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Jul 25, 2021 - 3:00:59 PM
3 posts since 1/15/2019

I've got an Alvarez Minstrel 5-string banjo I bought around 1977-78. I've always babied it and the wood is beautiful but the chrome is less attractive due to discoloration or tarnish of some kind. I purchased a product called "Simichrome" which worked great on most spots but the armrest where the arm actually rests doesn't want to shine up. I've got arthritis and can no longer play so I'd like to gussie it up for sale. I'd appreciate any tips on how to shine the armrest. I'm afraid to try anything that might damage the finish. Thanks to all for any advice.

Edited by - clambert on 07/25/2021 15:13:05

Jul 25, 2021 - 4:09:05 PM
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3920 posts since 5/29/2011

It sounds like the armrest may be worn down to where it won't shine up. If that's the case then there is not really anything you can do to make it shiny again. I always found that white vinegar shines chrome really well but it tarnishes nickel.

Jul 25, 2021 - 5:00:35 PM
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105 posts since 7/26/2020

I have a banjo that has the armrest that won’t polish up. It seems like there’s still a smidge where I’ve tried shining with Simichrome as well.

I’d have to agree with what Mark said above.

Edited by - RoCopickin20 on 07/25/2021 17:01:03

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:19:20 PM
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texasdw

USA

9 posts since 3/5/2020

Wooden armrest.

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:24:27 PM
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Enfield1858

England

127 posts since 8/1/2020

quote:
Originally posted by clambert

I've got an Alvarez Minstrel 5-string banjo I bought around 1977-78. I've always babied it and the wood is beautiful but the chrome is less attractive due to discoloration or tarnish of some kind. I purchased a product called "Simichrome" which worked great on most spots but the armrest where the arm actually rests doesn't want to shine up. I've got arthritis and can no longer play so I'd like to gussie it up for sale. I'd appreciate any tips on how to shine the armrest. I'm afraid to try anything that might damage the finish. Thanks to all for any advice.


First of all, I'm sorry to hear of your troubles with arthritis - and old friend suffered from it, too, and I wouldn't wish it on a junkyard dog.

Re. the chrome;  chrome plating is done by polishing the steel, plating it with nickel, and then applying a flash coating of chrome over the top, and the layer of chrome is extremely thin.  I suspect that you've worn through the chrome and are down to the nickel - and I don't think there's any way you can polish up the nickel to match the gloss of the chrome.

Having said that, if your banjo is in good nick, I can't see any buyer (apart from a real nit-picker) jibbing at a patch of slight dullness on the arm-rest - and if they're that fussed about it, it only takes one spanner and five minutes work to change it!

With best regards,
Jack

Jul 25, 2021 - 6:54:55 PM
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Bill Rogers (Moderator)

USA

25116 posts since 6/25/2005

Plating wears off armrests. No polish will restore it. That’t the nature of the beast.

Jul 25, 2021 - 8:02:29 PM
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11670 posts since 10/27/2006
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If bright shiny chrome is important, new armrests are available. I see them on Amazon but you need to be careful that the one you order is actually chrome plated. The "Chrome Tone" brand does not appear to be but these are:

MoonEmbassy Banjo Armrest Two Legs,Chrome Plated

Kmise Banjo Armrest Single Leg for Banjo Parts Replacement Luthier Maker Chrome Plated
 

Aug 9, 2021 - 1:30:17 PM

3 posts since 1/15/2019

Thank you to all my fellow pickers for their excellent advice and insights. The tarnish never bothered me as it has no bearing on sound. I won't worry further about it.

Aug 12, 2021 - 6:30:26 AM

bill53

USA

401 posts since 3/26/2004

im starting to get some arthritis I have a book that lists natural things to help called bible cures olive oil massaged in the hand also it lists cabbage as a natural pain killer my wife swears by it boil it eat it and drink the juice stay away form nite shade plants potato, green peppers , tomatos will really inflame your arthritis hope you get better

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