Removing the Floyd Rose Plating
A pretty cool thing I've been doing lately is removing the plating (chrome & black) from the Floyd Rose base plate. In early 2017, I found on eBay an old 1980s Floyd with serious pitting and rust. Although I like the relic'd and aged look, I wanted to do something about it. So I thought, why not remove the chrome plating and get down to the bare steel? Well, remember that the plating process uses an electric current to get the chrome to adhere to steel, so it would take weeks to sand it off. And I didn't feel like buying acid, so...
I used my Dremel and removed the chrome plating from the top and sides of the base plate. Sandwiched in between the chrome and the steel is a thin layer of nickel, which appears as a metallic pink-orange color. Well, I went right through that, too. And having that thin layer of nickel is a good thing, so you know to keep going and when to stop. Once that nickel color is gone - you're at the steel. Warning - I went through about 3-4 of those mini Dremel sandpaper rolls, but I was able to achieve the look I wanted in less than an hour. And I used a little toothpaste (rubbing compound will also work) on the Dremel roll to polish it up, too. Minty fresh. I then did the same thing to the tops of the chrome saddles, but only to the square section after the pivot pin. And yes, I would totally do this again to another pitted, rusted Floyd - I love the matte look of an unplated Floyd Rose. I ended up using this one on my Kramer 5150 Tele guitar, which led to another unplating project...
Pictured above is my Unplated Floyd Rose Project #2 for my Kramer EVH 78 Frankenstein guitar. This is actually the Floyd that was on my Kramer 5150 Tele guitar and it had some major pitting and rust on it; I think it cleaned up pretty well by taking all the chrome off.
Above is my Unplated Floyd Rose Project #3 for my Kramer 5150 83 Prototype guitar - before and after pictures. This one was originally a black 1980s model, and it had some flaking and minor pitting - especially on the saddles. I picked it up cheap and thought it would make a good candidate for an "unplating project" - and because I wanted to try all of this on a black one. I started this one by soaking it in degreaser for about a day and that really loosened the plating - to the point it began peeling off on its own! And you can see that both the black plating and the thin nickel layer came right off, exposing the bare steel. Made the job much easier... easier than a chrome one, and I like the look of the Floyd Rose embossed logo in black.
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #4! There was some chips and dings in the chrome Floyd base plate on my EVH Striped Series Frankenstein Road Worn guitar, so I went ahead and Dremel'd off the plating (see before and after pics above). The aged black saddles look great with the bare steel base plate, and it didn't take too long to accomplish. We'll see how it ages now.
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #5! TBD (see before and after pics above). Titanium block inserts and stainless steel screws...
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #6! TBD (see before and after pics above).
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #7! Kramer EVH 85 Frankenstein guitar (see final result pic above). I just took the plating off the chrome saddles.
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #8! TBD (see before and after pics above).
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #9! This old black Floyd was worked on and used on my Kramer 5150 Pacer (see before and after pics above).
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #10! TBD (see before and after pics above).
Unplated Floyd Rose Project #11! TBD (see before and after pics above).
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