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Aging Chrome- Need Help Fast

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etching solution wont touch chrome anyway - best to use nickel if you want to go that route

i think you have to suspend chrome over an acid bath or something like that.... not quite as DIY friendly as ageing the nickel stuff. Muriatic Acid (Hydrochloric acid) is said to work well

if you are willing to remove the chrome plating it gets easier and costs nothing and you have all you need collecting in your bladder as we speak!!! :D

really a combination of techniques works best - start with artificial wear by scuffing them and attacking them physically - then do the chemical thing

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Thanks guys, I would have used Nickel but I'm doing a relic on a Fender telecster which seems to be a mix off Chrome, Nickel and Aluminum. The tuners seem to be Nickel, bridge and pickup covers are chrome and bigsby style tail piece is aluminum and chrome. I'm sure my customer is okay with me putting my blood, sweat and tears into his modification but not my ummmm....yellow stuff LOL. My house is over 100 years old, I'm positive I have some drain cleaner around here. I'll give it a go on a few test pieces.

By the way...I can't tell you how gratifying it was to beat the hell out of a brand new, 900.00 Fender! Experience of a life time!

Edited by zyonsdream
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I've been using this stuff on nickel hardware:


I've done some chrome with it as well, but with different results. It normally won't do anything to it, but if you scuff it up with 320 grit paper, and immerse it for a while it really dulls it down quite a bit. And since there is usually a layer of nickel and/or copper under the chrome plating, you can play around with how much and where you sand the hardware to get different effects.

Works good on gold too, talk about gratifying! :D:D

Edited by orgmorg
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I'm working on a relic right now and no one sells etching solution anymore (including the very lack luster Radio Shack) Is there anything that will age my chrome and give a rusted look to my screws and tuners quickly?

you actually can use the etchant solution on chrome. you have to distress and scuff the hardware with steel wool first though.

As far as other methods, there are several ways, using muratic acid, vinegar, salt and others. Also, i've had very good luck with a rock tumbler and sand. If you are having trouble finding pcb etchant solution, you can order it from www.circuitspecialists.com They can only be shipped via ground and the best product they have are crystals that dissolve in water. not as messy.

Let me know if you need anymore details or if you need help. Be glad to walk you through the steps and process that I use.

take care,


Are You A ToneSlinger?


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