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Old 01-03-2013, 06:44 PM   #1
Mephaphil
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My trial relic - advice needed :)

Hey guys.

My buddy had a Squier that he didn't use and wanted to sell it to get a new guitar. Eventually he couldn't shift it and I was chatting to him about wanting a cheap guitar to relic and he said I could have his Squier, he wouldn't take any cash and that was that.

So, me and my pal started today.

We started by buffing the whole body with a scourer. Until the shine was completely gone. As seen in Picture 1

Then we sanded areas off to make it look like wear and tear, we will be sanding it out to get rid of the pink around the edges. As seen in picture 2

Then we threw keys and stuff at it and attacked it with a screwdriver to simulate it being dropped, or someone picking at an area that had been dropped. As can be seen in Picture 3.

Picture 4 is how we finished.

Picture 5 is how we finished off with the pickguard.

DISCLAIMER: Please bear in mind these things:
This is our first go. We've looked at videos, read about it on forums etc and found lots of advice in using sandpaper etc. Although we may be wrong.

This is a piece of shit guitar. It is not a US Standard. It is just to practice this on. We may well never do it on a MIA or a LP or anything. I am not fully sure if I even agree with it, but it's something to do.

Here are the pictures.











he pickguard was given to me that colour, natural aging I guess... Irony haha.

We will be aging everything else and we are aware of the pickups whiteness. And we will be buffing all the sandpaper scratches out. It will look smooth and even mostly, unless it looks better scuffed in areas. We don't want it to look like sandpaper scuffs though.

I've seen pictures where people have checked or cracked the finish, and I know this is a thick Poly finish, and that people do it with compressed air. Does anyone have an experience with this?

Is the MIA finish of a smiliar thickness? Or would it be easier to crack the finish and get the paint off with sandpaper and a scourer?

Also, should we colour the wood? Does anyone have a good method that they can recommend as we're going to try coffee and wood stainer.

Any thoughts on what it looks like would also be appreciated. It's still a work in progress, but as it's our first go, and our first day I thought I'd get some feedback.

Thanks .
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:15 PM   #2
stonyman65
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That isn't bad for your first go.

A little advice: The whole point of relic-ing a guitar is to make it look worn. For it to be convincing and look good, it has to look natural and in the right places. Focus the wear on the back, sides, upper horn and around the tummy/forearm cuts. That's where 99% of you natural wear is going to come from.

Try not to just sand everything down - unless your skin is made of sandpaper, that isn't going to look right. What you need to do is strat making scuffs and scratches every. Don't be afraid to ding it into the wall or a mic stand every now and then. That's where how you are going to get that look.

Edit: MIA finishes are really thin compared to what Squire's have. They really cake it on with those.

As for checks and cracks, a heat gun works well. I've also heard that enamel mixed with paint or clear coat will cause cracking too - that's how BC Rich and Charvel did those crackle finishes back in the day.
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Old 01-03-2013, 07:29 PM   #3
Mephaphil
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Hey, thanks

A heat gun like this one? Does the finish come off easier with one of them? Also, when drying do you just leave to dry for a day or so and that's it? It's solid again?

http://www.screwfix.com/p/titan-ttb...CFTDMtAoddD4AYA

Does it look really obvious? We're going to buff it, stain it, add more dings etc to make it look more authentic. Do you think that it could look well done in the end? I mean, do you think it's a good basis?

We are kinda looking for a John Frusciante Strat look in the end.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:02 PM   #4
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It's not bad for a first attempt, but to me, the wear you've induced doesn't look very natural. When I look at a guitar that has been aged, the wear looks more natural. It really is an art how these guys apply this technique. I guess that's why these companies keep their techniques secret.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:09 PM   #5
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For checking poly, hold the compressed air can upside down so it freezes, and use a blow torch. Go back and forth with that because the wood expands faster than the paint does it will crack.
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Old 01-03-2013, 08:14 PM   #6
Mephaphil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
It's not bad for a first attempt, but to me, the wear you've induced doesn't look very natural. When I look at a guitar that has been aged, the wear looks more natural. It really is an art how these guys apply this technique. I guess that's why these companies keep their techniques secret.


