How do people relic a maple fretboard?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by cap217, Dec 20, 2011.

  1. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    I had a cheap tele and tired to relic the fretboard and guitar just for fun and it didnt go well at all. I then sanded it down and applied nitro and that was easy to check and work with but I still dont understand that ware marks on the frets...

    Why do I ask?

    I have a NOS CS Nocaster that I would like to speed up the aging process. I assume that the fretboard is sprayed in nirto and that needs to ware off but then how do the frets become black?
     
  2. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Silver Supporting Member

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    You want black frets?
     
  3. wire-n-wood

    wire-n-wood Supporting Member

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    Even old frets are shiny... If used.
     
  4. unfunnyclown

    unfunnyclown Member

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    This is probably the worst idea I've ever heard. Artificial aging won't match the feel or aesthetics of an actual vintage instrument 99% of the time. That's why relicing carries such a hefty surcharge at Fender CS.

    Maybe you have the magic touch, but if someone tried to relic my NOS CS Thinline they'd very quickly get a headstock to the face.
     
  5. mcdes

    mcdes Member of no importance Silver Supporting Member

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    Hold the guitar by the neck all year, without letting go. Where you go, it goes...... Soon enough the desired effect will happen.
     
  6. lumco

    lumco Gold Supporting Member

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    or just tie it to the bumper of your truck and drive around with it for a year.
     
  7. moosewayne

    moosewayne Supporting Member

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    ummm........play it a lot?
     
  8. MSS

    MSS Supporting Member

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    That would have been my answer! (I do own a Nocaster relic in all fairness!)
     
  9. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    Alright! Relic-disdainer bait!!
     
  10. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    I want a black fretboard... sorry, not frets.
     
  11. 24frets

    24frets Member

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    There is a firm who makes relic-ed Fender-style guitars that, after looking at the indents placed into the fretboard, I realized matched the size and shape of my Dremel chain saw sharpening stone exactly. Which is an example of what I would not do...
     
  12. Vintage-tone

    Vintage-tone Gold Supporting Member

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    it's a delicate and long process if you want it to look real.
    There are plenty of methods to achive the same result. Some looking more real than others.
    In my experience, I never was really happy with the results unless i would stain the wood / some areas of the wood PRIOR to spraying it . You need to achieve a certain lvl of patina on the wood itself or it will look like brand new maple with no finish on it . Sadly it does look like that on most relics and refins.
    Check this 62 Headstock repair, the pictures are not very good but it should give you an idea.
     
  13. Gas-man

    Gas-man Fever In The Funkhouse Silver Supporting Member

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    Some seem like they use dremels to get the finger marks.

    I won't, you know, name any names or nothin' but...
     
  14. Ron Kirn

    Ron Kirn Member

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    Very poorly .. . even the "good" relic jobs look as fake as a politician's smile to those that have actually played/owned a real true vintage guitar...

    Ron Kirn
     
  15. bbrunskill

    bbrunskill Member

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    Play it. My Maple Strat is looking quite beat after only 3 years. Just how I like them.
     
  16. vanguard

    vanguard Member

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    +1. replicating the wear on a maple board is the black belt of artificial aging. i've NEVER seen a truly convincing immitation.
     
  17. Trebor Renkluaf

    Trebor Renkluaf Silver Supporting Member

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    Hit the fingerboard with some steel wool. With a little practice you can make authentic looking wear marks. If you want them dark, use some graphite powder.
     
  18. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    I have read about the graphite powder method. But are you applying this on a raw neck then nitro over it? Or is all the relic work done after nitro? Or is it in between nitro coats?
     
  19. cap217

    cap217 Supporting Member

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    Oh my... I looked at a few youtube relicing videos. HORRIBLE!
     
  20. musicofanatic5

    musicofanatic5 Member

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    Let your left hand fingernails grow long. On old teles and strats I have examined, this looks exactly like what has occurred. If one reduces the thickness (steel wool, scotchbrite) of the finish on a f.b., the "natural" wear will logically occur sooner.
     

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