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Jan 28, 2020 - 2:49:07 AM
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1178 posts since 2/2/2008

Sometimes we need to replace an older tuner button but the replacement is white and looks terrible on your banjo. What do you do?
I was told this years ago but never tried it. Tonight I tried it. I put a desert spoon of expresso coffee and half a cup of water in a pot then heated it on the stove. Slowly heating and stiring so it will not burn on the bottom of the pot. This also allows you to watch the discoloring and not over do it. This was done in attempt to help a member wanting a matching 5th tuner button to match his vintage ones.
Here is a picture of 2 new buttons that were the same colour 10 mins ago.


Jan 28, 2020 - 2:52:13 AM

1178 posts since 2/2/2008

I also attempted to buff the sharp edges to match the worn ones.

Jan 28, 2020 - 3:57:06 AM

1981 posts since 2/7/2008

Very cool. It’s those little details that can really make the difference.

Jan 28, 2020 - 9:03:18 AM

61 posts since 3/10/2006

That looks great! I'm curious how this will hold up though (i.e. is coffee staining permanent). I've been considering replacing the fifth string peg on my banjo, but I've been uncertain about how to try and match colors on the buttons. Does the coffee stain sit on the surface? How does it react if you scratch it? What if it gets wet?

Jan 28, 2020 - 10:52:14 AM
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1178 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by vthokie7227

That looks great! I'm curious how this will hold up though (i.e. is coffee staining permanent). I've been considering replacing the fifth string peg on my banjo, but I've been uncertain about how to try and match colors on the buttons. Does the coffee stain sit on the surface? How does it react if you scratch it? What if it gets wet?


I will test that and post results. I do know with 2 sugars it tastes great :)

Jan 28, 2020 - 11:18:16 AM

61 posts since 3/10/2006

Sounds good! Thanks for doing that. I'm sure others appreciate your efforts as well!

Jan 28, 2020 - 11:48:25 AM
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2 posts since 8/26/2009

This work well too. Vintage Amber and Tobacco Brown. +1000 grit sandpaper or 000 Steel wool.


 

Jan 28, 2020 - 12:14:40 PM
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1178 posts since 2/2/2008

Ok it seems very robust and well soaked in stain and I had to draw a file across it to scrap it. Yes you can see the white under the stain but I only put it in the coffee for 5mins. It will not wash off or rub off. We look after our banjos so I don't see us scraping the pegs with files. Any case just put them back in your coffee.


Jan 28, 2020 - 12:21:31 PM

1178 posts since 2/2/2008

I am sure leaving longer in coffee will make darker so start on the light side when trying to match.

Jan 28, 2020 - 12:43:52 PM
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4998 posts since 9/21/2007

The old timers did it with cigarettes. A pack of Luckies, Camels, Old Gold, Chesterfield, or a sack of Bull Durham "makings" would do the trick.

Light, suck into lungs, exhale on tuner pegs.

Repeat 20 to 40 times a day for 40 years.

Jan 28, 2020 - 1:52:21 PM

61 posts since 3/10/2006

Cool beans! Thanks getting back to us so quickly. I was mainly curious if rubbing your fingers or if they somehow got wet would the stain come off. I don't see myself taking a file to my pegs either, but you never know what might happen

Jan 28, 2020 - 1:58:42 PM
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1178 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by vthokie7227

Cool beans! Thanks getting back to us so quickly. I was mainly curious if rubbing your fingers or if they somehow got wet would the stain come off. I don't see myself taking a file to my pegs either, but you never know what might happen


I left it over night and when I woke this morning I rubbed with paper towel and the paper was not tainted, I rubbed with fingers and no stain on me then I washed with the dishes and nothing happened. They should age well but I will post in a year if they fade or age even better.

Jan 28, 2020 - 2:01:14 PM

1178 posts since 2/2/2008

After this I might try a mylar head tonight and find out what happens.

Jan 28, 2020 - 3:20:09 PM
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2770 posts since 2/18/2009
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Thanks for posting, that's a neat idea.
Zach

Jan 29, 2020 - 6:49:10 AM

14938 posts since 2/7/2003

It all depends on the material, some can be stained some cant

Scott

Jan 29, 2020 - 8:05:41 AM

454 posts since 9/21/2018

Anyone ever try to do this with black?

Jan 30, 2020 - 11:57:06 PM

1178 posts since 2/2/2008

quote:
Originally posted by Moose_Roberts

Anyone ever try to do this with black?


I haven't but if I had black stain left I would try it. If coffee stains this type of button 100% stain would do it.  I'm sure any colour would work.

I decided to fit them on tonight so I can have a new look and see what happens over the year.


Jan 31, 2020 - 1:51:17 PM
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6737 posts since 8/28/2013
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quote:
Originally posted by desert rose

It all depends on the material, some can be stained some cant

Scott


Absolutely true.

I also note that the OP used some heat with his mixture. Dropping some plastics into heated water could result in distortion of the material, particularly if the tuner button is left heated for an extended period.

I'd be careful whan trying this technique.

Jan 31, 2020 - 4:28:31 PM
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282 posts since 12/28/2014

I’ve found that the plastic buttons that will take stain take it very well and permanently. I dyed my buttons on my Eastman white lady green to match my banjo seen green hide head and 4 years later they are just fine.

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