I guess. I mean, the reason why we are doing this is so that we can possibly look at doing it on one of my MIAs, probably my Tobacco Sunburst Tele. But I'm at 80% no ****ing way.

I guess the good advice I will take from that will be to look at guitars or find one that I like, and copy it. Does that heat gun look right?

This for example. I think I could do this. That doesn't look real at all. The Squier will look similar and I'll have coloured the wood and aged the hardware. and look at that price!

http://www.themusiczoo.com/product/...er-Heavy-Relic/

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisthekiller
For checking poly, hold the compressed air can upside down so it freezes, and use a blow torch. Go back and forth with that because the wood expands faster than the paint does it will crack.


Would that work with a MIA finish too? Do you mean a heat gun or a blow torch?

Thanks
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:20 PM   #7
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When a guitar is getting "aged" and damaged naturally it generally has all of its hardware still on. When you are adding dings and scratches its more convincing if you leave the pickguard etc on as the guard will get scratched too or if it goes the other way the scratch will end at the edge of the guard instead of going under it.

You should probably try and simulate the effects of a guitar that has been used as a tool. What I mean is that during the course of its life a 40-50 year old guitar will have been worked on by so many people at so many times. Maybe its missing a pickguard screw or 2, maybe they lost a screw and used one that was laying around even though its not the right colour or type. The control knobs could also have been pried off, leaving marks on the pickguard.

Consider the hardware as well. It would have been aged from all the sweat and body funk so you should try to replicate that. You could try using vinegar or something like that.

As far as cracking the finish i wouldnt go as far as some do and check the whole body. try to concentrate on places where the finish would be weakest like screw holes or where the neck plate could have been clamped down too tight and cracked the finish.

EDIT:Thought of a few more ideas

For the "buckle rash" I would wear either a large belt buckle or a studded belt with no shirt and just play the hell out of the guitar. Move around a lot and you will soon get convincing rash.

You should also play it a lot after any sanding that exposes bare wood in order to get skin oils and dirt into the wood and make it look less "fresh".
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mephaphil

Would that work with a MIA finish too? Do you mean a heat gun or a blow torch?

Thanks


I used a blow torch but a heat gun is probably better. Also, take off your strings and play it like you would normally but more exaggerated and with a piece of metal such as a knife as your pick for a while (along with the no strings part).

For the hardware, let it sit in a vinegar/water solution for a while.

Put the plastic in coffee or coffee grounds for a while.
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Old 01-03-2013, 09:47 PM   #9
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The heat gun you posted will do the job. Just remember... that puppy will get hot. That's the same type I use at work for shrinking heatshrink on wires. If you buy that model, I would experiment with it. If you've ever messed around with your mom's or sister's blow dryer, this one is like that, only it's been given steroids and it's only eaten meat all its life. Yes, it has the potential to make a mess out of things in a hurry.

It'll probably have a low setting, which is where I'd start. Briefly run your hand in front of it to get an idea how hot it is, then go to work on your project guitar.
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Old 01-03-2013, 10:25 PM   #10
Mephaphil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KG6_Steven
The heat gun you posted will do the job. Just remember... that puppy will get hot. That's the same type I use at work for shrinking heatshrink on wires. If you buy that model, I would experiment with it. If you've ever messed around with your mom's or sister's blow dryer, this one is like that, only it's been given steroids and it's only eaten meat all its life. Yes, it has the potential to make a mess out of things in a hurry.

It'll probably have a low setting, which is where I'd start. Briefly run your hand in front of it to get an idea how hot it is, then go to work on your project guitar.


Thank you sic, some great ideas there!

Ok cool. Would you use that on the thinner finish of a MIA Strat or Tele? Would the finish not come right off? How would you recommend getting the cracked finish on a MIA? I know people use a razor but I'm not sure how. On the Squier it made no dent, just small scratches.

