Current Projects page
For sale £600 (Sorry SOLD)
Over the years I tend to gather bits and peices, as I supose all guitar 'nuts' do, this current project is a comming together of a few of these bits. The Body is a Genuine Fender 80's Stratocaster with the rather cumbersome Fender version of a fully floating bridge (a la Floyd Rose).
1980's Strat Body
I have also aquired a 1957 re issue Fender neck. My intention is to make a '57 reissue, but with some changes the spec as follows.
1) Cellulose Sherwood green finish
2) Vintage Fender tremelo bridge
3) Re fretted neck, jumbo frets and 9.5 radius
4) 3 Ply 60's pick guard
5) Relic'd finish
The first step was to remove the paint from the body, this may seem straight forward but I have learnt from experience that this is no easy task ! and I would not undertake such a task on anything but genuine Fender parts......its just not worth it.
The modern paints used are nothing like the 'old' cellulose products in a word they are HORRIBLE resembling more of a 'glue' than a paint, whilst the original 50's, 60's finishes are waffer thin, the modern ones are very thick maybe upto a 1/16 of an inch
Fender original finishes.....
There is a lot written elsewhere regarding Fender finishes, but in brief they were cellulose lacqure. The bodys and necks were more or less hand made with far less automation than their modern equivelents. the finishing process started with sanding then a grain filler/ undercoat called Fullerplast, which by all accounts was a fairly disgusting yellow stuff, depending upon the final colour of the body......if it was a standard sunburst, the body was firstly dipped in a yellow dye then the black edging was sprayed, followed by minimal coats of clear lacquer. The original sunburst did not contain red, and later when it did, often the red would fade away..until Fender came up with a succesful formula to stop the red fading.
Solid colours which were all 'custom' (in the begining) either started off life as sunburst bodys just blown over with the customer requested colour and then lacqured, some wern't even lacqured! Or the bare wood was undercoated, mostly white, then colour coated and lacquered.
Stripping the body
After three days work, on and off here's the Elite body stripped and given a coat of sanding sealer, I don't intend to strip the cavities a good sanding will do I think you'd likely cause more damage trying to get all the paint off.
The secret with stripping a body is....There isn't any secret! its just bloody tedious, dont be tempted to employ any mechanical sanders, you'll end up ruining the body, just take your time, chemical paint stripper will remove the colour coat eventually, but the primer leveling coat seems to be imune to every chemical I've tried, so its really down to just hand sanding Ugh ! Thats why I said at the top of this page, its not worth doing this sort of work on any old body.
This neck is a genuine Fender '57 re issue I think its American as the marker dots on the 12 fret are wider than they should have been to replicate a genuine '57 neck, It was originaly manufactured with a 7.25 inch fretboard radius which was the original 'vintage' radius used by Fender untill the 80's. Since I was building this guitar for myself I wanted to incorporate the features that I like, although I'm not adverse to a vintage neck a lower action can be acheived with a flatter fingerboard so I wanted to try a 9.5 radius and 'jumbo' frets
Re radiusing the fret board with 9.5 radiused sanding block...and cleaning out the fret slots, essential for a good seat for the new frets.
All frets have the 'tang' removed just at each end to give a nice smooth edge to the neck, done using the tool on the right
Neck ready to fret
Pressing in the frets and initial trimming of the fret edges
Body first coat of primer and hand sanded. Never use an electric sander you'll end up doing more damage and first colour coat sanded, get the finish by sanding not adding more paint.
Here's the body more or less finished its a very difficult colour to capture on camera, and the neck with a little wear added
Wired and relic'd pickguard
New Strat nearing completion