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FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / Relicin' plastic parts



If you never try, you'll never know...
Apr 15th, 2019 11:53 AM   Edit   Profile  

Hi everyone,

I've lost the switch tip of my 60's relic strat so I purchased a set of aged white tips (genuine Fender parts) but my knobs and pups covers are whiter than these aged white tips.

Seems to me that in their relicin' process, Fender manage to whiten "yellow" plastic parts (I discovered that the knobs on my guitar are yellower inside). That's funny because most people do the opposite by aging white plastic parts !

So does anyone know how to do this properly ?

Any tips are welcome !





If you never try, you'll never know...
Apr 15th, 2019 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile  

Here's a pic of my guitar !


Contributing Member

Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 15th, 2019 01:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

"I've lost the switch tip of my 60's relic Strat [...] Any tips are welcome!"

That is funny right there!

Coloring plastic parts is a hit-or-miss process. Unless you know exactly what the plastic is, your guess is as good as anyone's whether something will work or not.

I've had pretty good luck with plain white knobs and tips, staining them using a mix of strong coffee and vinegar. For yellower parts I've added yellow food color. Some plastics take this and others shrug it right off. Some plastics take the color so easily they become too dark and they're ruined.

A quick way to make a new bright-white knob closely match truly-aged parts is to lightly scuff it with a Scotchbrite pad and then use a toothbrush to work some light brown shoe polish into the plastic, followed by a good rubdown with an old towel.

For fairly-pristine-looking (e.g., NOS) knobs to match an older Strat, the parchment-colored knobs work pretty well.

Be advised tho...relicking plastic and having it look authentic is very very very difficult. You're doing a switch tip, so that's fairly easy.

The absolute best thing you can do before you start, however, is to go online and look at lots of big pictures and close-ups of real-deal old guitars to get an idea about what these things are supposed to look like. What you'll discover is they mostly don't look that worn or discolored.

If you don't do some homework, you end up with the same sort of goofy thing like artificially-faded jeans with wear patterns and lightened areas that never occur in real life.

I just rode 300 miles on my fake horse, and...



If you never try, you'll never know...
Apr 18th, 2019 11:03 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks for the input, Peegoo !

Still, I wonder if it's possible to "bleach" plastic parts wich are not white (like aged white Fender parts) to make them look a little whiter...Can't seem to find parchment switch tips :-(

Contributing Member

Just beyond Mars

there's a world of fools
Apr 18th, 2019 02:21 PM   Edit   Profile  

Matbouche, you can certainly try to bleach plastic, but that works only if the plastic was colored after manufacture...because the color is in (not on) the plastic.

The risk is that some plastics are easily damaged by chlorinated compounds; makes 'em brittle and crumbly.

The good news is sponsor Amplified Parts sells 'aged white' conical switch tips for Strat switches

here. Black, white, or aged white.

FDP Forum / Fender Custom Shop / Relicin' plastic parts

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