Help! Need ideas for making "aged" plastic!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by piloto117, Feb 3, 2012.

  1. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    Hey guys, I'm trying to look for a cheap but reliable way to make white plastic look "golden" or aged for a more vintage vibe. To be specific, it's the plastic peg on a the tuners of a Hamer Echotone (335 style) guitar. The damned white is tooo white, they stick out like a sore thumb!
     
  2. 4nd3h

    4nd3h Member

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    Coffee?
     
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  3. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    LOL! Yes, thank you! I'll take mine black!
    Seriously, I've been looking around and coffee IS an option. I'm just wondering if there is a true and tried method of aging plastic, white plastic to be specific?
     
  4. crhfish

    crhfish Member

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    I've read that brown shoe polish will do it on pickup covers. Not sure about tuners though.
     
  5. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    What about the Ex-Lax method?
     
  6. crhfish

    crhfish Member

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    Not with tuners. To many edges and it affects the tone. Makes it muddy.
     
  7. Guitarworks

    Guitarworks Member

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    put the parts in coffee
     
  8. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    One plastic company that my employer buys parts from keeps their prices low partly by limiting the choices of plastic. When we need a part from them in a color that's off their menu, they use Rit dye. It works on nylon or Delrin but not acrylic. Not sure about what type plastic the buttons are.
     
  9. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    This. Coffee doesnt work. RIT. Get a brown and a yellow and find a good mix. Its been so long since I did it I dont recall what the ratio is.
     
  10. modernp

    modernp Member

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    I own a plastic fabrication company and about the only thing that will really work is UV. I have actually seen people age acrylic in tanning beds.
     
  11. FredZepp

    FredZepp Member

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    I used some walnut furniture touch up (just some old mohawk stuff that I had laying around ) on a truss rod cover that was too white..
    but have no idea what it'll do to tuners.
     
  12. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Coffee and tea does work on a lot of plastics. Some of the cheap looking stuff it doesn't. Like Dimarzio covers, they're real cheap and won't fade at all. Fender plastics do but everyonce in awhile, a batch comes a long that doesn't.

    Coffee is easy and the simplest. If it doesn't take, no biggie. It won't hurt a thing.
     
  13. dcarroll

    dcarroll Member

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    I tried coffee, but it wouldn't really stain newer plastics.

    Had great success with this:


    Pour white vinegar into a cup, add some steel wool and let the steel wool dissolve overnight. Then add plastic parts to the mixture for 24 hours. When done, lightly sand with steel wool.

    works like a charm
     
  14. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    Interesting. How long before the vinegar smell goes away from the plastic?
     
  15. piloto117

    piloto117 Member

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    Sorry, I was out of town and couldn't reply....

    Wow, nice suggestions! I'll try the coffee first, maybe lightly sand the tuner a little bit first and see what happens. If not, the vinegar approach seems to be the next step and if not, I'll try some dye/paint/lacquer mix. I also read that spaghetti sauce works too, but I'm not sure if I'll end up with red rusty tuners!


    Thank you all very much, I'll post my results at the end of the week.
     
  16. jemke

    jemke Member

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    One solution is to send it out for 'gamma irradiation' treatment used for sterilisation in medical applications. Plastics change color, becoming more yellow, depending on the material properties and irradiation dose.
     
  17. kingsxman

    kingsxman Silver Supporting Member

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    Very dangerous. Use with caution:

    Metal: get some hydrocloric acid (I think thats what I used) and a glass jar. Big one. (pickle jar or coffee can). rig up a way so you can hang the metal from a wire that you can suspend from the top of the can/jar. Then put your acid in the bottom of the can and put the lid on..suspending the parts over the acid. The fumes will eat away at the metal.
    Try 5 minutes. Then try 10. I think I've went anywhere from 5 minutes to an hour.
    Let the parts sit out overnight afterwards. Dont wipe them off until later.
    It works.
     
  18. Whiskeyrebel

    Whiskeyrebel Member

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    But then they wake up disoriented and shirtless with no memory of what happened ater they got pissed off.
     
  19. AD_

    AD_ Member

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    That's actually a good idea, for those wanting to make their finish look aged. Memberships to tanning salons aren't too expensive, and it probably would only take a couple of trips. I just wonder if people will look at me weird if they seem me lay my Strat down in a tanning bed. Or even funnier - getting in there with it!

    How long do you typically see people leaving their plastic parts in the 'oven'? People usually don't stay in there longer than 15 minutes or so at a time.
     
  20. rushcentrale

    rushcentrale Member

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    Brown shoe polish. Try that first. You don't have to take anything apart. Rub some on the tips and let it sit for a while before you wipe it off. This works pretty well for the white button kluson types on Gibson Jrs.
     

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