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Darkening Inlay Dots on '62 RI?

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by Spinal Tapper, May 1, 2009.

  1. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Does anyone know what technique would be the best to permanently darken the white dot inlays on a rosewood fretboard? I'm doing this to my 62 RI P bass for a vintage/clay dot appearance. Similar to how the dots look on older Fenders or even the newer Laklands.

    I was thinking maybe brown shoe-polish? Obviously don't want them to get too dark, probably one coat at a time, but more of a brownish/yellow? Has anyone done this?

    And let's not turn this into a relicing vs. non-relicing thread please, ok? (and I'm pretty sure "play it for 30+ years" isn't going to darken the inlays anyhow) Here's a pic of my bass vs. a real vintage w/ the darker dot inlays.


    real vintage:

    Thanks to EZbass for the pic of his SWEEET P bass - probably my favorite bass on all of TB...sorry I totally jacked your photo dude, I hope you don't mind too much...
  2. xsubs

    xsubs Working Class Hero Supporting Member

    Jul 15, 2007
    NYC & Corcaigh, √Čire
    Endorsing Artist: Hiwatt Amplification & Rotosound Strings
    The dots on the reissues are plastic, which may or may not take to darkening. You might try scoring/roughing up the surface with some sandpaper, then trying some light brown stain on them.
    The US Laklands have dots made of birdseye maple, giving them the colouration similar to aged clay dots.
  3. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Cool, thanks for the info - maybe I'll try working on the 15th or so fret so it's not too noticable if I screw something up...er heck, maybe I'll try it out on my Ibanez first. I'll post some pics if it works out...
  4. Caca de Kick

    Caca de Kick Supporting Member

    Nov 18, 2002
    Seattle / Tacoma
    The white dots on the US 62RI will never darken.
    I have an old 62RI Jazz built in '84, and while the rest of the bass has really ambered-down, weathered, and worn down, those dang white dots are still as bright as ever after 25 years.

    On other projects, I have used brown shoe polish with good effects. Just be sure to use a tiny bit and not get it on the rosewood!
  5. Spinal Tapper

    Spinal Tapper

    Nov 15, 2007
    Thanks for the tip. I was thinking of applying it with a fine brush and then patting it down with a cloth - careful to not get any on the RW of course.
  6. mongo2


    Feb 17, 2008
    Da Shaw
    Brown shoe polish worked on my '62 RI J necks. I used cotton swabs to put a thick layer on the dots and left it sit overnight. I got some on the rosewood and it didn't effect it, YMMV.
  7. GeneralElectric


    Dec 26, 2007
    NY, NY
    I think some very light grade sand paper and a brown modeling ink should do the trick. It'll last longer than shoe polish.

    I've done this to the block inlays on my Classic 70s Jazz.
  8. IbanezATK


    Feb 24, 2009
    Monroe, LA, USA
    I tend to eat burgers, pizza, tacos, etc. then play my bass... hell sometimes I eat them WHILE I'm playing my bass.

    I bet I could "relic" those markers in a couple of weeks.

    You'd need new strings though...

    I should buy stock in DR!

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