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For those who like to age their plastic parts...

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by AD_, Feb 19, 2012.

  1. AD_

    AD_ Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    I think I have come up with, or stumbled upon really, a method which makes shiny plastic pickup covers and other plastic parts look a little more worn-in. I'm usually not the type of guy who likes relics, or beat-up looking guitars unless it is from lots of actual use. On a whim, I decided to try to make the pickup covers and other plastic pieces on my Stratocaster look a little less shiny and new.

    The first pieces I attacked were the pickup covers themselves. I used 600 grit wet-or-dry sandpaper to round the edges. I never really liked the squared-off edges of new pickup covers. They look better a little more rounded. It doesn't have to look perfect, but the more rounded they are the better. Also, I made sure not to sand too much away and go completely through a thin area of the cover. Afterward, I went back over the covers with 1000 grit paper, just to smooth it all out a bit. I want it to look old, not like it had been sanded.

    After sanding the pickup covers, I wanted to do the control knobs next. My guitar is a little mismatched, but on purpose because I like the look. I have white pickup covers and black control knobs. Again, I knocked off the sharp edges with sandpaper, but this time I started with 800 grit and finished off with 1000 grit. I didn't want to remove too much material.

    After the sanding, it was time to age all the pieces.

    Step #1 was to strip off the shiny. I used acetone. Using a Q-tip, I brushed the acetone on each part one at a time. I would let it dry a little, then reapply. I reapplied it a lot, actually.

    Step #2 was to impart a good, aged look. I've read reports on here of good results using coffee. This is what I used, warm coffee. I soaked the parts in a solution of mostly coffee with a good extra dose of acetone. The mix was probably like 70% coffee, 30% acetone. I soaked each part for about an hour.

    After soaking, I took the parts out of the coffee/acetone solution and let them dry face-up on a paper towel. After drying, I rinsed thoroughly with cold water, and let them dry again.

    They turned out well, I think. I'm sure they could have been a little better if I had to do another set to do.

    :worthless

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  2. LoganKade

    LoganKade Member

    Messages:
    25
    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2011
    Looks clean... In a relic'd sort of way ;)
     
  3. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Apr 9, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    That pickguard is spectacular. Is it an aftermarket guard?
     
  4. AD_

    AD_ Member

    Messages:
    429
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2011
    Location:
    Nashville, TN
    Yeah it was made by Bill Silverman in California. Great guy to deal with. El Dorado guitar straps is his company.
     
  5. CasinoK

    CasinoK Member

    Messages:
    164
    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2008
    Location:
    Highland Farm - Standardbred Retirement Facility
    spectacular...no doubt!!!, my thoughts exactly. That is a VERY nice piece.
     

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