Pimp my Johnson

A discussion of techniques, and equipment for guitar. Fretted, bottleneck or slide, acoustic or electric, this is the place.

RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby ricochet » Sat Apr 29, 2006 2:49 pm

Thought of shellac on the neck, perhaps as a French polish? Makes a nice finish, and it's mighty easy to repair.

Here's a great source of a wide variety of shellacs: http://shellac.net/

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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby songdog » Sun Apr 30, 2006 12:31 am

Yeah, I've used shellac before but with mixed results. It dries so fast you have to be quick with the application.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby wwpete52 » Sun Apr 30, 2006 3:44 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Apr-30-06 AT 11:46 AM (EST)]>
>Hey WWPETE - Sounds like an interesting technique. How long
>did you have to leave the shells in the hot water?

It was almost instantly. Just make sure that the water is super hot.

disclaimer: it worked on cartridge cases, I don't know if it will work on a guitar body.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby ricochet » Sun Apr 30, 2006 4:03 pm

Cartridge brass is what the "bell brass" those guitars are made of is. Roughly 70% copper, 30% zinc. There's no such thing in the metals trade as "bell brass." Bells are traditionally made of bronze, anyway.

An interesting thing to do with brass is expose it briefly to an acid. I've done this with sulfuric acid, but something like vinegar should work. Dissolves away zinc from the surface layer, leaving shiny bright copper behind, just like the brass was copper plated.

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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby songdog » Mon May 01, 2006 2:18 am

I'll have to give this some thought. My main concern about doing it would be the neck and wooden support brace still being attached to the body when it gets dunked in the super hot water. I'm sure I could mask them off somehow - but concerned about the heat.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby ricochet » Mon May 01, 2006 3:51 pm

I don't think dunking in super hot water would be good for the wood. Maybe do it more indirectly by applying towels dipped in super hot water.

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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby wwpete52 » Tue May 02, 2006 12:50 am

I would try it on the back first to see what will happen.
I don't know about "dipping" the guitar in water. If you did it fast and tried to came the water away from the neck too long it might not hurt a thing. I have dipped rifle stocks in water water after applying oven cleaner to the wood(the best stuff to use when stripping an old military rifle stock) and it didn't hurt it at all. Since there are no braces (like and acoustic guitar) you probably wouldn't have a problem but I don't know for sure.
You could try it on the cover plate after you strip it first!

Disclaimer: This is an untested process so try it at your own risk and don't yell at me if it screws something up. If it were me I would try it, but that's just me.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby ricochet » Tue May 02, 2006 1:22 am

I've used the oven cleaner on old milsurp stocks, too. That's gone out of favor on the milsurp collector boards, the consensus now being that it causes some long term damage to the wood. Main problem I see is that it risks turning the wood green.

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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby songdog » Tue May 02, 2006 2:46 am

I duno... this afternoon I dipped a small brass pipe in near boiling water (it was simmering). Left it in there for 5 minutes and it didn't do a thing!

I saw a post on another forum where a guy tarnishes brass by exposing it to ammonia fumes for 10 to 20 minutes. He just puts a small dish of ammonia in the bottom of a covered enclosure and places the brass inside the enclosure. Leaves it inside until the desired color is achieved. Seems less risky than boiling my Johnson.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby wwpete52 » Tue May 02, 2006 1:24 pm

Maybe it worked with the cases because the brass was thin.
After sleeping on it last night I don't think that I would dunk that guitar (neck and all) in the bath tub. I think that I would look for plan B.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby ricochet » Tue May 02, 2006 2:24 pm

If you expose the brass to ammonia long, it'll turn green. It can also embrittle it.

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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby songdog » Tue May 02, 2006 3:01 pm

>If you expose the brass to ammonia long, it'll turn green.
>It can also embrittle it.
>
But that's the general idea of any patina or tarnishing process, isn't it, applying a chemical that reacts negatively (oxidation/rust) with the metal?

The ammonia fumes are suppose to turn the brass a brownish/green color depending upon the length of exposure time. I'll experiment first.
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RE: Pimp my Johnson

Postby wwpete52 » Tue May 02, 2006 3:24 pm

Look what I found on the web, How to tarnish brass:

http://www.finishing.com/233/77.shtml
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Postby slidnslim » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:00 pm

Does anybody know the chemical that would remove nickel plating?
I've got a woodbodied National on the bench that going to be
completly reworked,and I need to strip the coverplate clean
to the brass,

Kenny,
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Postby bluesmcgoo » Tue Jun 06, 2006 9:21 pm

Hey Songdog...could you re-post that picture of your guitar? (Yeah...I wasn't ABOUT to ask for a picture of your Johnson.) The link you posted earlier in the thread is not working now.
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