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The why's and how's of relicing a fretboard

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by SixShooter, Jul 4, 2011.

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  1. SixShooter

    SixShooter Friend of Leo's

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    I'm working on a Tele relic right now (first one) and starting to think about how I am going to relic the fretboard in order to duplicate the wear marks. The neck is all maple, nitro finished. I have been studying the Blackguard book and have some questions that maybe you can answer:

    -It looks like the wear areas are between the strings not under them. Is this because this is where the finger contacts the fretboard?

    -Many of the older guitars have wear at the very end of the fretboard after the last fret. Why is this?

    Finally can anyone share their technique for removing the finish in these wear areas? Do you sand, scrape, wipe with lacquer thinner?

    Any other thoughts on the topic (other than 'just play the crap out of it for 30 years')?
     
  2. guitar2005

    guitar2005 Tele-Holic

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    Why can't people just let their guitars age naturally. I just don't get the fake aging thing.
    Isn't that something that should be "earned" so to speak if you like that look?

    I guess it separates the real musicians from the wannabes.
     
  3. dan1952

    dan1952 Friend of Leo's

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    If you can simulate the fingerboard wear, I guess you can simulate being able to play. So pathetic...
     
  4. Turmoil

    Turmoil Tele-Meister

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    Way to crap on a thread guys!
     
  5. PLAYONIT

    PLAYONIT Tele-Meister

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    Just playing the devils advocate here....... Let's say .... Mid 40's, has numerous guitars played equally.... average time to play to super relic condition 25-30 years.... might not be achievable?? next best thing make your own.....;)



    Check out some YT vids......
     
  6. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I hope you don't wear stonewashed or prewashed jeans :).


    Just because you don't "get it" doesn't make it wrong to "age" it. It is a personal thing.

    I don't get why people don't get it...:).
     
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  7. dilbone

    dilbone Tele-Afflicted

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    I'm not sure which is worse, the relicing or the guys with their panties in a twist over a guy who relic...wow

    I'm no expert, but most of the wear will be in the gap above the string in question...on the figernail side of the string...
    The wear on the end of the neck is from the pick during playing...I've got that already on the last couple of necks I've built that are only a year or less in age...look at Keith Richards' guitars...it's so bad the last fret dot marker is actually gone...

    I would personally use some very low grit sand paper and go slow, very slow...double side tape some 600grit sandpaper to a few finger tips and try playing it for a while...:lol: Hey, it could work...
     
  8. twangplank

    twangplank Tele-Afflicted

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    Guys he obviously asked for NO negative comments.

    If you wanna call everyone playing relics a wannabe you'll be calling a lot of big name pro musicians wannabes.

    Beauty is in the eye of the Axe holder

    I reliced a guitar for a guy and used fine steel wool. I used a very small piece just small as a normal wear spot. Rub between the frets with your fingertip until you see a small amount of wear. Mostly on the smaller strings and in between.

    Don't go overboard because when you have you small worn spots you can lighten up the whole board with a bigger piece of wool. Polish after you get it kinda where you want it.

    If the neck is attached to the body put some tape over the pups so metal particles don't ruin ruin your pups.
     
  9. JeradP

    JeradP Former Member

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    :rolleyes:

    Wow 2 for 2 right off the bat
     
  10. iamharlan

    iamharlan Tele-Meister

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    Good grief, no kidding! They're his guitars, let him do what he wants. Why does every relicing thread become this? Way to scare off those of us who look at relicing jobs as an art form all its own. Are we looking to sell these guitars as vintage originals? NO...so just leave it alone and don't be an ass.
     
  11. Bolide

    Bolide Friend of Leo's

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    Agree.
    While I may not be a great fan of the relic thing, it's not my place to say. And the host and the mods have made themselves clear on this.

    imho, the marking happens at the full contact point of the finger, but the string polishes it off leaving an unmarked band within the darkened blur. How the CS and others simulate this realistically would be an interesting thing to know.
     
  12. twangplank

    twangplank Tele-Afflicted

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    The custom shop uses a dremel tool I think with a polishing wheel. I'm not sure but seems like I saw that somewhere. It would work but could make a mess of a good neck if not careful.

    Maybe a q-tip and some lacquer thinner but again it sounds like you could make a mess if not careful.
     
  13. melomanarock

    melomanarock Tele-Holic

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    Don't mind the haters.. they just don't know better..
     
