Advertised as "so mint it still has the plastic on the pickguard" -- ugh, break out the Goo Gone...

Discussion in 'Tech-Talk' started by Jam Handy, May 29, 2020.

  1. Jam Handy

    Jam Handy Strat-Talk Member

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    I always sqwinch up my face when the ad for a used guitar says "so mint it still has the plastic on the pickguard"... that's great if its relatively new, the stuff will come off easily enough... but not so great when its a few years older. That same "...plastic on the pickguard" becomes gooey, messy yuck if you don't take it off.

    I just got a great deal on a very mint Fender American Elite Strat. I've only had it a short time and... I was noticing by the lower horn that it appeared the "finish" of the top of the pickguard was kind of "frayed". I got to pulling on it, and lo and behold, that gooey, yucky thin "plastic" goop was still on the pickguard. (YUCK)...

    It seems like some folks do back flips and cannonballs into the swimming pool when they either advertise or (must be) buy a guitar with this gunk-o-la still on the pickguard. I'm not one of them.

    Well, a few tugs and it started to come up... woops there's a screw... woops there's a little piece of that crap still around the screw... OH, here's the volume and tone knobs... I DID NOT want to take the volume knob off (its an S1 switch) and I didn't want to take the tone knobs off... its just that mint, I don't want to have to do something I don't need to do just because this crap is stuck on the pickguard like bubble gum

    Somehow I got it out from between the two single coils... got it out from between the bridge HB and the middle single coil... now for in between the bridge and the humbucker... nope, still a clod of that crap in there...

    and between the end of the neck and the neck single coil... still in there, my big fat chubby fingers don't fit in there... and I'm not going to F___ up my nice pretty tortoiseshell PG with a screwdriver to try to scrape it out of there

    what a f___ing mess

    Plus, in certain places where the plastic goop did come up, there is still sticky adhesive left behind, which is gooey and won't easily rub off, so break out the Goo Gone...

    So you see my dilemma... gorgeous top of the line Strat that some dumbass didn't bother to take this plastic crap off the pickguard when they bought it (it did come off the trem cover plastic on the back without a hitch thank god...)

    Now I'll have to remove most all the screws on the PG to get this crap out of the screws (which I didn't want to do... remove anything unless absolutely necessary)... I'm going to have to remove the control knobs which I didn't want to have to do... and I have no damn idea how I'm going to get this goo out from between the neck pickup and the end of the neck...

    So... all that said...

    Anyone else ever have this problem? And how did you get this gunk off your pickguard without a screw driver scraping up the PG finish? ...and without turning it into a "Disassemble Derby" ?
     
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  2. Sybo

    Sybo Strat-Talker

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    Yup, never bothered me..
     
  3. RobZ69

    RobZ69 Senior Stratmaster

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    I had that on an old set of nickel covered pickups. Not that old even. White spirit helped remove the residue. Warming it up before trying to tear it off, may also help. With a hair dryer, not a heat gun.

    I'm afraid some disassembling is required to do it properly without accidentally damaging something..
     
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  4. 3bolt79

    3bolt79 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I would take the neck off and remove all the pickguard screws and knobs. What I hate even more is when they leave the plastic layer with the flag sticker on top of the second layer. You wind up with a stark, lighter white spot where the sticker was and the rest of the plastic darkened from exposure to light.
     
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  5. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    Reminds me of a saying. Something about being hanged with a new rope... ;)

    OK, no need to take the guitar apart.
    1. loosen the strings - do not remove
    2. turn guitar face down (padded surface) remove trem cavity cover and trem tension springs
    3. turn guitar face up and lift two point bridge out (don't drop it) set it aside near head stock
    4. remove knobs if necessary
    5. loosen (do not remove) scratch plate screws
    6. remove all adhesive plastic
    7. snug screws
    8. using a liquid car polish such as Mother's California Gold or Meguiar's cleaner wax and a soft cloth, clean and polish the scratch plate
    9. reinstall knobs, bridge, springs and cavity plate
    10. tune
     
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  6. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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  7. wrvond

    wrvond Senior Stratmaster

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    That ought to do. ;)
     
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  8. Jam Handy

    Jam Handy Strat-Talk Member

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    Well for what's left between the neck and the neck pickup, I tried using a white eraser on a mechanical pencil... it got about 1/8" of it started... then the eraser broke... LOL

    I'm not disassembling anything... maybe a PG screw or two... that's it
     
  9. Jam Handy

    Jam Handy Strat-Talk Member

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    I'll try the BIC lighter/blow torch method when I'm more into doing a Hendrix cover song, maybe...

    ...its all off now except for a chunk between the neck and neck pickup, and globs of it clinging to the underside of my volume & tome knobs, maybe a couple Kilngons surrounding a couple of the PG screws of pickup mounting screws... where's my 2 grapefruit spoons... those work great for removing a knob...

    So, how much extra to custom shop order a guitar minus the gooey globby adhesive plastic crap on the pickguard, haha... probably would add another zero to the price tag to order it minus the adhesive gunk...

    what a damned mess, haha
     
  10. Crozius

    Crozius Strat-Talk Member

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    My first electric was a brand new American strat, I didn’t realise until a couple months in that there was plastic on the pickguard. I wondered what those scratches were. It came off easy though... except for under the knobs.

    most recently though I bought a replacement 1-ply pickguard for that same guitar (and all new pickups, electronics, etc) and the damn plastic was a chore to get off and left a ton of adhesive. I am left handed so maybe it was sat on the shelf for years.

    luckily the supplier stated on their website it is PVC, and I have half a jug of siroflex pvc cleaner. About half an hour later it’s perfectly clean. Though it could use a buff. Whatever, it just matches the 15-year-old guitar better now.
     
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  11. unionjack515

    unionjack515 Senior Stratmaster

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  12. StummerJoe

    StummerJoe Strat-O-Master

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    If you are too stubborn to even remove the strings or loosen screws/knobs, then I don't know what anyone could tell you. :rolleyes:
    You're only making it harder on yourself, but at least your complaints make me smile!:p
     
  13. Paperback Rocker

    Paperback Rocker Intruder alert! Intruder alert! Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I made a similar thread a long time ago. I'm in total agreement.

    They use the plastic on the pickguard as a selling point!

    Definitely not one.
     
  14. Ebidis

    Ebidis Providing the world with flat bends since 1985 Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Theres a new invention called tweezers. ;)
     
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  15. Thrup'ny Bit

    Thrup'ny Bit Grand Master Curmudgeon Strat-Talk Supporter

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    [​IMG]
     
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