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Old 02-03-2009, 09:58 PM   #1
Comrade Curry
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The Relic Thread

For links to many other great threads, check out the GB&C Central Hub.

Theres been numerous relics recently, so I'd thought I'd make a thread where a database of information could be collected on how to properly age parts, so without further ado let's get started!

- Relicing -
- Plastic -
- Metal -
- Wood -
- Other -


RELICING


Q - What is it?

A - Relicing is the process in making your guitar look older than it actually used. It can also however refer to an old guitar that's been road worn over time. In this thread we'll talk about how to relic different materials, post questions and pics of our relic jobs.

Plastic

Plastic is the general common term for a wide range of synthetic or semisynthetic organic solid materials suitable for the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular weight, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce costs. (from Wikipedia)

Methods
Chad48309

1) Scuff them with a high-grit sandpaper (say 2000).

2) Put them in a sealed container with coffee (with the grounds) and tobacco (from at least four or five cigarettes).

3) Leave them in there for a day (full 24 hours) under a heat lamp or in the sun.

4) Remove, then coat with brown shoe polish.

5) Leave that to dry for about two hours, remove, then remove the shoe polish with a paper towel.


Guitar_Slinger8
HI every one, i just wanted to share a new way of relicing ur plastic parts in around 2 to 3 minutes depending on the exact shade u like, the magic ingredient i used was a cooking powder called achote powder, whick u can buy at any grocery store and its a redish orange powder, and will help u recreate the faint yellow staining obtained form cigarette smoke and sweat absorbed from years anbd years of playin.

Chad48309
Another trick we once used in the shop was UV lights. We had a big UV system setup specifically for "tanning" nitrocellulose lacquer. It also had a good effect on the plastic parts, so we always just put the entire guitar in there, minus the hardware (this way, you'd also have the outline under the pickguard like a real relic). The trick is to keep it on a low setting and just let it run for a long time with a massive fan blowing fresh, cool air through the tunnel. We used to get 2-3 bodies done in days this way (the maple fingerboards looked great). Granted, you might not have access to the same system we did, and power concerns are something to bring up. The machine ended up costing too much in electric bills to run, so we sold it.


Albino_Rhino's method

To age plastic, smoke on it. Cigarettes work fine, but hot boxing + bong rips is the way to get'er done. (Hot boxing is the action in which smoking occurs in a little ventilated room, therefore letting the smoke build up)

Metal


Methods
Albino_Rhino's (Otter) method.

1 - Place a solution of 4 parts water and 1 part vinegar (or any acid you choose, dilute stronger acids more and take the right safety precautions) into a spray bottle.

2 - Sand all hardware down with 180 grit, partly to get through the protective coating, and partly so that the rust has something to adhere to.

3 - Place all the hardware you want rusted onto an appropriate workspace. (I used an old towel with a plastic bag underneath.)

4 - Spray the hardware with your acidic solution. Do not drench it, just get it moist. Repeat as necessary, enough to keep it perpetually moist/wet.


Metalgeek.com
How to make steel rust quickly
As usual, a few words of caution. This is merely my attempt to impart some information that may or may not be useful. The potential dangers of following these instructions are your responsibility. Acid will blind you and scar your lungs and copper is essentially a poison. So don't get it on you or in you, or on or in anyone you don't want dead. Do not attempt this if there is any possibility that children will have access to the chemicals. Children are sneaky little monsters that love to drink poisons just to make you feel guilty when you're sitting in jail because you were a bad person who didn't think that they could pick that lock on the shed. And don't come crying to me when the EPA sizes all your assets and you end up on the front page of your local paper and all your former friends shake their heads in disgust at how you made all those spotted owls turn sickly green.

Anyway, be careful, and you might just come out of this alive and sane. Or not.



Rust can be a nice finish for garden art, sculpture, and even furniture if you don't mind the stains on your carpet. For some reason, I've been asked to do it several dozen times over the past 13 years in my business and I've worked it into a few personal projects as well.

Steel will rust all by itself, given a little moisture and time. CorTen steel will surface rust much faster, but it still takes at least a couple of months outdoors before it looks right. CorTen is alloyed with a few other things, but I think the primary element that helps the rusting along (and ironically provides future corrosion protection) is a small bit of copper.

There are commercial patina solutions for rusty steel, but they are usually pretty expensive for tiny little bottles. It's probably because of all the lawyers they have to hire to protect them from all the stupid things that people might do with their products. But by making the patina juice yourself, you might save enough money to hire your own lawyer. But probably not.


My first forays into making steel rust involved muriatic acid, which is dirt-cheap and available at most hardware stores. Used full strength, muriatic acid will pickle steel, removing rust and scale. However, if you treat the steel with a very diluted solution of muriatic acid, it will rust fairly rapidly. This usually takes a few treatments and a couple of days with the weather cooperating (humid and warm is best). It's not a perfect method, and it never really works the same way twice. I don't know if it's the variations in the steel, the weather, or just getting the acidity exactly right, but it always seems to take a lot of attention and messing about to get the finish right. And I always ended up with dead grass followed by mossy patches in the yard.

After several years of pursuing this method, I've found that the big trick to getting steel to rust quickly and well is to use a mildly acidic solution that has a little copper dissolved in it. I doubt that the small amount of copper used would provide any future protection against corrosion. It might even be that the steel will corrode quicker than if it wasn't treated, but I have no idea if it would make for much of a difference.

