aging nickel with vinegar

Discussion in 'The Custom Shop' started by wantsa58, Jul 26, 2008.

  1. alexvdl

    alexvdl Senior Member

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    Iron chloride (used for etching) is pretty cheap, but it works like a charm. In just several seconds it can turn shiny nickel to this:

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    This is the hardware of my 2008 Tokai LS95. You gotta be carefull though, cause if the nickel is very thin and there's copper underneath, it will show in just a matter of second. I'd recommend mixing the iron chloride with water.
     
  2. bildozr

    bildozr Deliberately Obtuse V.I.P. Member

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    Hmmm...
    Maybe My Bigsby...
    I like the look of worn metal.
     
  3. fisheric

    fisheric Senior Member

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    chrome is never gonna age like nickle, in my experience chrome is only defeatable by muriatic acid. Somewhere i read that concrete stain would also work, but i've never tried it. personally i dont like the look of reliced chrome. chrome is one of the most durable finishes ever invented. The only time I ever see real aged chrome it has been corroded. thats when you see that green like rust. ever notice that you see alot of that in old bathrooms. my guess is urine will make chrome corrode.

    maybe someone could try submerging chrome into ammonia, or an ammonia salt mixture.
     
  4. fisheric

    fisheric Senior Member

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    I once had a tele with a bigsby and all gold hardware. i took a really abrasive metal polish that i cant remember the name of. it was green and smelled sour. and rubbed all the gold off and the hardware had a really cool nickel look to it.

    anyone know what is under gold?
     
  5. wantsa58

    wantsa58 Senior Member

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    nickel is under gold more than likely.

    I scuffed up the chrome on my pup cover, so badly that i made it to the brass underneath the nickel in some areas. Most agree that HCL ( muriatic acid ) does very little to chrome, you need to get it off by scuffing or electrolysis to get to the nickel. What i found odd was that more aging occurred after the vinegar treatment. It looks nothing like the above pictures though, more like a slight aging.
     
  6. fisheric

    fisheric Senior Member

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    here are photos of the tele. wantsa58 i think you are right, and wikipedia also agrees with you.

    fisheric - Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

    i really miss this guitar. it was a 1982 american tele with a red bobbin bridge pickup and just screamed. the neck was an all parts neck with a heavy flame on the top and back (it was a one piece)

    when i first got it I couldnt get it to stay in tune. it was because of the bridge. someone told me to wrap them in electrical tape so i did. first i set the height exactly where i wanted it and then pushed them in. It was a force fit. and that guitar held tune better than any other i've owned.

    i traded it for a mint 1972 twin reverb
     
  7. ES350

    ES350 Senior Member

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    You can definitely overdo this stuff---I aged an 80's MIA Strat bridge some time back with HCL and it is now a non-adjustable model...
     
  8. klunkerbill

    klunkerbill Junior Member

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    Hey All,
    Is there any danger in 'fuming' tuners? Does it cause any damage to the inner workings of the gears?
    Thanks!
     
  9. Jason

    Jason Senior Member

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    If you're looking for natural corrosion, a salt solution would work much better. If you could pass an electric current thrrough it, that would be even faster. Natural corrosion is an electro-chemical reaction and acid is not going to simulate it realistically.
     
  10. 61LPSG

    61LPSG Senior Member

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    Chrome is a "clear" coating over nickle-> which is over copper. Use some fine sandpaper, Scotch-brite, lapping compound, or Beartex to just remove the chrome...(not the nickle or copper) ...it will then expose the nickle. Now fume it with vinegar or etchant, and rinse in cold water to stop the process and it should look pretty convincing.
    I've even used a rock tumbler with med-fine compound to take off the chrome.
     
  11. mojotop

    mojotop Senior Member

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    After upgrading my BURNY-Fernandes Les Paul I wanted to look the hardware like the original, heavy aged tuners. So I buffed the chrome PU-covers down to the nickel-layer under the chrome-finish, then fumed twice with vinegar.
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    To create pick-swirls and worn spots on the hardware-surface the best tools are the fingernail polishing-tools you´ll find in the beauty-cases of your ladys! Use them before AND after fuming for the perfect aged look of your hardware (and also on the plastic-parts the result looks KILLER!)
    For example:
    ARIA pro II Les Paul custom from 1978 with brand new gold & plastic parts!
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  12. dspelman

    dspelman Senior Member

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    Can I suggest that you guys consult with the paint department of your local Home Desperate? How do you think they get all those antiqued handles and gates and hinges? They've got a full set of chemistry that will work on your metal goodies. Same deal with the cracked paint finishes on what look like old cupboards, armoires, etc. They've got a whole list of "aging" stuff available that will go after brass, iron, copper, etc.
     
  13. lukemacauley

    lukemacauley Mac Guitars Premium Member

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    Corrosion is oxidation. For oxidation to occur there must be water and oxygen present. Salt will speed up the reaction, and electricity even more so. Using anything else will not make it look like proper vintage parts.
     
  14. jonesy

    jonesy GLOBAL WIRING GURU MLP Vendor

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  15. Engraved Guitars

    Engraved Guitars Member

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    Hi Singlecut. has I'm not very good with english writing, (I'm Portuguese) I quote you, and add my opinion.
    Same method but using amonia.
     

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