My process for aging Bensonite brass telecaster saddles
1. Get a medium size Tupperware container with a lid.
2. Place inside a small cup of vinegar.
3. Put a scotchbrite pad in the container for your saddles to sit on.
4. Use a paper towel or old tshirt to thoroughly clean off any finger oils on saddles. This is important, don’t skip this step.
5. Place the saddles on the scotchbrite pad not touching each other and facing up. The scotchbrite pad keeps them out of the puddles of vinegar that will accumulate.
6. Place the lid on in container and let it sit for 5-6 days. The vinegar vapors will darken and etch into the surface of the brass. The longer you leave it the more dramatic the effect.
7. After a few days you’ll see little dark spots all over the brass where the vinegar vapor is eating into the metal.
8. When you think they’re ready, remove them and scrub them lightly with OOOO steel wool. This will remove the little spots. The steel wool also adds a bit of shine, otherwise they have a pretty dull matte look.
9. After that scrub them with dish soap and an old toothbrush to remove any other residue.
10. To age the hardware just place all the screws and springs on your oven top it or a heating pad on high temp for a minute or so. The 18-8 stainless steel will turn a golden brown color without causing any kind of corrosion. Use needle nose pliers to remove them and cool them off in a cup of water so you don’t burn yourself. Don't heat the springs for too long or it could cause them to become brittle.
11. Dry everything off and assemble and you have cool looking aged set of saddles!
12. Just FYI, this is more of an art than a science. If you age a set of 3 saddles I can’t guarantee that all three pieces will be perfectly matching when they’re done. Make sure they all go in clean and leave them in there a long time, a week at least is what I usually go for. Also, if you remove them too early before the vapors can etch into the surface, the darkening effect will rub off over time and they won’t look as cool. Time is your friend. Good luck!