Getting some copper into the solution is easier than you might think. Muriatic acid dissolves copper, although it's pretty slow. What I did was to take about 2 feet of 14 gauge copper ground wire stripped out of a piece of Romex, wrapped it into a coil, and soaked it in about 2 ounces of Muriatic acid for a week. This will make a concentrate which should be enough for at least half a gallon of patina solution. A sturdy, unbreakable plastic bottle would be a good thing to prepare the concentrate in. Don't screw down the lid tight, or it might explode from the gasses that are created by the acid working on the copper. The fumes coming from the acid will cause rapid rusting on any bare steel nearby, so be careful where you put it. And be sure to label it appropriately. If you're as forgetful as I am, you won't even remember where you put it after a week. And it's not the kind of thing you want to sniff to find out what it is. You'll be sorry if you do. I promise.

After a few days, the solution should be ready to use. The copper wire will still be there, but you should see that the acid has chewed into it a bit. Once the acid has got some copper in it, the greenish acid/copper mixture will deposit a bright layer of copper on a piece of clean steel that you dip into it. This is a pretty cool effect, but it won't last. The coating is extremely unstable and will soon be replaced by rust. You don't really want to use it like that anyway, as it will go a lot farther and be a lot less dangerous if you dilute it with water. You may have to play with the ratio, but somewhere between 20/1 to 100/1 of water to acid/copper solution should work well. If you apply it with a spray bottle, just realize that it won't be long for the world. The acid will eat the spring in the bottle, so it will quit working after a few days. The only thing I've found that really works longer is a little plastic hand-pump Hudson sprayer that has no metal in it.

The rust will appear more evenly if your steel is very clean and free of the scale that you find on hot-rolled products (but I don't really care about that - it can look more interesting if it's not all that consistent). If you can't clean the steel properly, a more concentrated solution may work better, but be very careful. You definitely want to wear rubber gloves and eye protection, and do it outdoors standing upwind of your work. You probably want to do this even if you're using the diluted solution, at least if you care about your life.

Wood

Methods
Albino_Rhino.

Wet sand wood with 1500 grit and polish wood by hand. This way, it will be dull but sort of shiny, and look worn out.

Other

PLEASE if you have info for this thread feel free to PM it or post it here.
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Last edited by Comrade Curry : 01-31-2010 at 04:46 PM.
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Old 02-03-2009, 10:02 PM   #2
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Shweet thread.
I was wondering why Albino_Rhino had like the exact same sig as Otter, haha. I haven't been on in several days.

Should you add the "drag from car" method? Just for sh*ts and giggles?
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:45 PM   #3
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drag from a car.

And damn, can we make a Public Service Announcment about my name change? FFS no one knows about it! It's confusing as hell to a lot of people.

Thanks for including my method.

To age plastic, smoke on it. Ciggaretes work fine, but hot boxing + bong rips is the way to get'er done.
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Old 02-03-2009, 11:52 PM   #4
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awesome thread.

Im thinking about doing this to my peavey.
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:08 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Albino_Rhino
drag from a car.

And damn, can we make a Public Service Announcment about my name change? FFS no one knows about it! It's confusing as hell to a lot of people.

Thanks for including my method.

To age plastic, smoke on it. Ciggaretes work fine, but hot boxing + bong rips is the way to get'er done.



Serious man, you are by all means a well known regular here, and if I were you I would make a thread with the subject title reading something like "I'm Otter and I changed my username to Albino_Rhino" or something, and bump it ever day or two for a week or so just so people know. Might seem weird but I'm sure there are people out there who would appreciate it, hahaha the only way I recognized you was from your signature.


Also, this is a kickin' thread, I may put it's info to use someday!
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Old 02-04-2009, 12:11 AM   #6
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It would get McDeleted by the mods who hate me.
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Old 02-04-2009, 05:17 AM   #7
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Very Cool!
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Old 05-10-2009, 06:41 AM   #8
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whats the best way to get the buckle rash effect on the back of the guitar, and also for the neck, what is the best method or chemical to age a maple neck and fretboard?
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Old 11-28-2009, 03:24 AM   #9
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my strat is always getting relic'd. i damaged my neck and middle tone knobs but i don't use them any way. one thing i've done with my guitar is get a knife and with some pressure scrape the wood. another thing i did was use a propane torch to get the paint to go away. my guitar teacher looked at it and said it saw a real relic.
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Old 01-31-2010, 02:44 PM   #10
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Lightbulb

HI every one, i just wanted to share a new way of relicing ur plastic parts in around 2 to 3 minutes depending on the exact shade u like, the magic ingredient i used was a cooking powder called achote powder, whick u can buy at any grocery store and its a redish orange powder, and will help u recreate the faint yellow staining obtained form cigarette smoke and sweat absorbed from years anbd years of playin.
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Old 01-31-2010, 04:42 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by guitar_slinger8
HI every one, i just wanted to share a new way of relicing ur plastic parts in around 2 to 3 minutes depending on the exact shade u like, the magic ingredient i used was a cooking powder called achote powder, whick u can buy at any grocery store and its a redish orange powder, and will help u recreate the faint yellow staining obtained form cigarette smoke and sweat absorbed from years anbd years of playin.


added
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Old 01-31-2010, 05:06 PM   #12
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thanks man, yeah take some pics soon so u guys can see some examples
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Old 08-05-2010, 08:54 PM   #13
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Been thinking about relicing a guitar, saw this thread, thought it deserved a bump.
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Old 08-05-2010, 09:24 PM   #14
Comrade Curry
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Thanks man it really died
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Old 10-07-2010, 08:25 PM   #15
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so to hot box a pickguard do i have to use ciggarette smoke or will any smoke work? and what should i use to put it in?
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