Over recent weeks I was bequeathed a rather decent 1989 Korean made Squier Strat. Nothing exotic or fancy about that, but there is something about the workman-like simplicity of it that appeals.
It is not without faults. It had been crudely converted into a left-hander. The movement of the upper bout strap button down on to the lower bout is an easy fix.
More difficult is the attempt to get the jack socket out of the way of a left-hander’s forearm. The previous owner’s well-meaning neighbour, had drilled through to the original jack socket, and then hammered in one of the sealed unit jack sockets. This was an awkward one to get out.
Once everything was stripped off, it was interesting to see the original paint colour under the pickguard. A pretty vivd red, compared to the faded terracotta it had become.
I just love the deepening amber from the neck and fingerboard lacquer though. This is going to remain unchanged apart from a good clean up.
It was then that I got thinking about the body… there’s a sh*tload of thick paint on there that will take hours to get off, to leave me with a rather shoddy plywood body underneath (it is easy to see where Fender cut the corners) that is going to need a fair amount of repair before the long refinish job. That’s when I remembered that a certain Mr Noise, blogger and Six String Bliss forum regular, bought a couple of Strat bodies on eBay a few months ago. I’d only ever heard him mention one of those bodies. A quick email confirmed that the other was still free, and for a very reasonable sum will be heading Wirral-wards as fast as my wee postie’s legs can carry it.
So it looks like this is going to turn into a rather fine looking amber necked, vintage sunburst Strat.
There are some decisions yet to take. This one is going to be done on a minimal budget and so will be ending up as a home for whatever spare hardware I happen to have knocking about. I’ve been thinking long and hard about reusing the original pickguard, pickups and controls. Whilst that classic aged ivory/white looks fantastic against the sunburst, one of the things I’ve never really liked about Strats is the middle pickup, which is exactly where I’m most comfortable striking the strings. I happen to have a couple of spare black Seymour Duncan P-Rails knocking about. I’m now searching for an “interesting” low-cost alternative material for making a scratchplate. Leather? An old numberplate? Hardwood veneer? If you have any bright ideas, please don’t keep them to yourself!