Advice on aging a gold anadized pg

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by RNG1, Jan 18, 2018.

  1. RNG1


    Mar 1, 2015
    Title kind of says it all, but here’s more details if anyone cares:
    I just picked up an MJT relic’d P body and I have this gold pg that I think will look awesome on it with my 72 Maple P bass neck on it. So the body is heavy relic and my neck I’m proud to say is naturally worn after gigging it for nearly 35 years. So the pg just looks too new I’m thinking.
    Maybe I should include a pic.
    I imagine I could take some light steel wool to it but I’m not sure what that does to this gold. Anyone ever mess with this?
  2. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    Congrats on your MJT build. They finished 2 for me and love the results. Matt and Mark do amazing work.

    Send the pg to MJT. They did the hardware on my heavy relic. And if done wrong will stick out like a sore thumb.
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  3. RNG1


    Mar 1, 2015
    Thanks that’s likely the best idea. Just trying to figure out if it needs it or not.

  4. It doesn't look terrible like that but if the hardware is worn also then some "age" on the pickguard wouldn't hurt.
  5. RNG1


    Mar 1, 2015
    I think you guys might be right. I just emailed MJT to see what they get for doing the guard, tuners and bridge. I don’t have the original Fender hardware because when I got the 72 p bass all those years ago it was heavily modded and had after market parts(unfortunately). But the neck is part of me at this point.
  6. Son of Wobble

    Son of Wobble

    Mar 8, 2010
    A great way to age gold anodized is to rub your thumbnail back and forth across it until a nails-on-chalkboard tone is achieved.
    Then keep going till well-worn.

    pro tip: If possible, while scratching, hold the pickguard up against the ear of @JimmyM, as he LOVES this particular sound!
    JimmyM likes this.
  7. Bruce Johnson

    Bruce Johnson Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Feb 4, 2011
    Fillmore, CA
    Professional Luthier
    A few tips about anodizing:

    Anodizing is actually a layer of corrosion. Anodizing is to aluminum like rust is to steel. It's a thin layer on the surface that has chemically changed into hard fine particles. To make gold (or other color) anodizing, they spray a thin gold colored dye onto the surface of the aluminum, then apply electricity in a chemical bath, to make the aluminum rapidly develop a layer of corrosion. The corrosion ends up gold (or whatever) colored.

    Anodizing is similar to plating, but the final coating is thin, hard, brittle particles, that have a somewhat rough texture. Like gold-colored metal sandpaper. That's why anodizing is satin sheen, not bright and shiny. And that's why, when you rub it with soft things, like your fingers, you leave marks. Fine particles of skin rub off your fingers and become embedded in the surface of the anodizing.

    The anodized particles themselves are hard and abrasive, but they peel off fairly easily. Again, think fine sandpaper.

    If you scrape anodizing with steel, even a dull steel block, you'll scrape the anodizing layer right off and get bright shiny aluminum scratches. Those are permanent and can't be repaired without completely stripping and re-anodizing. You probably don't want to do that.

    If you rub anodizing with a soft material, it will leave marks of embedded particles. Those marks can usually be removed with lacquer thinner and a bristle brush, without damaging the anodizing.

    Also, be careful with thin dyes, like Sharpie markers. Dyes and thin inks will sink down deep into anodizing and permanently stain it.

    So, to age anodizing, rub it gently with something dark and soft. A piece of black rubber. A piece of leather with some brown shoe polish on it. A scrap of rosewood. Something like that. Don't use steel or sandpaper or a hard material.
    Groove Doctor and RSBBass like this.
  8. RNG1


    Mar 1, 2015
    Very helpful info thanks!
  9. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    A year or so of playing it and it will look more natural than anything you can do.
  10. RNG1


    Mar 1, 2015