Restoration of a 1962 Fender Stratocaster


Part One - Look At The Outside

First thing I do with a vintage strat is a quick overall look. Its easy for the trained eye to see signs of a legit guitar, fake, or parts that have been messed with. This one is both a legit vintage guitar and has been messed with a bit. Most mods/work/fakes have large warning signs. As you go over the guitar the "oddities" start to beacon like Rudolf's nose. We'll take it apart later. Much can be revealed just looking at the guitar in hand, soaking it all in. Each part tells its story and others will  agree and/or disagree. Like a group of old friends an outsider becomes evident with simple experience and observation.

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Refin in black is flaking away. Guard is cracked in usual spots with extra holes drilled to hold it down. A great looking Guitar really but the obvious guard damage is effecting usability. Shrinking guard is butting into the tremolo, interfering with the trems ability to return to pitch. I'll replace this with one of my reproduction Celluloid Guards.


Original equipment trem? From this view we can clearly see it is the proper vintage. In other pics we'll see the saddles may be from different guitars but are vintage.


Pat pending saddles. Another nice view.


Knob original? check. Basically just looking around at all the noticeable parts to see if things match up.


Pickups and covers look good. Someone carved out an access pit for the truss. Notice the celluloid reaction on the truss nut. This is difficult to fake.


Nice patina on guard. Middle pickup is not sitting in guard well. Covers show clue that things may be switched around a bit in this one. Notice the small holes in front of guard and the guitars top. A midi unit most likely.


Textbook clay dots. Notice the leveling marks still in the dot. Fender didn't go to far up the grades in abrasive. The marks are clear on this one.


Headstock is the right shape and the decal is good.


Another shot of the decal and string tree.


This guitar has a natural Blackie thing going on.


Nice stamp - proper font and wear. Serial obscured by me. Why do people do this? Because its a trick of scammers to take online photos and claim the serial as stolen in their hometown. They try and get the guitar via dubious measures via the legit police report of their "stolen item". That's why people obscure serials for web photos.


012 and 013
Back of neck has been totally over sprayed and not well. Long ago. Lumps of old finish underneath.


Real tuners alright. Look at repros then look at these. Very evident. To date the repros are not close.


Old black and our first glimpse of old finish in the trem cavity. looks like a target burst. Nice trem block - notice ball end depth. That's vintage spec.


This picture tells a great deal. Both the body line and the plate speak volumes in this shot.


The lines at this point on the body are telltale. Good stuff.


That guard has been shrinking and yanking at the screws a looooong time.


Horn. The black refin is old, thin and coming off with my fingernail.


Under the arm wear .... breaking thru the sealer at the bottom


Overall assessment. This looks legit to me. Obviously some changes. There has been a midi unit on this guitar and its been refinished. Therefore, anything could be "under the hood". You cannot refin a guitar without disconnecting the wiring and I doubt someone would install a midi unit and not exchange pickups and/or pots too. But this is a mystery until we crack it open. Neck has also been oversprayed. Fingerboard does not have the same wear the  body does. Original pair? The pickup covers show some argument is respective color. Swapped? Original? Lets find out.


Next Section - Under The Hood

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