Aging Gold Covers...

Hydra19

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I got an old Les Paul Custom with brand new pickup covers so I got some Allparts to age and add to my aged Seymour Duncan cover.
I have made a start but I can tell these gold pickup covers look nothing alike.
The Allparts are so bright, it's hard to tell they're gold in daylight, whereas the aged Duncan cover looks like real Gold.
It's possible they're made from different materials but both should be nickel silver with gold plating. I'm really gonna have to pay for an authentic cover

 

Roxy13

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Some covers also have a brass or copper underplating on them, which might add to color differences, especially when aged.

I haven't really found a good way yet either to age gold so I'm going to watch your thread here to see if someone contributes who has done a good job.
 

MATTM

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Aging gold is really tough to make look authentic. If I were going to do it, I'd probably fume them in distilled vinegar and sea salt. Muriatic works pretty well on nickel plating, but no so much on gold. Besides, muriatic acid is really nasty stuff that shouldn't be fooled with unless you know what you're doing and have the proper respirator. Trust me. I learned the hard way a long time ago. This stuff can and will burn your lungs. Proceed with caution.
 

smk506

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It’s kind of funny that gold ages the fastest naturally, whether you want it to or not, but it’s proving so difficult to do it intentionally. Or at least to do a convincing job of it.

I’m getting interested in relicing parts to match up to older guitars where vintage correct isn’t a good option so I’m definitely curious to see what all comes up.
 

Hydra19

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My thought is that these 2 gold covers are nothing alike, although they weigh the same. The aged duncan has a lot more yellow in the color, whereras the allparts one has such a light gold tint that it looks like chrome in light, so I do think it's a cheaper sort of plating on the Allparts. I'm waiting for a better colored cover to arrive. I'll age it with vinegar, and I've managed to do a good job on nickel
 

kakerlak

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Nevr-dull polishing wadding will knock down the gold in a hurry. You might install the covers in the guitar, with the strings on and then wipe over the pickup with a piece of it. That'll leave the typical unworn areas under strings and at the edges of the pickup ring. Should look better. It won't cause the sort of corrosion/pitting you see on older guitars, but it's a good starting point. Go easy and stop/observe, b/c you can pretty quickly take virtually all the gold off.
 

MiniB

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What about a very diluted gold etchant solution?
 

EdmundGTP

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You could try to add patina with iodine. Sometimes heating it up will add discoloration (i.e. heat gun or gently applied heat from a torch). The pitting will be hard to replicate. Spritzing a mist of gold etchant on to it, so small droplets etch little pit marks into the finish perhaps, might help with that. I would have bought an extra cover or two to experiment on.
 

MiniB

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Wolfe McLeod just posted some examples on his FB page.....


Aged Gold Covers
 

charlie chitlins

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How about playing the guitar for a couple hours?
This is gold plating we're talking about, right?
 

cooljuk

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mild abrasives
mild reactants
repeat
repeat
repeat
repeat...

...in tiny little steps, just a hair at a time. I don't know a way to rush it into an afternoon and make it look real. Harsh chemicals are faster but give harsh looking (to me) results.

Of course, mine might look awful to others. It's very subjective and each actual vintage guitar has a unique style of wear based on the individual life it lived.

 


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