  14. PeterUK

    PeterUK Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    SixShooter. I'm sorry your post attracted the NaySayers at the first reply. It astounds me that those who have nothing to say have lots to say on the subject of relics! :rolleyes:

    There used to be an awesome site produced by a guy called Bob Sickler who produced some awesome replicas. He did a Nocaster 0514 replica, a Nancy replica, and SRV #1, etc. and when he did the Nancy replica he recreated individual fretboard "masks" from masking tape, sprayed the neck with nitro then peeled back the masking tape to reveal areas with lacquer a different depth. He then dirtied the areas of wear with a dye, although because Roy Buchannon regularly used lemon oil on the fret board (apparently Roy always had lemon smelling fingers!), the areas were not as dark on his Nancy replica.

    His site was awesome, but he eventually pulled it because moronic naysayers would give him grief with messages saying "I don't get it". Sound familiar?

    BTW, I've never tried this method, so it comes with my personal disclaimer that it may or may not work.

    Have fun.

    :) Peter
     
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  15. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I bet you could make a sheet metal mask, like an erasing shield, that has the shape of the wear. then you could just sand away some as much as you want.
     
  16. ESQUIRE JR

    ESQUIRE JR Tele-Meister

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    Send it to MJT
     
  17. Sandcaster

    Sandcaster Tele-Meister

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    Following that line of reasoning, I suppose (in your world) there would be certain colors and certain overall construction styles that would separate the "real musicians" from the "wannabes". (I picture you having nightmares centered around B.C. Rich, but then, don't we all?)

    In addition to my red Squier Tele (what kind of musician would play a Squier?!?), I also play a purple (gasp!!) MIM (disgusting!!) Stratocaster (not a Tele?? Blasphemy!!)

    (I won't even mention my preference for Hello Kitty guitar picks, lest I further offend your delicate sensibilities....)



    If you're in love with your guitar--the sound, the feel, the look, etc--you're more likely to pick it up and PLAY it, rather than hang it on the wall.

    In my world, musicians PLAY--simple as that.
     
  18. jefrs

    jefrs Doctor of Teleocity

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    Ooo, a hand-reliced Hello Kitty! :cool:

    When I was using the Dremel polishing mop to remove poly-varnish from the top of the frets on the Baja (yes the muppets had varnished over the frets), I accidentally caught the fretboard and made a little "burn" mark. So I stopped using the Dremel.

    Nitro is soft and scrapes off fairly easily with a thin blade.
     
  19. Muttcaster

    Muttcaster Tele-Holic

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    Here's mine. I relic'ed it because I snagged a relic body for a great price and it just looked funny to have a pristine neck on a relic body. Besides, relic'ing is a good technique to know in case you need to refret a vintage Tele and need to restore the look.

    [​IMG]

    I browsed thru the Blackguard book and picked out a board that I liked that wasn't TOO worn out. Like it or not, the way I did this one was to use a buffing wheel on a Dremel. With the strings in place, I just pressed down and around the string in a finger-like pattern. With freshly exposed wood, I then went down to the garage, dipped my fingers in used motor oil and played a little bit to get some color in the marks. All I did was get it started- after this, I'll finish it with real playing.

    From working on old guitars, I've noticed that if a guy tends to play chords (and frets too hard) w/out much bending, then the wear will have clean spots under the strings where the strings protected the finish. But if he does a lot of bending (and the wear is from pushing down while bending), the wear will be more smudgy and the string will not protect the finish because it's usually bent out of the way.

    Here's the whole guitar:
    [​IMG]

    Here's another one that I used to own with more of a smudgy kind of relic job:
    [​IMG]
     
  20. preeb

    preeb Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

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    Without getting into the debate whether or not to do this...

    Most of the wear is between the strings indeed and is usually a result of fingernails scratching a VERY thin lacquer.
    This never looks right if the lacquer is too thick (the pre CBS necks only got one or two lacquer coats).
    I do it very gently with a DULL round scraper I make from a brass coin and smooth the edges of the wear with a high speed rotary buffer to get the authentic transition from dark lacquer through lighter lacquer to bare dirty wood.
    This will mimic the mild natural wear of fingernails and fingers.
    It is also important to know when to stop and not repeat the same scraping pattern. Having a detailed photo of a nice worn original is great especially if you got the BG book.
    The mandatory wear at the end of the neck is from the pick (-;

    Here's a recent stressed 51 Nocaster I completed recently showing the result of the above mentioned.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
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