Would this work to very lightly age parts? Squier 40th Anniversary look...

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by MARVIN MECKLER, Apr 15, 2024.


    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024

    I have a Squier 40th Anniversary Seafoam Jazz with very tastefully done lightly aged parts. They don't have that relic'd filthy rusty rotting chrome look, they are just ever-so-lightly uniformly scuffed, if that makes sense. They aren't scratched in big lines.

    Here is an example, if you zoom up:


    I'd like to add a pickup and bridge cover, but I'd like to try to get the parts to look similar. The Squier parts almost look lightly sandblasted. They haven't been soaked in acid or anything like that.

    Any ideas how to achieve a similar uniformly slightly aged surface?

    I thought of a bag full of BB's...put the pickup cover in and shake the heck out of it, then do the same for the bridge cover.

    Does it seem like that would work? Or something similar?

    I don't care for the scratched rusty worn rotten look...so I don't think I'd want to try anything extreme.

    Thank you for your time.
    Eli_Kyiv likes this.
  2. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    BBs, sand, rocks, etc., depending on how beat up you want the parts.

    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024
    Well, I dont want big scratches and gouges in the chrome. That's why I thought BBs being round (but a bit rough) would work. I've just never done any such relic work and I don't want to ruin the covers.
  4. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Start with small and work your way up.
  5. direktor

    direktor Giving Lover Supporting Member

    Dec 24, 2008
    South Pasadena, CA
    Stock parts look tumbled with media that has different shapes and sizes, and probably hard media like rock or metal. BBs would give a more uniform matte look because they’re small.

    Tumbling is what you’re looking for, but the key is what with, and I suspect to get varying size scratches you’ll need variety.

    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024
    Maybe some BBs along with various coins...they could mark it, but not really cause large scratches.
  7. Kevnn4


    Mar 19, 2015
    Silicon Valley
    Is it me ooooooooorrrrrr... do those look like guitar parts? Jazzmaster maybe?
  8. HardNHeavy


    Apr 17, 2014
    or vinegar and baking soda
  9. superheavyfunk


    Mar 11, 2013
    That’s a mustang bridge but the tailpiece is either jaguar or jazzmaster for sure
  10. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    Yes, a gem or brass shell casing tumbler with various grades of fine sand would probably give the fine scratches in random patenation which you desire. I'd keep a very close eye on it. White vinegar treatments can mimic oxidation depending upon the metal being treated.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
  11. micguy


    May 17, 2011
    Wear on real parts doesn’t give a uniform look over the whole surface. In the real world, edges get more wear, for example. Look at old furniture - the dings happen mostly on the corners and edges. What you’re doing will make it look different, but it won’t look broken in - it’ll look like you intentionally modified it. If you like it, though, that’s what matters.
    ravelax likes this.

    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024
    I don't want it to look like real wear, I just want it to look like the factory Squier design. Most wear is fake nowadays anyway.

    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024
    What is a gem or brass shell casing tumbler? Where can I find one?
  14. JKos


    Oct 26, 2010
    Surprise, AZ
    Google “rock tumbler,” “case tumbler,” “brass tumbler,” “rotary tumbler,” etc.
    MARVIN MECKLER likes this.
  15. ELG60


    Apr 26, 2017
    These are vibrating devices used in conjunction with a medium (ground corncobs, or similar) which polishes the shell casings or gems.
    A brass shell casing tumbler can be sourced through a shooting sports website. A gemology website would probably have a gem tumbler.
  16. rojo412

    rojo412 Sit down, Danny... Supporting Member

    Feb 26, 2000
    Cleveland, OH.
    I think he was just using that pic as an example of the type and level of wear he wanted to add.

    I was always kind of shocked that steel wool wouldn't scratch chrome/nickel parts, but Scotchbrite pads would pretty quickly scratch it up (not gouges, but took the mirror shine away). So perhaps experimenting with those could be an option for you? Not even the aggressive grades, like the white to start with could be just enough. If you wanted to attempt it by hand, at least. The tumbler idea would likely make it more uniform with less effort.
    Last edited: Apr 15, 2024
    Kevnn4 and Beej like this.
  17. Bass4ThePublic

    Bass4ThePublic Supporting Member

    Jan 27, 2019
    Kansas City

    I relic my own parts, as I find paying extra for relic’d stuff is a drag. What I like to do is take regular strength muriatic acid and let the fumes oxidize the parts. This works better for nickel plated stuff, as it doesn’t look too right on chromed stuff like bridge covers. What I do is take a large tupperware container and fill to less than halfway with the acid. THEN I put a smaller piece of tupperware inside the tupperware, floating on top of the acid. I then put the parts I want to relic in the floating piece of tupperware. After that cover the large tupperware to trap all the fumes in. YOU DO NOT WANT THE ACID TO TOUCH EITHER YOUR HANDS OR YOUR GUITAR PARTS. You want the fumes of the acid to do all the work. Periodically check in over the course of 4-6 hours. Once youre done give your parts a rinse in the sink, let them dry and apply some sort of anti corrosive, I like Ballistol. This method has worked for me for years, and judging on wear patterns, I firmly believe this is how the fender custom shop ages their hardware. Wear gloves, and work in a well ventilated area. Muriatic acid is concrete cleaner, you DO NOT want this stuff in your lungs.

    I dont suggest sandpaper, especially for tuners. Looks way fake and the particles gum up your moving parts. If you want to relic your plastic parts like switch tips, pickup covers, and pickguards hit it with #000 steel wool, rinse with water afterwards to get all the steel particles away.

    Hope this helps, sorry for the page long post.

  18. Yahboy


    May 21, 2008
    stainless steel wool.....

    MARVIN MECKLER Suspended

    Apr 14, 2024
    Thanks for the info, but I want the parts to look like the pic in my original post...I think chemicals would be pretty extreme for the mild sandblasted look I'm going for. The Squiers are very consistent (and totally fake looking as far as relics go), but I like the consistency.

    Here are a couple more pics of what I'm trying to achieve:


  20. Bar Band Bassman

    Bar Band Bassman Supporting Member

    Aug 26, 2010
    Kensington, MD
    That almost looks galvanized!