Bronze plated stainless fasteners

Discussion in 'Wooden Boat Building and Restoration' started by alan white, Mar 11, 2007.

  1. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    A customer of mine recently ordered screws from a catalog, thinking they were bronze, as the catalog called them "statuary bronze". They looked suspicious, so I ground the tip from one, and found stainless inside.
    Mind you, these were on the order of $18.95 per hundred of #6 x 1-1/2", while silicon bronze equivilants cost $14.99 in the same catalog.
    It was the pattern that caused my customer to go with the statuary bronze (thinking it solid bronze). He needed oval heads for ceiling boards, and oval headed #6 solid bronze screws apparently weren't available from this particular supplier.
    Does anyone have any experience with plated stainless fasteners? The cost of bronze nowadays is obviously motivating alternatives here and there, though in this case, seems cost wasn't the criterion.
    I have wondered about what stainless could be plated with that would allow interchangability with bronze, owing to the cost of copper nowadays.
    Hot dipped in zinc? Copper plate?

    Alan
     
  2. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    DanishBagger Never Again

    Looks like cost (for the manufacturer, that is) was indeed a priority.

    Stainless, if encapsulated - no matter if its covered in bronze (or perhaps _especially_ if covered) will be oxygen deprived, and so will rot away.

    I can't think of a single thing that would benefit from covering stainless in bronze, except the padding of the manufacturers pockets.


    You can certainly have bronze and stainless together, but there's no point (that I can see) why you should cover the stainless with the stuff. On the contrary.
     
  3. alan white
    Joined: Mar 2007
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    alan white Senior Member

    The boat in question has increased value because the owner has maintained its condition "as original", so while stainless makes sense for cost, especially inside the cockpit where corrosion isn't a big issue, the original screws were brass (which the entire boat is screwed together with). I recommended reusing the original brass screws and tossing the plated stainless ones back at the supplier, who (no doubt on purpose) used unclear language to describe the catalog items (never mentioning the word, "plated", which is the honest thing to do).
    Insult to injury, the plated screws were more expensive than the solid silicon bronze!
    Thanks for your input. My guess, there's a bit of gouging going on here. "Plated" generally means cheaper, so "statuary bronze" becomes the item description. I suppose brass plated steel would be termed, "Ferric brass" or "doormaker's brass" or some such nonsense.
    Caveat emptor, as they say.

    A.
     

  4. DanishBagger
    Joined: Feb 2006
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    DanishBagger Never Again

    Yep, I hate it when shops/suppliers do that.

    They do the same with titanium - call it titanium, while all it has a grey enamel, or it's stainless that has had an acid bath discolouring it.

    He should certainly toss it back at the store, especially since both the boat will depreciate, but imagine what damage the stuff can do when the screws begin to bleed :-(
     
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