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Fender® American Elite HSS Strat® Acrylic Pickguard Fabrication

Procedural steps for creating one of our Acrylic pickguards with the rounded and polished edge for the new American Elite HSS Strat®.

A little insight into the work that goes into creating one of these unique pickguards.

 
  1. Cut out pickguard from sheet of Acrylic with CNC laser.

  2. Affix laser cut pickguard to routing template and route pickguards curved perimeter to create rounded edge.

  3. Sand pickguards rounded perimeter edge with 220 and 400 grit sandpaper to remove artifacts left behind from high-speed router.

  4. Polish pickguards rounded perimeter edge using a buffing wheel machine with a special cotton buffing wheel and dry polish compound used specifically for Acrylic.

  5. Perform clean-up polish and wipe down of polished rounded perimeter edge with Kleenmaster Brillianize on a cotton ball and buff clean with dry cotton ball. This gives the rounded edge a nice high polished shine and removes any dry polish residue that may be left behind from the buffing wheel.

  6. Countersink the 11 perimeter pickguard mounting holes.

  7. Drill hole in pickguard for Fender’s®Passing Lane” push-button switch.  Location of this hole is dependent on customer’s selection.

  8. Remove pickguards protective paper backing from rear side.  Mask off small rectangular area around passing lane switch hole and sand this area to allow good adhesion of passing lane switch mounting block to pickguard.

  9. Clean pickguards rear side control region in preparation for adhesion of copper foil shielding.

  10. Apply 4” x 5” copper foil shielding tape in pickguards control region.  X-Acto knife trim perimeter of copper foil shielding tape for final match of pickguard shape.  Pressure squeegee copper foil shielding tape against pickguard for smoothing and adhesion.

  11. X-Acto knife trim/remove all pickguard control region pass-through holes in copper foil shielding tape.

  12. X-Acto knife trim/remove copper foil shielding tape in the “Passing Lane” switch mounting block region so the switch mounting block will adhere only to the Acrylic pickguard material.

  13. Adhere inspection sticker. Polish pickguards back side with Kleenmaster Brillianize.  Wipe "Passing Lane" switch mounting location with alcohol based cleaner to remove any polishing residue so switch mounting block will adhere sufficiently when glued in place.

  14. Remove pickguards protective front side paper backing and polish the pickguards surface with Kleenmaster Brillianize.

  15. Glue “Passing Lane” switch mounting block to back side of pickguard using a special 2 part epoxy for plastics. Let epoxy cure for at least 20 minutes before further handling of pickguard.

  16. Remove any epoxy that has squeezed out into “Passing Lane” switch pass-through hole so there is no obstruction within the central portion of switch mounting block. Use of the proper size reamer tool removes excess epoxy nicely.

  17. Inspect entire pickguard, date and initial inspection sticker.

  18. Clean entire pickguard with pressurized air to remove any dust or lint and heat shrink wrap pickguard for packing/shipping.

 

Total Fabrication Time:  1 hr. 40 min.

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