Aging a Gibson Customerbucker Cover

lawrev

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Hi All,

I just had a Gibson Custombucker Alnico 3 unpotted installed in my VOS Junior. Sounds great, but the cover is unaged and the rest of the guitar has aged parts from the factory.

I don't want to mess up a great thing, but I was curious whether it is possible to age the cover while installed? The tech that installed the pickup said that the best way to age it is play it a lot and not clean the cover. He also said that lemon juice can provide some aging. With the latter, I assume it would require a Qtip and lightly and gently apply it to the cover. Thoughts? Thanks!
 

LP1865

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lawrev

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Try light applications of muriatic acid on a q-tip.
If I try this method, I'm assuming that a dry q-tip should be used to remove any remaining acid after the desired level of aging has been reached? I don't want a full bore aging, just some light aging and then I will play it to accomplish the rest. Thanks!
 

jstarr823

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If I try this method, I'm assuming that a dry q-tip should be used to remove any remaining acid after the desired level of aging has been reached? I don't want a full bore aging, just some light aging and then I will play it to accomplish the rest. Thanks!
Sounds about right. Once you reach that level, clean with a mild soap or cleaner. I’ve only used muriatic acid for aging with good results (on nickel). Never used etching fluid or the such.
 

lawrev

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Sounds about right. Once you reach that level, clean with a mild soap or cleaner. I’ve only used muriatic acid for aging with good results (on nickel). Never used etching fluid or the such.
Thanks! Use a mild soap or cleaner on the pickup cover? The pickup is installed.
 

jstarr823

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Thanks! Use a mild soap or cleaner on the pickup cover? The pickup is installed.
Yes. Like lightly dampen a small cloth or towel with something to wipe away the acid residue. Not a bath. LOL.
 

lawrev

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Yes. Like lightly dampen a small cloth or towel with something to wipe away the acid residue. Not a bath. LOL.
Got it. Look forward to the result on these nickel covers. Thanks!
 

lawrev

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Yes. Like lightly dampen a small cloth or towel with something to wipe away the acid residue. Not a bath. LOL.
I've heard about vinegar being used too. Any thoughts on that? I look at muriatic acid and most stores sell it by the gallon, which is a bit of overkill. LOL
 

Gold Tone

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I’d just play it
So many choices of which liquid to use on their pickups is headed towards someone crying

I’ve never seen a shiny nickel cover on a guitar that is played...they always age fast

If you’re dead set on doing this REMOVE the covers 1st
 

abracadaben

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Take a container, put muriatic acid (pool acid) take another container to hold the covers (or any nickel hardware) and put that one inside the first so the acid doesn’t touch the covers. Leave the hardware container open and close the bigger one. Leave a day or 2 or more to taste.... this will do the trick
 

Frethead

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^That's exactly how I do it but I use vinegar instead of muriatic acid. That stuffs nasty, you use it to etch cement for christs sake. Bit overkill to use it to age a few small pieces of nickel if you ask me, but hey each their own
 

lawrev

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Using the vinegar / Qtip method both yesterday and today - the cover is slowly losing that new look. Will add some each day and probably a fine wool pad, lightly used, followed by some more vinegar.
 

lawrev

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Try light applications of muriatic acid on a q-tip.
@jstarr823 I'm trying your suggestion. Progress! But question: Should the pickup be wiped off before another application of the acid is added? Should I wait 24 hours before another application (overnight)? The reason I ask is because it appears that if I put on another application 8 hours after the prior one, I wipe the prior one off (or maybe it is an optical illusion). Either way, my application of the muriatic acid is light and not a "bath."

Your suggestions - and anyone else's - is appreciated. Happy Holidays!
 

jstarr823

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Just wipe to make sure there’s no fingerprints or oils. Light application is good, because you can monitor progress until you’ve reached the desired level.
 


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