Weclcome back Guys and gals, the Online guitar Genie is back to complete part 2 of how to build a “Case candy” kit for your guitar without breaking the bank.
In part 1 we began to build the kit by finding a vintage style strap, actual vintage guitar string set and vintage guitar pics. In this post we will hunt down a much maligned part that many guitar companies manufacture for purely cosmetic reasons and does not see much actual use. I am talking about the chrome bridge cover (aka) Ashtray (More about this later). In the case of a Fender Stratocaster the chrome bridge cover is a highly polished chrome metal part that is manually press fitted to the bridge for use and covers the bridge saddles with a slight notch for the trem arm, a non notched version is available for non-tremolo models (aka) Hard-tail Stratocasters. This part would have originally come with a newly purchased Fender Stratocaster. Pictured here is a 1966 Stratocaster with the bridge cover.
I have not actually seen anyone use the bridge cover while playing (Except perhaps Buddy Holly) because it inhibits proper palm muting techniques at the bridge, over the years it’s main function was relegated to being used as an ashtray for smokers thus the moniker “Ash tray” Although useless in most regards the chrome bridge cover is a nice addition to your “Case candy” kit. If you have the original unit or an era correct one GREAT!!! If not it also can be found from vintage dealers or a new in package unit on ebay or at your local Fender dealer. If you are building a “Case candy” kit for a vintage guitar, a brand new shiny cover would not match, in that case search ebay for a reliced(Artificially aged) unit. Prices for actual vintage Stratocaster bridge covers for 1970s Fender’s are around $100 usd +. A new Fender unit is about 10-15$ usd and a reliced unit would be in the 20-25$ usd range. I opted for a new unit and decided to relic the unit myself. More about relicing in a future post. It looks quite convincing and was very cost effective.
The next little gem I wanted to add to my kit was an actual can of vintage Fender guitar polish and polishing rag. I have accumulated quite a number parts and industry related items over the years and this can of 1970s Fender polish was just sitting on the shelf in my repair shop for many years collecting dust and it was the perfect time to put it back into action as a useful part of my “Case candy” kit. I added an old Fender style polishing rag to complete the set. These polishing rags can be bought from your local dealer for around 8-$10 usd or of course there is the alternative to buy a vintage one from a dealer, these can run in the 100$ usd+ range. Once again I urge you to look through your old parts boxes, guitar cases, workshop areas etc, you just might find a nice used Fender or Fender style polishing cloth just waiting to be put to good use.
Now my kit is really looking good and filling the “Glove box” quite nicely. There is one more little item I would like to add, well actually it is a few items in one…. I will explain in my next post- How to build a “Case candy” kit- Part 3
That’s all for now my friends see you next time for another magic carpet ride around the amazing world of the guitar.
You can visit the Onlineguitargenie on ebay to purchase Case Candy for your vintage or modern instrument. Onlineguitargenie carries many hard to find parts and accessories for collectors and players alike. Here is where you can find the Genie http://www.ebay.ca/usr/onlineguitargenie