Looking for an Aged/Relic Hardware Refinisher

Discussion in 'Hardware, Setup & Repair [BG]' started by MascisMan, Jul 18, 2017.

  1. MascisMan

    MascisMan Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx
    Hey guys, was wondering if you knew of a place that did refinishing on hardware that you supply?

    The next bass I build I want relic/aged hardware. I can find everything I need already available, however, I'm wanting to use a Hipshot A-style bridge. Hipshot unfortunately doesn't offer this bridge in an aged finish.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows of a 3rd party that I could send a new bridge to and them refinish/age/relic it?

    Or....if someone knew of good instruction on how I could do it at home. Will probably be going with a chrome (over brass) new bridge.
  2. sissy kathy

    sissy kathy Back to Bass-ics Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 21, 2014
    Arbutus, MD
  3. RSBBass


    Jun 11, 2011
    I remember reading about using pcb etching solution followed by brown shoe polish to age hardware.
  4. Axstar

    Axstar Inactive

    Jul 8, 2016
    Probably unhelpful, but if you look at some vintage basses the chrome hardware actually holds up really well. Conversely I was checking out some aggressively relic'd guitars in GuitarGuitar here recently, and there was a weird sort of carrot-orange gravy spilled on the bridge to approximate rust. Not sure it was a good look, beyond a sort of Mad Max vibe. I suppose you are shooting for a parallel universe where Hipshot A-style bridges have been around a lot longer, and accumulated dirt?

    If it was me (and it isn't) I would dull the chrome slightly, then polish it back out by hand. You want a shiny but ever-so-slightly and evenly scratched look. I would then find a couple of different grits of coarse sandpaper and gently tap them into the chrome finish to put some random pitting in the chrome. Maybe rough it up more on the bass side to approximate wear from the player's hand. As mentioned before some use etching solution or acid vapour to induce corrosion. Maybe just stick the thing in a box full of rusty screws and washers and shake it up! A few minutes of constant shaking and it will pick up a truly random assortment of scratches and abrasions, as well as some nice dirt and dust in the corners.

    Earlier today I pulled an old MIM Fender bass bridge out of storage, and the saddle height-adjustment screws are all seized and the screws seem partly crowned out, so my Allen keys all slip when I try and turn them. I'm guessing you don't want to approximate this aspect!
  5. MascisMan

    MascisMan Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2003
    Dallas, Tx

    I don't really want severe rust. More like a dulled tarnished look with a touch of surface rust. For example these knobs:


    But yeah I really like the adjustability and added sustain that I have experienced on my other bass with a Hipshot A. But it would stick out like a sore thumb if it were polished and new looking while the other hardware was aged (which is the feel I want for my next project).
  6. 2saddleslab

    2saddleslab Supporting Member

    May 30, 2003
    MascisMan likes this.
  7. ShonenCello


    Sep 21, 2011
    Gassing metal parts with hydrochloric acid worked really well for me. Very convincing looking tarnish and slight rust.

    Do it outside though. The fumes are unbelievable.
    Axstar and MascisMan like this.