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Relicing Guitar Hardware

Messages
81
Hi guys. I decided to contuniue relicing my SG. How can I relic the hardware without using that special chemical? Is there a way I can do it at home easily?
 

bluesoul

Senior Member
Messages
4,646
Yes....if fact you can do it now I would bet!
Use a large tupperware container with a lid. Put an inch of white vinegar in it. Place the hardware in a bowl and place bowl in container and put the lid on. Check in every two or thee hours until it looks about how your want it to look. You will need to clean the parts a little...wipe them off good. I use a little gun oil afterwards and wipe them off. What happens is the acidic fumes does its magic!
 

Bossanova

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
8,420
Yes....if fact you can do it now I would bet!
Use a large tupperware container with a lid. Put an inch of white vinegar in it. Place the hardware in a bowl and place bowl in container and put the lid on. Check in every two or thee hours until it looks about how your want it to look. You will need to clean the parts a little...wipe them off good. I use a little gun oil afterwards and wipe them off. What happens is the acidic fumes does its magic!
This hasn't worked on chrome parts for me. Hydrochloric acid for that.
 
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lendryesky

Senior Member
Messages
2,438
I came here to see how many posts in somebody would say either, "Play the crap out of it for 20 years," or "I don't understand relics." To my surprise, nobody yet.

Except me of course, although I have nothing against relics. If it's a body shape I like and it's comfortable and sounds great, I don't care how cosmetically damaged a guitar is.
 

sshan25

Supporting Member
Messages
4,129
Chrome? Not going to happen. Eventually, chrome will pit but l've never seen a fast way to replicate it. Nickel? I use diluted etchant solution.
 

danelectro

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,152
I've heard of people aging chrome parts by burying them in the backyard for several weeks. I've never tried it myself.
 

poolshark

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,231
Chrome ages slower/differently than nickel. The two should not look the same. Check out some vintage guitars.
 
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Tidewater Custom Shop

Performance Enhancing Guitarworks
Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,691
relicing chrome and poly usually ends up terrible.
Chrome? Not going to happen. Eventually, chrome will pit but l've never seen a fast way to replicate it. Nickel? I use diluted etchant solution.
Chrome simply takes much longer to 'age' than nickel. Most Gibson guitar parts plated with chrome have durable, thick layers of protection for years of 'like new' appearance.

If done correctly, however, chrome will turn out nicely. It is more resilient than nickel, but with patience it will turn into a decent facsimile of aged nickel.

Here's just one example of a set of TV Jones Filter'Tron pickup covers I did a about six years ago. I don't have a 'before' pic, but trust me - they were shiny new chrome. I used the vapor bath of muriatic acid. After the first two hours, I used a Dremel buffing pad to etch the surface, then bathed the covers for another two hours. The pole pieces, of course, received simultaneous treatment.

There are precautions to take with acid, of course. Primarily a respirator with proper filters, long sleeves, a face shield and rubber gloves. Do it outdoors, away from idiots, or a well ventilated non-living area of your home (e.g. garage, work shed, etc). This is the stuff used to balance the pH in chlorinated swimming pools. You see lifeguards dumping gallons at a time into the pool with just their swim suits.

 
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