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Advice on "relic-ing" a tele?

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

  1. rockinstephen

    rockinstephen Tele-Meister

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    Personally, I don't care for "relic'd" guitars. If one becomes that way from heavy use, then so be it. I would NEVER buy one like that. I like my guitars clean and shiny. And to pay the big buck$ for one made that way in the Custom Shop? Forget it. Not this boy...
     
  2. DeckerPhan92

    DeckerPhan92 TDPRI Member

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    Yeah just dont do it. You'll regret it later.
     
  3. billstyler

    billstyler TDPRI Member

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    [QUOTE="australicaster, post: 10121539, member: 136921"...The biggest reason for this is because my arm tends to get rather uncomfortable and sticky...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?[/QUOTE]

    I can't say I'm an expert, but I started doing the worn look, before it got its common monikers of today, back in the late '60s. I make no judgement on anyone wishing to do mods like this. As some others have posted, it's your guitar, do what you like.

    If I read correctly, what I suggest is softening the hard corner (I think they are still 1/8" radius on Teles). There are so many ways to do it, but for a simple softening (increase in roundover radius) I use a small block plane and scraper (both very sharp) to get the curve I want, and expose the amount of wood I'd like to see. Then I smooth is with 600 grt. wet-or-dry and naptha (won't affect any finish material) as a lubricant. I then use 2000 grt. paper (dry) or Micro Mesh to polish. After is dries, if I want an aged look, I put fine pencil graphite dust in some paint thinner (mineral spirits) with a touch of oil, usually boiled linseed oil, until I see the color I like, then let it dry. I rub some light oil (lemon, 3-in-1, linseed, orange oil) to make sure it is smooth, slick, and not sticky. I sometimes clear coat with something compatible with the original finish, though I find that water-based urethane varnish is just fine rubbed in to seal it, not to lay on a coating that is obvious. The clear coat must be ultra-thin to keep from being sticky, so most of the time I stay with oil. If you don't really care about the aged look, leave out the graphite step.
     
  4. australicaster

    australicaster TDPRI Member

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    To everyone who posted helpful replies, thank you for the suggestions. To those who posted unhelpful replies, I should add that not only is the finish sticky to play on a hot stage, but the paint is already chipped in the area and scratches my arm. I'm simply looking for a comfortable and hopefully visually nice way to wear down the paint. I don't care for all the "don't" purist comments; this is my guitar and I'll do with it what I like in order to play it the best I can.
    Thanks again for the helpful suggestions, I'll get it sorted.
    Cheers
     
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2020
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  5. Lonn

    Lonn Friend of Leo's

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    This is a poly MIM 3TS body that had big chinks of finish missing. I originally covered the black part in more black but didn't like that. I then went with light gray primer and bright blue metallic auto paint which I really like. Tonight I taped emory cloth to my forearm and played for about 10 minutes to get this look. Fake........I suppose but whatever. I like it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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  6. Ebidis

    Ebidis Tele-Afflicted

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    There's a new invention called "sand paper" that would work perfectly for what you want to do.
     
  7. Southpa

    Southpa TDPRI Member

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    229086_1027820249902_808_n.jpg
     
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  8. Southpa

    Southpa TDPRI Member

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    Heres a natural relic, '79 maple neck on a Warmoth ash body. I did a setup and shielding for a buddy, years ago now.



    H Ash_strat 001.jpg
     
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  9. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    Wise words. The best ones I've seen are what Fender calls the "Closet Classic" treatment which is light, natural looking relicing.

    The best way is to do it the old-fashioned way and just play the hell out of the guitar for years. Don't get impatient. It's a musical instrument, not a lifestyle accessory. Almost all of the "heavy relic" treatments I've seen (including the pro and CS jobs) don't actually look like natural relicing unless you are talking about very exceptional road distressed instruments like Keef's "Micawber" or Rory Gallagher's Strat.

    A natural reliced guitar is a guitar you don't have to apologize for or look like a poseur while playing. Look at John Frusciante's #1 sunburst Strat and notice how the play wear fits with where he contacts the guitar.

    This subject has been flogged to death on this forum and I'm not sure if my comment adds any value at this point, but that's my two cents.
     
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  10. davidge1

    davidge1 Friend of Leo's

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    I've never seen one that looked anything but fake and silly, and those are the ones "relic'd" by professionals.
     
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  11. Maguchi

    Maguchi Tele-Meister

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    My advice, don't do it. Wear long sleeved shirts or put a sweatband on the part of your arm that touches the guitar. I've seen classical guitar players drape a small cloth on their arms where it touches the guitar. Relicing just looks fake and unattractive to my eyes.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  12. shoemakerb1

    shoemakerb1 TDPRI Member

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    Ah, "toning the naked wood."

    Potassium Permanganate. The same stuff enclosed in those "snake bite first aid" kits they used to sell in the back of Boy's Life, and also used to purify water.

    It's a powder, and if you mix it with the wrong liquid (alcohol, maybe?) it'll supposedly blow up. If you mix it with water it naturally ages wood.

    I got mine online, probably eBay. Just experiment on scrap to see how much you need to dilute it. For the effect you want.

    Stew-Mac did a great video on it a couple years back!
     
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  13. SkinnyAss

    SkinnyAss TDPRI Member

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    My favourite relicing method is to chain my $2,500 '52 Fullerton RE Tele to the back of my 4WD ORV pickup, and drag her at 35MPH down a gravel road for 2-3 miles, put her atop the mulch pile over Winter, where my dog can mark her with urine & every other passing & competing dog, fox, cayote, cat, skunk, racoon and possum can join in the relicing effort, and covering her with fresh horse, cow and hog manure, every time we muck out the stalls. If I really don't want to wait that long, I might just leave her in the outhouse basement for a couple of weeks. After the Spring thaw, I might wanna wear nose plugs for playing her, but she sure will have DOUBLED in value!
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  14. properperson

    properperson TDPRI Member

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    mine......
    . c1.jpg c1.jpg
    119902281_648632242726587_5949539716996964956_n.jpg 119902281_648632242726587_5949539716996964956_n.jpg
     
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  15. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    I like that metal selector switch knob. Looks nice and I don't like my plastic one (it wiggles a little). Anyone know where I can find that part?
     
  16. aFewGoodTaters

    aFewGoodTaters TDPRI Member

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    I agree with this - in fact, very few people are artists when it comes to relic'ing.

    I tend to agree that when people relic poly finished guitars it generally doesn't look good. The most convincing relic examples I've seen have been on nitro guitars when the relic'ing has been on the subtle side.
     
  17. medic_90

    medic_90 TDPRI Member

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    This came on the guitar already when I purchased it used. But a quick internet search and I think I found it here.
     
  18. 100LL

    100LL Tele-Meister Silver Supporter

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    that doesn't look like what you've got. That looks like plastic with one of those metal looking films on it. Yours appears real.

    I noticed a tweed amp that I like on Reverb that was reliced. So that's happening now as well....sadly
     
  19. egotrip

    egotrip TDPRI Member

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    pretty difficult to imitate playing wear of a nitro cellulose painted guitar . buy a body get it sprayed in nitro then attack it with600 grit sand paper . experiment with different types of abrasives and solvents on a piece of painted timber . or buy some timber and make your own Teles like i used to do
     

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  20. adjason

    adjason Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    Hmm I just had an idea companies could sell- sandpaper gloves and a sandpaper sleeve- use to help relic your guitar. I would not do it.
     
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