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Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

My Christmas project 

I am going to rebuild this sorry old 1988 Fender USA Strat. I have a new Squier Bullet as a donor and have managed to find one 1990 Fender pickup, so far. I am working on buying another. Meantime, I will use cheaper Fender ceramics.

The neck will be from the Bullet, suitably aged with a new graphite nut and vintage button tuners, until I can find a USA Fender neck.

Tremelo block will be from a MIM Strat. Pick guard will probably be a 3-ply mint colour that I have knocking around.

Vintage rewiring kit is on order. I will smooth out the body paint a little but leave it as a relic, I think.

I will post updates as they happen.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 20:05:30
 
Piwin

Posts: 3376
Joined: Feb. 9 2016
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Las Navidades en plan guitarrero. !Qué proyecto más bonito! Feliz Navidad, colega. !A disfrutar!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 21:56:44
 
RobF

Posts: 1188
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

quote:

I will smooth out the body paint a little but leave it as a relic, I think.


That has “regret” written all over it, I fear. I hope you can be persuaded to hold off on doing anything whatsoever to the body until the project is finished. Just in case. You can always disassemble and do a clean up later, but once the natural aging is gone, it’s gone…

I know it’s definitely an eye of the beholder thing, but I don’t see a sorry old USA strat body. I see something proudly wearing the battle scars of the years. It’s beautiful. The custom shop does a booming business artificially arriving at what you’ve got already prepped and waiting for rebirth.

But regardless, it’s going to be a fun project! Keep us posted, please. I love this stuff…
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 23:04:46
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

That body is from an era when super Strats were popular. That’s why it has a swimming pool route. You could put three humbuckers in this guitar. Most of the Strat bodies I’ve seen were either three S or HSS.

Have you considered using locking tuners? That should solve any issues you have with tuning stability. This old-style trem system can be a nuisance.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 20 2021 23:34:11
 
JasonM

Posts: 1783
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Awesome! I love the relic look, and vote for humbuckers!
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 1:21:39
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

I am not sure if this has been intentionally reliced or not until I actually receive it later this week. I have no intention of refinishing it and won't do anything until I have assembled it all and checked it out.

Not a big fan of humbuckers on Strats, but I could install them in a spare pick guard to try them out.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 8:30:00
 
mrstwinkle

 

Posts: 488
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RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Split coil humbuckers are the future of strats. IMO.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 19:07:29
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Bagged another 90s pickup today and stained the Bullet neck. It's looking old.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 19:13:54
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to mrstwinkle

quote:

Split coil humbuckers are the future of strats. IMO.


I've been around and I disagree. Love Gibson P90s, Gibson humbuckers and the Strat middle/neck position. I split the coils on my SG in the early 80s but it wasn't great. Something to do with the phase maybe?

Not that into the Strat bridge pup which is why HSS took off, I guess.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 19:16:11
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Looks like someone replaced the original trem with a two-point trem. That’s a good option.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 21 2021 23:39:48
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

quote:

Looks like someone replaced the original trem with a two-point trem. That’s a good option.


Good spot, I hadn't noticed. I'll have to use a 6 point with 4 screws until I find a reasonably priced 2 point.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2021 9:00:10
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

I printed my own decals after an eBay disappointment. Yes, it is a Fender neck (Squier), so I am not faking anything (apart from the Custom Shop thing, my bad)

New graphite nut, sanded and lots of brown shoe polish. Looking rather vintage.





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2021 19:42:54
 
RobF

Posts: 1188
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

quote:

New graphite nut, sanded and lots of brown shoe polish. Looking rather vintage.


Kiwi?
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2021 20:03:53
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to RobF

quote:

Kiwi?


Is there another?

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 22 2021 20:27:13
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

quote:

I'll have to use a 6 point with 4 screws until I find a reasonably priced 2 point.


This seems to be reasonably priced: Two point trem

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 3:26:51
 
Pgh_flamenco

 

Posts: 1413
Joined: Dec. 5 2007
From: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

quote:

New graphite nut, sanded and lots of brown shoe polish. Looking rather vintage.


When I finish a neck using Tru-Oil I usually apply mineral oil directly to the raw wood first. Over a period of a few months the mineral oil decays under the Tru-Oil and turns golden brown.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 3:31:07
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Wilkinson is a decent make, thanks.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 9:00:18
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

Cool, I like Tru-Oil

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 9:00:39
 
orsonw

Posts: 1508
Joined: Jul. 4 2009
From: London

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Thanks for the thread. I look forward to following your process.
I rarely have anything useful to say in these building threads so I don't post, but I enjoy following them.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 11:21:21
 
JasonM

Posts: 1783
Joined: Dec. 8 2005
From: Baltimore

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

I never really tried Split coils until recently, on a PRS. I liked it in this particular model, but it was still not exactly a perfect single coil sound either, but still a great sound. I think it was “Paul’s model” or something (the setup he personally uses) … $$$$
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 16:41:35
 
RobF

Posts: 1188
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Pgh_flamenco

quote:

Bagged another 90s pickup today and stained the Bullet neck. It's looking old.


