Anyone strip an MIM Strat body??

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by edward, Feb 18, 2008.

  1. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Anyone here ever take the finish off an MIM? I was wondering how many pieces you found and what kind of grain you guys saw??

    I am toying with the idea of a cheap strat with a rosewood board and oiled body and so an MIM is my first choice, but am wondering if I'll be pleased or disappointed by what's under there. Feedback most welcome!

    Edward
     
  2. bluesrules

    bluesrules Member

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    Yes I did. Only because I got it cheap and it was a 3 tone burst that looked crappy next to my other 3 tone burst's.

    It had a veneer (Ash?) on the front and back were the sunburst would show thru. It is 3 peices of alder though sandwiched between. There was an Ugly knot at the belly contour on the back that was normaly painted black.

    I kinda liked the look of it stripped and decided to relic it and spray it. Not professinal at all but everyone seems to like it!

    It took ALOT of work to strip it though, chemical's, orbital sander and alot of time and muscle. Probally never do that again.
     
  3. Rumbledown

    Rumbledown Member

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    Same here.

    Bought a MIM Buddy Guy Signature strat. Loved the neck, but hated the polka dot paint job. Got it half stripped and ended up buying an aftermarket body.

    That Polyester finish is pretty much bullet proof!
     
  4. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    Use a heat gun very lightly back and forth and that will take care of all the poly. Once your down to bare wood, I used paint thinner and you sort of get this rubber gunk that keeps coming which I think is poly soaked into the wood. When I got through mine, there were six pieces. It was a '99 body. Used Reranch Olympic White and it was a great learning experience. Heat guns about 20 bucks at HD.
     
  5. edward

    edward Supporting Member

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    Ooooh, this sounds like more work than I expected. I've stripped finishes before, but never a poly. Sounds like removing an MIM's finish is more work than I care to do for a "low-budget" Strat. Maybe I'll just keep an eye out on the bay. :)
    Thanks, guys!!

    Edward
     
  6. Drew68

    Drew68 Supporting Member

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    If you're gonna keep your eye out on eBay, why not just look for a cheap MIM Fender neck to bid on (they're everywhere) and buy an unfinished body from Warmoth?

    By the time you got a neck, body, pickups, hardware and stain, you could very easily be out less than $500 --or just slightly more than the cost of a MIM Standard, and have a guitar you really want.
     
  7. Ramhead

    Ramhead Member

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    Stripped my new classic 50's stratocaster and found 3 piece alder beneath thick layer of poly. Fixed some contours and now it's nitro finished.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. waylon

    waylon Member

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    i have. picked one up cheap ($50) and just decided to toy around w/ it. stripped it down (that was tough) and it turns out its a one piece body. i've been over it a million times trying to disprove the one piece thing but its pretty clear w/ the grain and knots (haha) that its one piece. haven't buckled down to finish it just yet though.
     
  9. silverface63

    silverface63 Member

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    Yeah, I stripped a '96 MIM black strat for my first refinish job. That was about 28 geetars ago. I used airplane stripper. Then Reranched in cream w/ nitro. I can tell you that the body was made of a hell of alot more pieces than three. It looked like a ton of scrap wood glued together. The neck was a piece of junk too. I dont think I would ever strip another. It's much easier to just buy a nice body and neck. Funny thing is I actually still have that guitar in the back of my closet.
     
  10. rainmaker

    rainmaker Member

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    A heat gun can strip one in less than an hour. The first time you just have to remember to keep it moving. The poly literally bubbles, pops, and cracks off the guitar so you'd need eye protection. I don't think I'd buy one and do it but if you can pick one up for 200 bucks or so, why not?
     
  11. stratrat2000

    stratrat2000 Member

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    +1 on the heat gun. Heat 'til it bubbles, then take the scraper to it. Pretty easy.

    The few Mex Strats I have stripped have been 5 - 9 pieces with a maple veneer front and back (even on the solid finish models so it makes for a nice smooth surface for an easy finish. Also means they can sunburst them without the joins showing). The veneer is thin, so when you sand after stripping take it easy or you'll sand through and be forced to remove it all and make do with whatever ugliness you find underneath.

    But it can be done fairly simply and does make them more resonant.
     
  12. southpawmax

    southpawmax Member

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    My MIM was 3 pieces of alder, with a surprisingly nice grain. I sanded it though, I wish I had had a heat gun. Sanding it took me about 8 hours total with a little handheld sander and by hand for the contours and cuts and such.
     

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