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Darkening bridge pick up polepieces

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by JM-1, Apr 13, 2021.

  1. JM-1

    JM-1 TDPRI Member

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    I wonder, how do you darken the AlNiCo polepieces on a telecaster bridge pickup please?

    … Without affecting the sound of course.
     
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  2. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Black magic marker? :)


    .
     
  3. puddin

    puddin Tele-Afflicted

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    :lol::lol:..
     
  4. tintag27

    tintag27 Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Perhaps you could clarify what you want to do?
     
  5. Guitarteach

    Guitarteach Doctor of Teleocity

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    This for a ‘non-more-black’ look?
     
  6. JM-1

    JM-1 TDPRI Member

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    I would like to make my bridge pick up look a lot older. I have a lovely relic cover for the next pick up, but the bridge pick up looks brand spanking new in comparison…

    All suggestions gratefully appreciated
     
  7. tele_savales

    tele_savales Tele-Holic Platinum Supporter

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    there's some pretty fascinating videos on youtube about bluing metal. I have no idea how it would effect alnico
     
  8. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    Sharpie
     
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  9. Danb541

    Danb541 Friend of Leo's

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    maybe stain or tinted lacquer
     
  10. old wrench

    old wrench Friend of Leo's

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    Bluing looks great :).

    But it only works on carbon steels (not stainless) - I don't know how it would work on alnico alloy.

    I've done lot's of cold bluing, and it's critical that the part is thoroughly rinsed with clean water after the bluing solution is applied to prevent corrosion and rusting.

    The clean water neutralizes the bluing compound.

    I don't know how practical that would be with a pickup.



    With my suggestion of using black magic marker I wasn't joking, I'm serious :).

    If you don't like how it looks you can remove it with acetone (careful of the finish) or alcohol (a little safer) ;).


    .
     
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  11. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's

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    There are various compounds to patinate metal in dark colors. All are pretty wicked, chemical solutions and need to be used very "lightly" so they don't penetrate the flatwork around the magnets. Most are for either ferrous metals or cuprous metals (copper, brass). I have no clue if any of them work with aluminum, nickel, copper alloys like AlNiCo magnets. A Web search will find patination materials.

    With marker pen, etc. I'd think it would be difficult to be subtle with the color. BTW: you may notice that marker pen is not truly black if you put it on something other than paper. "Black" is based on either blue or red. Marker pen often reveals its blue origins on metal. On the other hand, magnet slugs are small and unless you've got your eyeballs up close, it will likely look black.

    ...or, you might just ignore it.
     
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  12. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I thought he was wanting to blackout the mags too in the op. I was gonna recommend a marker too, but chose to stand back.

    Coloring mags has never crossed my mind.
     
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  13. EsquireOK

    EsquireOK Poster Extraordinaire

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    Take the pickup out and lightly spray it with this. Repeat until your desired amount of blackness is achieved. Let it dry. Hit it with Scotchbrite, or overcoat with matte clear, to knock back the gloss.

    https://www.amainhobbies.com/tamiya...MIy52I7MD87wIVZRitBh1hLQ5NEAQYAiABEgKVYvD_BwE

    tam85071.jpg

    Another option is to brush with dark tinted wax, which is how Fender pickups in the old days got their dark waxy look. The potting wax would get dirty over time with bits of fiberboard and what have you.
     
  14. TX_Slinger

    TX_Slinger Tele-Meister

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    I would either use cold bluing for firearms, or rub the top of the poles with your fingers frequently and it'll develop a natural patina
     
  15. theprofessor

    theprofessor Poster Extraordinaire

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    This is the easiest way I've found. Works great. Just color the tops of the pole-pieces until they turn darker. Birchwood Casey Aluminum Black marker.
    Alu 1.jpg Alu 2.jpg
     
  16. Peegoo

    Peegoo Poster Extraordinaire

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    I would not use cold blue of any type because it is an acid intended to apply an etch to metal and then be thoroughly rinsed off.

    Even if you did rinse the pickup in water, you'd never remove all the acid because most alnico rod mags are sintered, which means there are microscopic pores in the alloy that can retain the acid, and the mags could corrode from within.

    I'd use a black Sharpie and then strategically rub some of it off by applying a drop or two of iso alcohol to a cloth and lightly scrubbing it.
     
  17. stonetone7

    stonetone7 Tele-Holic

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    7CD3D6A7-3E98-40D5-B491-4A9ADFEFB941.jpeg

    After 20 years that process seems to be taking care of itself.

    (Also note to self: swab your deck.)
     
  18. JM-1

    JM-1 TDPRI Member

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  19. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Sharpie
     
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