Cool thing about Strat culture is people mod their guitars and then put the removed components up for sale to offset the costs. I picked up a 2010 Strat Deluxe a couple of years back and the previous owner had swapped out the bridge pickup with a single coil sized Seymour Duncan humbucker. Luckily, he had kept the original pickup (I think each noiseless PUP in these might be unique to its position) and the first thing I did was put everything back to original.

I truly love pretty well everything about that guitar. One cool thing it has is the ability to put the N+M, M+B, or all three PUPs in series. There are two other settings that do some out of phase parallel stuff that are pretty useless, but apparently a couple of years later they modified it so they would all sound good. I also have a jazz bass with the S1 switch that puts the pickups in series, and on a jazz bass it’s a really nice option to have.

This project of yours is going to be a lot of fun. Don’t forget to take pictures as you go, seems like a bunch of us on here are interested in following along.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 17:26:07
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to RobF

I am not sure I will get the body I just bought as the seller is being really weird about shipping or even a refund. I leave that to eBay and PayPal, so we will see.

With a lack of an immediate project I turned back to the Squier Bullet donor guitar and gave it a bit of a spruce. It was a lot of work. I toned down the shiny paintwork to age it a little and installed a very cheap, fully-loaded pick guard, just to test.

In mint green with ceramic pickups, knobs and switches it was all of 13€ a year ago. Surprisingly, quite a decent sound. See for yourself.

It took me ages to figure out that the new graphite nut was too shallow and the overall setup was a nightmare with the floating tremolo.

I put in a higher action and fatter strings for some tone. I used a pretty good condenser mic. synced to an iPhone video.





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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 23 2021 21:59:11
 
Estevan

Posts: 1891
Joined: Dec. 20 2006
From: Torontolucía

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Well done that man!

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 25 2021 1:12:28
 
RobF

Posts: 1188
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

If you didn’t know about this place already, here is an interesting site with lots of info on Strats. Bonus item is they appear to be based in Italy.

https://www.fuzzfaced.net/index.html

The site also features an online store with relic Strat parts, like pickguard and tuners and the like, but upon further examination it appears to be a series of links to other sales sites like Reverb, so maybe it’s just good for information purposes.

Hopefully the body arrives without incident and checks out OK, it would be a shame to get all built up for nought.
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 26 2021 19:00:29
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to RobF

quote:

Hopefully the body arrives without incident and checks out OK, it would be a shame to get all built up for nought.


Nope, PayPal will refund me. He was being a **** and I don't trust him, so it's for the best. Apparently, it was reliced and then painted with a rattle can.

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Dec. 27 2021 10:06:37
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

I now have a full set of decent Fender pickups. Two from the 1990s and a used Texas Special for the bridge or neck. Haven't decided yet.

I also found a really good maker of mildly worn nitro alder bodies here in Italy. They look great to me, this one in Sonic Blue caught my eye and I await delivery. Pretty much everything else will be Fender.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2022 15:46:23
 
ernandez R

Posts: 526
Joined: Mar. 25 2019
From: Alaska USA

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to RobF

quote:

ORIGINAL: RobF

If you didn’t know about this place already, here is an interesting site with lots of info on Strats. Bonus item is they appear to be based in Italy.

https://www.fuzzfaced.net/index.html

The site also features an online store with relic Strat parts, like pickguard and tuners and the like, but upon further examination it appears to be a series of links to other sales sites like Reverb, so maybe it’s just good for information purposes.

Hopefully the body arrives without incident and checks out OK, it would be a shame to get all built up for nought.


Rob,
Spent some quality time on the fuzzfaced.com site and learned a lot. Found out my '72 corona strat is not. It's at my place in western Alaska and I haven't been there in a few years so I can't compair s/n etc to see what I've really got. To be honest I don't care, I turn the gain and volume up to eleven on my amp, then crush cords and rattle the widows and walls with her.

Simon,
looks like fun. As a teenager I would buy ano old electric cheap guitar from a pawn shop, spray paint or whatever and bang around on it until I was bored or gave it alway or whatever, to be honest I can't recall where they all went... faded memories of my early youth.

HR

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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 9 2022 21:26:37
 
Escribano

Posts: 6311
Joined: Jul. 6 2003
From: England, living in Italy

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

It takes shape. The body is awesome, a great fit and rather heavy. Added funky, gold foil PU covers.

Got a great cheap, tweed case from Germany.

Dug out my old Fender valve amp and there is some seriously noticeable tone going on, especially with thicker gauge strings and a high action.

Frets have been filed and polished. Fretboard was soaked in lemon oil.

Video to follow. Nearly there.



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  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 14 2022 17:38:21
 
RobF

Posts: 1188
Joined: Aug. 24 2017
 

RE: My Christmas project (in reply to Escribano

Sonic blue is such a cool colour on a Strat. Looking forward to the video :)
  REPORT THIS POST AS INAPPROPRIATE |  Date Jan. 15 2022 3:05:26
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