Any info on that? Thanks
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:05 PM   #11
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My advice is that you're never going to get that vintage looking relic type thing with a polyurethane/epoxy finish like the squiers have. Also do not call it a POS guitar, squiers are really quite good. Anyhow, without refinishing the entire thing to lacquer, you won't get the checking. Now, it you're going for an accurate relic of a polyurethane finish, you've already gone to far. Poly will stay shiny, and it won't wear through, but it will get dinged, the dings on the bottom side look good. That chunk missing is fairly brutal though. As for aging wood check this out: http://www.xrestore.com/pages/aging.htm

I'm going to try that once I get to the stage of aging the paint on my squier. Also, you must age the hardware, otherwise it will look ultimately fake. Also aging the plastic makes it much more authentic. Get yourself a can of brown shoe polish, it's worked great for me to tint anything I need amber (such as the neck and the plastics). Check out my thread, it's a few threads down.
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Old 01-03-2013, 11:18 PM   #12
Mephaphil
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeviMan_2001
My advice is that you're never going to get that vintage looking relic type thing with a polyurethane/epoxy finish like the squiers have. Also do not call it a POS guitar, squiers are really quite good. Anyhow, without refinishing the entire thing to lacquer, you won't get the checking. Now, it you're going for an accurate relic of a polyurethane finish, you've already gone to far. Poly will stay shiny, and it won't wear through, but it will get dinged, the dings on the bottom side look good. That chunk missing is fairly brutal though. As for aging wood check this out: http://www.xrestore.com/pages/aging.htm

I'm going to try that once I get to the stage of aging the paint on my squier. Also, you must age the hardware, otherwise it will look ultimately fake. Also aging the plastic makes it much more authentic. Get yourself a can of brown shoe polish, it's worked great for me to tint anything I need amber (such as the neck and the plastics). Check out my thread, it's a few threads down.


Thanks. I'll check it out.

You misunderstand, what I meant about this Squier is its piece of shit. It's a Bullet. It's been thrown about for around for a decade, it's had no setup and the factory one is pathetic. I wasn't talking about all Squiers, but I have a Gibson LP Traditional, I have 2 MIA Fenders and a MiM Tele. Squiers really don't cut it for me, the quality is not what I'm used to. Make of that what you will. I will eagerly look at your thread, and I won't talk about this again in this thread but I had to justify my original statement.

Thank you for your advice.
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Old 01-04-2013, 01:26 AM   #13
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I suppose I'm a tinkerer, so anything I get I ignore the set up, that's all done by me. But yeah, best of luck!
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Old 01-05-2013, 02:44 PM   #14
Mephaphil
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Ok I bought a heat gun, sandpaper, goggles, all that shit.

I'm calling a store on Monday to get all I need to refinish the Squier in Nitro Laquer. I've got the bug.

This is what I've done so far.



I'm going to be using reranch's website, it seems very good.

I'm wondering whether I should just buy a hand sander and use that instead of the heat gun.

Leviman - what about ageing the wood before you spray it? Just apply a layer of the treatment before?
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Old 01-05-2013, 09:30 PM   #15
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Well I try to stick to the philosophy of applying the aging as it would happen, so the wood should be new before it gets exposed. Also, on subtle wear areas like the arm wear, you'll have it wear through the paint, then there's sanding sealer (sometimes) and then through that to bare wood, so you see the fresh wood and the bare wood. I just did mine and I didn't get the link I posted to work, so I just used a dirty old motor-oily rag and it greyed it up nicely.
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Old 01-06-2013, 03:56 AM   #16
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Heat gun is much faster than hand sanding. It takes forever to sand off all the paint and you risk ruining the rounded edges and other contours, with a heat gun you can get all the pain off in 15 minutes.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:34 AM   #17
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I would certainly say it takes longer than 15 minutes.
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Old 01-06-2013, 05:48 AM   #18
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Yea its taking ages lol.
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Old 01-06-2013, 04:32 PM   #19
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I would certainly say it takes longer than 15 minutes.


It really doesn't take longer when using a heat gun. The paint bubbles very fast, and you can quickly scrape or peel it off.
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Old 01-07-2013, 08:19 PM   #20
Mephaphil
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It really doesn't take longer when using a heat gun. The paint bubbles very fast, and you can quickly scrape or peel it off.


Everywhere I've read says it will take someone experienced around 90 minutes. It took me about 3 hours to do.

I'd like to see how you do it so fast!
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