|Mold for making Stratocaster pick guards|
Your first stop is the Visitor Center, where you check in and pay for the tour. Or, if you, like me, happen to know someone who works there, you can get the tour for free. The visitor center is nicely laid out with historic prototypes by Leo Fender. You know, like a mini museum. There is also a 'gift shop' with everything from cutting boards to t-shirts. Of course, you can also purchase a guitar, fresh from the factory.
|Out of focus picture of the machine shop|
|Top: Back Plates, Saddles. Bottom: Bridge Brackets|
|Stack of pick guards for the Stratocaster.|
Next station is the Mill, or wood area. Wow, this place is amazing. They have humidity and temperature control. Periodically, there would be water misted to maintain proper moisture in the room.
|Top: Wood blanks being cut, finished blanks. Bottom: Finished necks|
|Finished Stratocaster body on top a stack of Telocaster bodies.|
So, on to final assembly. All the parts come together, right now, over me. Hey, someone should write a song with those words. The instruments are hand assembled. Once in a while, you can hear someone tuning the strings and sneak in a short jam.
|Sign hanging above assembly area|
|Be excellent to each other.|