“Tailpieces, tuning gears, bridges, and various other metal parts are aged in acid,” continues Lillard. “We get the effect that parts would have from oxidising naturally.
“On a Bigsby we also have to scrape the black paint off the patent number. The way they come now, the only thing that’s exposed is the ‘Bigsby’ part: it all takes time and extra attention.
“The other parts, we have to rust: pickup polepiece screws, strap buttons, screws...”
Lillard goes on to explain how Gibson’s ageing processes need constant refinement. “[Parts] manufacturers are trying all the time to frustrate what we do with the ageing,” he laughs. “Nobody wants to see their products all tarnished and aged; they want it to look shiny as long as possible!
"Like these [new] strap buttons. They’ve switched something so they don’t age as well, so I need to come up with some new tricks!
“As for the plastic parts, the knobs are wiped with an oil to give it that finger-funk kinda feel: we do it all right here.”