I just made my first guitar slide. It turned out way better than I expected.
I used ammonia vapors and salt. My first attempt was off the recipe, I thought I could do better than what the internet said to do. So I made a crusty salt water paste and applied that to the tube. It is sitting in about 1/4 inch of non-detergent ammonia.
I could see discoloration within 5 minutes so I knew it was working. You can probably see that in the above picture, the top of the tube, which doesn't have much salt on it, is turning black already.
A three hours it looked like this:
It looks great but I can tell the bluest part is where the salt is deepest. I fear that that would wash off. I left in in about 5 more hours and then took it out to dry overnight.
It was gorgeous then, but useless as a slide.
When I washed the salt crust off I was very disappointed, but not surprised.
So I took the same piece and did it again. But this time I made up some very salty water and just dipped it in. I left it in the vapors for about 90 minutes.
I let it air dry for maybe 10 minutes. I didn't need to wait much longer since the air is so dry here. I washed it off with tap water than then buffed with a paper towel to get the blue off that would fall off anyway. You can see the result above.
I'm really happy about it. I know that it will wear off as the strings slide, but that's ok, this isn't going in a museum, it is meant to be played.
Looks purty. Is it smooth enough to slide easily across yer strings?
oh yeah, smooth as a new pipe.
very cool. I had no idea about this
It turned out great. Salt and vinegar gives another cool effect, also torching the piece then cleaning off the char is another. Or just leave it outside for while. Copper is interesting stuff!
Glad you ended up with a smooth slider. I luv old copper, actually any old and/or patina'ed metal. Mrs. Grandpa has a bunch of it in her garden. I prefer glass slides myself, but after four tries I can't get my Dunlop 105 to take the patina you achieved lol. I have used muriatic acid fuming and salt to age nuts, bolts, screws for git builds, and I think I'll try the ammonia vapor/salt treatment for a couple of copper pipe tailpieces. Good pic, good tips, thanks.
That is a fine lookin' copper top!