Aging pickups safely

clearance

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Hey guys,
Does anybody know any simple, safe ways to age or relic new nickel covered humbuckers a bit? I'm not really sure if it's a good idea. What would you suggest? Sand paper? micro mesh pads? lemon juice :)?
 

hamerfan

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Take two plastic boxes. One for the cover and bigger one with a lid. Put concetrated vinegar in the bigger one and place the smaller one in the bigger one. The pickup cover should not have contact with the vinegar, its just the fumes. Close the the bigger one for 20 minutes. Then open, get the cover and rinse with water.
 

jd0272

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I did mine with PCB etchant solution from Maplins (radio Shack in the US do something similar). I wiped it on with a cloth then wiped it off again almost immediately. A wipe over with metal polish sorted out any uneven spots.

See my pics in the gallery

regards


Rob

Gary Moore Sig with mods - Les Paul Gallery

Agreed, remove covers, dilute PCB etchant with water in a sizeable enough plastic container, dip them in, and keep checking for the finish you want. Happens quite rapidly though. And wear plastic gloves. Works a treat on nickel and gold plate, useless on chrome. Will give the plating a uniform appearance at first but play wear/tear etc will change this eventually. Be aware, make sure the surface is spotless incl fingerprints, or these inprints from oils etc will be etched onto the plate. I did my Grovers using this also.
 

WolfeMacleod

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I feel bad that I can't give away my secret. But.. it took way too long to develop.

I'll give a hint though. There's to muriadic acid or PCB etchant involved.

Abolutely need to remove the covers.
 

jd0272

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Now that's clever. The Pro's are Pro's for a reason! Although it is good fun doddering around in Amateur Land (as long as I have my plastic gloves!).:)
 

rockstar232007

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Not specifically about pickup covers, but still very helpful, as it's still hits on the general idea:

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AoA0O6kSBqk]How to Relic Guitar Parts For an Aged Look - Billy Penn 300guitars.com - YouTube[/ame]
 

nicolasrivera

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Hey guys,
Does anybody know any simple, safe ways to age or relic new nickel covered humbuckers a bit? I'm not really sure if it's a good idea. What would you suggest? Sand paper? micro mesh pads? lemon juice :)?
Ive shared some thing ido....

Look at this videos i did long time ago....

[ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0tS5CR7h94]Aging a Humbucker p-1.mp4 - YouTube[/ame]

And for the screws you can use this technique i came up with, look at this thread....

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/luthiers-corner/108517-quick-way-age-screws-vinegar.html
 

5F6-A

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I use various acid solutions with different concentrations, sanding and a couple of tricks I have learnt along the way.

Recently I reliced the hardware of my 20 year old LP std. See if you like the result.

tuners:


Bigsby:


Jack:


Overall:


 

clearance

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Removing the covers is what i don't like about it :) Maybe i'll just try to sand somehow. It doesn't really have to be heavy relic. I could be quite satisfied if they aren't so shiny and become a bit dull. Thanks anyway for all your comments :)
 

jcsk8

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For gold hardware, the process is the same? Gold hardware seems to have small "islands" of aging inside the whole gold color, looking different than nickel and chrome.
 

cooljuk

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I would worry about using fumes from anything to age a complete pickup. I would be concerned that whatever fumes can eat through nickel plating may also eat through the enamel coating on the coil wire and cause shorts, perhaps even breaks over time.

Is this a valid concern? I've actually aged a few pickups with vinegar fumes when playing around with this stuff early on. I'm just waiting for them to die one day as a result.
 

captcoolaid

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Yeah cause there is nothing like muriatic acid fumes, which by the way turns into Hydriodic gas from contact with certain metals. By the way these fumes are on the hit list for the DEA as part of there illicit chemicals list, so beware the big truck outside your house. You think I am kidding about this, I am dead serious. Okay and by the way this gas corrodes everything metal.
 

cooljuk

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Yeah cause there is nothing like muriatic acid fumes, which by the way turns into Hydriodic gas from contact with certain metals. By the way these fumes are on the hit list for the DEA as part of there illicit chemicals list, so beware the big truck outside your house. You think I am kidding about this, I am dead serious. Okay and by the way this gas corrodes everything metal.
Yes, I've heard that muratic acid is often used in the methamphetamine manufacturing process. Some crazy shit!

Do you think vinegar fumes can eat away at enamel coating?
 

captcoolaid

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I think if it can eat or dull a finish it could very well eat a enameled coating. My personal preference is just good old fashioned playing with Raw nickel covers. They age well over a short span of time. This way you get a natural age rather than a finished age. I like the way Wolfe does his. To me these are the most realistic in what sweat and salt do to a cover. Most others look to uniformed for my taste. But my taste is not the only one out there.
 


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