‘59 Stratocaster Restoration

fender753

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,050
I recently saw a post from my local shop about a very messed up and modded ‘59 Stratocaster. I swung by and grabbed it for a very very reasonable price, and I thought it might be an interesting example of what not to do with a vintage Stratocaster.

The guitar is an ash bodied ‘59 strat that someone stripped, refinished the neck with a horribly thick finish with deep checking. They creatively modified the pick guard, and threw a Patent sticker pre T-top in the middle position. They also added some crazy inlays that I sorta like.

I’m no luthier, but after 3 hours I think I got her cleaned up pretty good. I had a ‘57 pickup to throw in the middle,
Removed the black paint in the pickup covers, sanded back the neck refin, and added a logo and I love how it turned out.

I think it would be neat to get it finished back in blonde, but I think the inlays have to stay

Here’s the before:

C20D17E5-7AC7-4157-AEF5-4E8213EE1DD3.jpeg
C30439A6-1F7A-4AAD-8E95-C282BE4C4356.jpeg



And here she is cleaned up a bit:
AE6D2E9D-2487-4A51-A1D8-A39895089B63.jpeg

A297967A-B2FF-4771-9A0A-E91FF97D6254.jpeg
 
Last edited:

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,728
The before and after are both something to see.

How does it play and sound now?
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,618
the word "restoration" always makes me nervous when talking about vintage guitars, that implies making them look artificially new again and is usually not what we're supposed to do with them

this is more of an "ungoobering", getting rid of the stupid as much as you can (including whatever the hell that finish was on the back of the neck) and i'm here for it

that pat. number 'bucker would have been great in the bridge, just sayin'
 

Rossi163

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,767
When it comes to refinned strats, I actually kinda like the natural finish look that was done so often in the 70's. Obviously would prefer an untouched OG finish, but the natural look has a certain appeal on a slabboard, especially if the wood grain is attractive, like this one

And yeah, those inlays are cool. Looks like something SRV would have been drawn to and left it as it were if he found it at a Texas pawn shop

Congrats on a good score. That one has character for sure
 
Last edited:

Gilky

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
3,506
That is a gorgeous piece of ash and super dark BRW, looks almost ebony. Well done!
 

wox

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,951
Very cool find, but I think you should have the neck professionally restored before the body. To each their own, imo it’s a real vibe killer.

Those inlays can be removed and patched with rosewood slivers and dust, repro dot inlays installed, and the last fret replaced.
 

Wms76

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
530
That is a gorgeous piece of ash and super dark BRW, looks almost ebony. Well done!

my ‘62 (alder) was a basket case stripped when I found it ((1975)… Restored to playing excellence (w12” radiused thick RW slab), eventually refin’d (90s) w correct process. This one I’d probably leave alone as OP describes (Fb, etc). :cool:
 

Cedar

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
1,711
Those inlays are reminiscent of one of Jo-Bo's vintage Strats previously owned by, someone kind of famous (forgetting now who).
 

fender753

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,050
are you gonna put the last fret back in? i have to think it could be done over the inlay

I've been debating this. I think your right but I dont have the skill to do that myself. That will probably be done when its refretted (still has playable original frets)
 

KFBR392

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,513
If that body isn’t routed out yet, don’t do it, but I otherwise would want that humbucker in the bridge. Sweet guitar. I hate the inlays, but it’s better to keep them than put a new board on it.
 

John Hurtt

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
19,852
If that body isn’t routed out yet, don’t do it, but I otherwise would want that humbucker in the bridge. Sweet guitar. I hate the inlays, but it’s better to keep them than put a new board on it.
Do you think that doing additional routing for the bridge 'bucker would impact the tone or value more than the routing already done to put that humbucker in the bridge?
 

KFBR392

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,513
Do you think that doing additional routing for the bridge 'bucker would impact the tone or value more than the routing already done to put that humbucker in the bridge?
Tone? Yes. Humbuckers sound different than single coils. Value? Who knows. It’s been messed with so much that it probably doesn’t matter anymore, but some people might find it blasphemous.
 




Top Bottom