Aging hardware on the guitar?

neoclassical

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I'll admit it, I feel lazy and don't want to remove my pickups, but the new covers are too new and shiny. Is there something I can use to knock the shine down without removing them? Something acidic to wipe on and off etc?
 

BDW60

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Waiting for responses. Mine also too shiny (nickel), and I am also too lazy to remove them. Scotch brite? I have a lovely set of aged locking Grovers I want to put on this 2020 Standard and would like to gently push the other hardware along.
 

neoclassical

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They are nickel (SD p'ups). I just don't have the motivation to remove and reinstall them.
 

kelsodeez

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I've heard the best way to get a patina on fresh nickel is to put them in a box, put some vinegar in a humidifier and pump the vinegar vapor into the box for a few hours
 

T Willis

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I've aged nickel by putting them into a large sealed plastic container with a small cup of white vinegar in there. I hung the parts over the cup of vinegar with some wire.
Exactly what I would suggest. I aged some nickel Grover milk bottle tuners this way.
 

SnakeJake

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I'll admit it, I feel lazy and don't want to remove my pickups, but the new covers are too new and shiny. Is there something I can use to knock the shine down without removing them? Something acidic to wipe on and off etc?
I don't understand why you installed new covers and now you don't want them.
 

calieng

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AGING NICKEL HARWARE INCLUDING PICKUPS

Purchase large gallon zip lock bag and pack of 45 ACP gun swab (any large Q tip)

Soak Q tip in murriatic acid (or other readily available acid / pool treatment from Home Depot etc)

Place pickups inside zip lock bag with covers facing up into air space. Puff up bag so lots of air inside. Insert Q tip soaked in acid into bag but do not touch pickups with it. Seal bag with air inside. Let air/acid vapor do its thing. Check every 5 minutes until amount of aging is achieved. Then remove contents and air dry.

Do not put face near bag (air / acid vapor is corrosive). Use disposable gloves. Do not touch acid to anything. Seal all waste in plastic bag and put in trash. Do not dispose of acid in trash or down drains.

Follow instructions at your own risk.
 
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EXPLRGAB

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I have no utilitarian idea why this is even a thing. In my advancing years, accruing more age seems counter intuitive..but yet it is a BIG BIG DEAL. No offense intended to those that gravitate towards purchasing new guitars with the RETRO distressed antique look.
 

Deftone

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You might try 0000 Steel wool. It's magnetic so be careful of fibers sticking to the pickup. I'd use a very small piece pinched between thumb and forefinger. That should take the shine off.
 

truckermde

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I have no utilitarian idea why this is even a thing. In my advancing years, accruing more age seems counter intuitive..but yet it is a BIG BIG DEAL. No offense intended to those that gravitate towards purchasing new guitars with the RETRO distressed antique look.
Sometimes you have an old, worn in guitar for which you need a replacement part.

In order to make the new part not stick out like a sore thumb, you can gently age the new part to better match the rest of the guitar.

See? There's still stuff to learn out there...
 

truckermde

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I've aged nickel by putting them into a large sealed plastic container with a small cup of white vinegar in there. I hung the parts over the cup of vinegar with some wire.
I would add that you want to make sure the parts you're tarnishing have been wiped clean of any fingerprints, lest they be made permanent.
 

judson

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AGING NICKEL HARWARE INCLUDING PICKUPS

Purchase large gallon zip lock bag and pack of 45 ACP gun swab (any large Q tip)

Soak Q tip in murriatic acid (or other readily available acid / pool treatment from Home Depot etc)

Place pickups inside zip lock bag with covers facing up into air space. Puff up bag so lots of air inside. Insert Q tip soaked in acid into bag but do not touch pickups with it. Seal bag with air inside. Let air/acid vapor do its thing. Check every 5 minutes until amount of aging is achieved. Then remove contents and air dry.

Do not put face near bag (air / acid vapor is corrosive). Use disposable gloves. Do not touch acid to anything. Seal all waste in plastic bag and put in trash. Do not dispose of acid in trash or down drains.

Follow instructions at your own risk.
ummmmm NO on the entire pickup.....:run:


i would put an inch or two of muratic acid in a tupperware bowl, REMOVE the covers and place them in an open smaller tupperware bowl and put a lid on the larger....check it after an hour maybe

you can put other parts in as well to age...but that crap is lethal....dont breath it at all , wear a mask , do it outside if you can.

remember acid will eat into metal somewhat....i really would not be comfortable having pickup wire exposed to acid,just dont do that...but if your lazy and want to risk it...your choice....if you do when buying new pickups when the acid ate your wire, buy them with aged covers.....
 
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calieng

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ummmmm NO on the entire pickup.....:run:


i would put an inch or two of muratic acid in a tupperware bowl, REMOVE the covers and place them in an open smaller tupperware bowl and put a lid on the larger....check it after an hour maybe

you can put other parts in as well to age...but that crap is lethal....dont breath it at all , wear a mask , do it outside if you can.

remember acid will eat into metal somewhat....i really would not be comfortable having pickup wire exposed to acid,just dont do that...but if your lazy and want to risk it...your choice....if you do when buying new pickups when the acid ate your wire, buy them with aged covers.....
Wrong.

I have done it a dozen times with no issues. Pickup wire has an enamel coating that protects it and many pickups are wax potted as well. You take a much bigger chance of damaging your pickup by heating the covers to break the solder and prying the covers off.

I said dip a Q tip in some acid not take a bath in it. Perfectly safe. If you know about chemistry then you know the acid is used up as it reacts and becomes an inert substance so that is why you just use a very small amount to wet the end of a swab and in a very small air space like a zip lock bag. Your method is risky for that much acid accidentally splashing on your skin or in your eyes. I would never do that with muriatic acid. An inch or two in a bowl - no thanks.

I have sold many guitars that I have aged in this manner and the buyers seemed to love the effect. It is the most realistic method to oxidize nickel parts I have come across. No damage to pickup windings whatsoever.
 
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