Restoration of a 1962 Fender Stratocaster
Part Two - Under The Hood
Lets take a little peek under the hood, confirm suspicions and raise questions.
- I thought this was a "target" burst before being stripped and painted black. But the red is everywhere. Refinished more than once? Routes look good. Little divot for truss rod carved out. Old pots, old switch, neck date is Oct 62. Definite wiring issues. Some extra little holes for that midi unit. I actually do not know if it was a midi unit, that's my best guess. I did see a unit that would have have the same mounting on one of Buddy Guys strats.
- Crack on the "shoulder". This is yet again from the celluloid guard applying pressure. Look at that old yellow and red. Fenders burst got more and more opaque into the 60's. Why? Because alder often has little knots. Then and today clear alder in mass quantity is a problem. Bit scars are on the money.
- Another look at the electronics cavity. Nice sloppy route with bit scars. Proper depth. You can see how wood was hogged away with a pin router in only a few stages. We already knew this guitar had to have been rewired but can you see the big change evident here? The ground wire from the trem does not go to the volume pot on factory wired 62 strats. That's a modern touch. Also we see an extra hole in body by the black wire.
- Pots are definitely old. Cap is vintage. But we have some issues here. The cap leg has been snipped at the first lug. When reattached it was soldered to more lead and they put the black heat shrink on. This could have been done at a time before this was a vintage item. Extra solder blob on the last tone pot is a flag. That pot has no reason to have anything grounded to its casing.
- This pot or the set may not be an original family. Some of the dates are under solder. 32nd week of 1962. We'll get a better peek when we get this guitar totally apart. Shield has been clipped.
- Switch is the right switch for late 62. The switch housing went from slanted sides to this round unit. But the part number is wrong. Its also a 5 way.
- Jack route. More of that old finish hides here. You'll see it better when we totally disassemble this guitar. The jack itself is vintage Switchcraft. The hole for the wires is the right diameter and in the right spot - a detail fakes almost always get wrong. This hole diameter is different than all others on a vintage strat.
Ok lets stop fooling around and take this unit completely apart!
Next Section - Total disassembly
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