Image credit: Joe Becker)

Today, we're going to talk about matching hardware by painting and heat treating.

Far too many times I've seen situations where the previous owner tried to spray paint—for example—gold trem posts black. Then, after time and wear, it starts flaking and peeling off.

This is because people normally skip the crucial step of baking the paint on via heat treatment.

For this, we're going to head to the kitchen and bake some parts in the oven.

I use a mini-bench vice to hold the parts for spray painting and heat treatment. Once painted, allow the oven to preheat to 450 degrees. Then place the vice in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Turn off the oven and allow the parts to slowly cool (in the oven) for another 15 minutes. Remove the vice and place it somewhere—maybe your kitchen sink, since a lot of sinks are made of stainless steel and will absorb the heat from the vice, which helps the cooling process.

Once cooled, you'll have a hardened paint job that will last for a very long time. The photos illustrate the aforementioned process performed on a modified carriage bolt to plug a hole where a volume knob used to be.

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