Advice on "relic-ing" a tele?

Discussion in 'Finely Finished' started by australicaster, Sep 20, 2020.

  1. australicaster

    australicaster TDPRI Member

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    I'm looking to "relic" certain parts of my tele, namely the lower bout where your arm rests when playing while sitting down (where the slope would be on a strat).

    The biggest reason for this is because my arm tends to get rather uncomfortable and sticky on the worn satin nitro paint and I want to rub it down to the wood to provide a more comfy feel on my arm, bring out the character of the wood, and give it a neat road worn look.

    From others who have had experience doing this kind of thing, what are some of the best methods or doing a little simple stripping of the paint? And are there any recommended stains or treatments you'd suggest for toning the naked wood?
     
  2. Minivan Megafun

    Minivan Megafun Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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  3. DjimiWrey

    DjimiWrey Tele-Meister

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    sandpaper sleeve on yer strummin' arm?

    i just sprayed my thinline with very light amber shellac and it wore down pretty easily
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2020
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  4. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Get a strat.
     
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  5. aging_rocker

    aging_rocker Tele-Afflicted

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    You do realise you're going to get every answer in between 'thou shalt be burned at the stake for even contemplating such a thing' to 'just grab a nearby orbital sander...'? :)

    If you do do it, put some gun-stock oil or similar on it afterwards, that will protect it a bit and it will look nice. Probably.
     
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  6. Collin D Plonker

    Collin D Plonker Tele-Afflicted

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    Relicing, IMO, never looks good unless it's discreet and done by a practiced hand. I feel for you. My arm rubs in that spot too. But if your Tele is worth much, you will probably devalue it pretty good.
     
  7. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    A few years ago I overlaid all the worn Fender Custom Shop relics and real relics I could find into a heat map of damage. These reflect 'Heavy Relic'.

    Start with this or find the picture of a real relic to grab where the wear happens. That way you know your relic effort looks the most realistic and you don't get called out by the other forum people.

    You could also put some flour or shoe polish on your fingers and arms to see where you mark the guitar yourself playing your favorite song or songs.

    [​IMG]

    I would do it in stages. First step, just use 800 grit sandpaper (never ever steel wool) to scuff the finish where you want the wear patterns to give you a soft satin finish there. Don't break the top coat and you can later polish it back to gloss to sell the guitar. 90% of the "I'll never sell this guitar" crowd do end up selling for one reason or another.

    Then some time later do a little more wear. Make up stories about fanciful gigs and marks you got from it.

    Rules for relics:
    1- Perfect playability from leveled frets to deep setup so it plays easy, plays better than factory new.
    2- Soft and comfortable all over, like rolled fretboard edges, satin surfaces all over, no sharp metal corners like the bridge/etc. No sharp chipped paint but worn in.


    .
     
  8. Javier668

    Javier668 Tele-Meister

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    In 30 years playing ,my strat paint no reliced.
    Looks so false relic a guitar.
     
  9. LAPlayer

    LAPlayer Tele-Meister

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    Your guitar - do as you like. That said - less is more.
     
  10. CalebAaron666

    CalebAaron666 Tele-Holic

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    I can’t speak to just relicing one section, but I did take the candy coating off of my the body of my MIM tele. It shaved about 1 lb off of the over all weight.

    I took it all apart and then used a heat gun and a paint scraper and stripped everything off.
    Instead of painting it any particular color, I stained mine with black stain and finished it with Tung oil.
    D1895EFE-711D-41C9-B5E3-64569BF9ECF5.jpeg 34B6BB0B-D422-486C-B9F3-992004A4DFB0.jpeg 1D3523C6-9489-40BD-AB91-87787A405FBE.jpeg 6AA2F93A-CA29-40D6-884E-943960D420C7.jpeg

    To thine own self be true.
    People are gonna cry foul about relic’ing, but it’s not their guitar. It’s yours.
    If one hates relics with such passion, why participate in a thread about it?
     
  11. newminglewoodblue

    newminglewoodblue Tele-Meister

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    Play the F#@k out of it every day for a few years. Then you, and the guitar, will relic together :p (I'm not trying to be funny, just play the ****er)
     
  12. Mistahbrock

    Mistahbrock TDPRI Member

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    maybe something like this
     
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2020
  13. Allen Peterson

    Allen Peterson Tele-Meister

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    Loan your guitar to your nephew for 10 years. When you get it back, it will be relic'd.
     
  14. Stanford Guitar

    Stanford Guitar Tele-Holic

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    I just use the Hendrix method.

     
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  15. Blue Bill

    Blue Bill Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'm racking my brain to think of any other object that people buy, then sandpaper it to make it look worn. Jeans, I guess, in the '70s and '80s. Baseball glove? But that's to loosen it up. Furniture, if you want it to look antique, or "distressed". I can't think of another musical instrument anyone would attack with sandpaper. 'Scuse me, I gotta go out and sandpaper my new car, so it looks like I already drove it a lot. My phone? No, it's brand new, I tied it to the dog and let him run around the yard for a while.

    That's just me, and I understand that others see it as perfectly normal, and it doesn't bother me; I just don't get it.

    I know, it's "wracking". I sanded off the w to make it look better.
     
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  16. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Friend of Leo's

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    Use Steel wool or Scotchbrite instead IMO. It's reversible with a buffer and polish if you ever want to sell, and won't look nearly as cheesy as fake aging.

    Or, even better: Just wear a long sleeved shirt.
     
  17. Aldus Bunbury

    Aldus Bunbury TDPRI Member

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    Similar problem but I still haven’t reached the point of causing intentional wear. I have enough of the unintentional variety. My solution was to use those wide wristbands when I play—the kind worn by Mark Knopfler and other famous sports figures.
     
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  18. Hey_you

    Hey_you Tele-Holic

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    Check out Stew-Mac for their video's. I watched a tweed hard case being relic'd. The dude was skilled. I would never attempt it. But that's me. Great tips on what to use and how to use. Probably find other examples searching the net.
     
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  19. Fretting out

    Fretting out Poster Extraordinaire

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    Yes! We can bring back the 80’s “I play tennis” look

    You have to have a matching headband!
     
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  20. dickey

    dickey Friend of Leo's

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    Play it for 30 years like I did with mine. Don't be a phony.
     
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