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Old August 12th, 2003, 12:00 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Aging Plastic Hardware

I know this has been discussed before, but I could use a refresher. I'm thinking of aging the knobs and pickup covers on my new CIJ 68 RI Strat. Is putting them in boiling tea for a couple minutes the best way?

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Old August 12th, 2003, 01:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Aging

I had no luck using tea or coffee on a stark, white pickguard. Kiwi brown cream shoe polish did the trick, though. Not sure what how that would work on knobs, but I'd guess it would do the trick on the pickup covers.
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Old August 14th, 2003, 12:12 PM   #3 (permalink)
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id go with

some leather dye brown and dk green.id begin by scuffing parts with oooo steel wool,then wipe on dye and rub off till your gettin close to the look you need.for smoothing it back out id use 1000 then 1500 wet dry sand paper. we just did one for a friend took about an hour and it turned a stock white 3 ply into a really cool looking guard. i guess the same thing would work on knobs too. good luck.
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Old August 14th, 2003, 12:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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If you have genuine Fender parts (the plastic is different than aftermarket parts), you can soak them in a strong mixture of tea and coffee for a couple of days. They will age.

I've done Kiwi on a pickguard, but I'd be afraid of it getting in the grooves of the knobs and making them too dark....
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Old August 16th, 2003, 12:42 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin
If you have genuine Fender parts (the plastic is different than aftermarket parts), you can soak them in a strong mixture of tea and coffee for a couple of days. They will age.

I've done Kiwi on a pickguard, but I'd be afraid of it getting in the grooves of the knobs and making them too dark....
The local shop's repair guy has a 80's Frankencaster that has all sorts of gunk in teh knob ridge's, says 15-20 years of gigs to me. Not all the ridges, some are just randomly filled in. Just for grins I did some using acryilc model paint, looked pretty good.
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Old August 18th, 2003, 12:14 AM   #6 (permalink)
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aging plastic parts

I have had to rough up some parts before they would take color from coffee - scotchbrite or steel wool, I don't remember - and I think I resorted to boiling the parts along with coffee grounds. THAT worked wonders. Don't leave 'em in too long or you'll have dark, dark parts.
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Old August 21st, 2003, 10:20 PM   #7 (permalink)
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pass the tanning butter!

If your not in a hurry you can put them up on the roof of your house and let the sun do it ! Even if your not currently building a guitar you can get a pickguard , knobs and pickup covers and get them aging so they will be ready when you decide to build another one ! You can take it a step further and put some pots in the pickgaurd and install the knobs , be sure that they are all the way down on the pickgaurd so no light can get under them that way the gaurd will still be white under the knobs this way you'll be able to tell how much it aged , use junk pots that you can throw out in case they get rained on !
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Old September 1st, 2003, 08:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here's a weird one: I was in a Fender shop the other day talking about this very thing with one of the techs (he recommended tea), and he says that on a genuine vintage strat, you'll see the knobs and pup covers darken, but a white pickguard will pretty much stay white, so for a truly aged look, don't age the guard! I had asked about some reissues they had with the aged parts, but white guards, and he says that's the reason. THen, I pick up the August issue of Guitar Buyer magazine, which is a British publication, and they're doing a piece on Duane Allman's '54 Strat that's in the Hard Rock Cafe vault in London, and the knobs and covers are darker than the very nearly white guard! It's kinda weird, but I guess the plastics have different finishes or something, with one being more pourus than the other. So maybe I'll age my knobs and covers and get a tortise pick guard!
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Old September 1st, 2003, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Whether or not the pickguard will age depends on the era, I believe. Some 50s pickguards will turn yellow, early 60s ones turn green, but late 60s guards stay mostly white because of the materials used. I'm sure there are people here who know more about this than me.
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Old September 1st, 2003, 09:48 PM   #10 (permalink)
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re " green " pickguards

they were green when they were new! The greenish white guards didn't change color.
A friend of mine bought a 61 Strat new, changed out the guard to a tortoise guard, and kept the green guard all these years, sold it last year for a bunch of $.
It was always green.
I've seen 50's Strat's that the original pickguards were very white on, knobs and pu covers aged.
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Old September 7th, 2003, 01:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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hey gibson guy in toronto

old guitars and old cars what else is there? you forgot old guns and most important i think old girlfriends !
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Old September 7th, 2003, 05:41 PM   #12 (permalink)
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HA! Both are too dangerous for me! I get into enough trouble now -- but I see your point.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 10:18 AM   #13 (permalink)
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aging question

what if the pickguard and knobs are in black is there still a way to age them :P
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Old April 5th, 2010, 10:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I have a '57 Strat with an 8 hole guard and it's still very white but the pup covers and knobs have yellowed. Early 60's pickguard didn't start out with that teal green color. They were white but didn't stay that way. I also have a '68 Tele and it's pickguard has stayed fairly white compared to the very yellow color the body has become. The discolorations to that guard are very, very subtle.
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Old April 5th, 2010, 11:08 AM   #15 (permalink)
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aging question

what if the pickguard and knobs are in black is there still a way to age them :P
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:25 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I've used yellow tinted clear nitro lacquer on plastic parts and nitro body finishes. Great for relicing a bright white pearloid guard to a nice vintage golden glow. Start with VERY light coats and just add them progressively until you have your desired effect.

Check out the photo of an alder "wall hanger" tele body I have. You can see the tinted yellow and how it affects the surf green lacquer.

Also pictured is a nitro Goldtop Strat with tinted clear "aged" pup covers and knobs on an anodized pickguard. The Goldtop paint is not yellow tinted, just the knobs and covers. Notice the trem knob on the whammy bar and the selector switch tip is bright white as a comparison.

Tinted clear is available from Bill at the Guitar Reranch.
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Old August 11th, 2012, 04:56 PM   #17 (permalink)
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nobody else is gonna tell you their secrets,but I will tell you. Get you a very sharp razor blade and put some nicks in the parts,then scuff em up with steel wool,not sandpaper! then get you some brown show polish and rub it all over the knob and quickly wipe it off with a clean towel or sock...ect..
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Old August 11th, 2012, 05:41 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Fingernail buffers stick ,Rit dye, nicotine and incense smoke works as well
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