My (new) 1966 Stratocaster (Pics!)

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by exodus, Oct 18, 2007.

  1. exodus

    exodus Member

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    I've been working on this for a while.... about a year of buying and making parts. Tonight I think it is finally done. So check it out:BEER

    This is my 1966 Olympic White Stratocaster. I'll post all the exact specs later, but needless to say, it is all vintage. (1 piece alder body, acrylic lacquer PGP Oly White paint custom ordered, no clear coat, 7.25 round lam rosewood board, vintage decal, all Callaham hardware)

    Since Olympic White tends to look different depending on the light, I'm posting pics of my guitar with a flash and without a flash. It took me a while, but I love it. See what you think:

    PS: Some of the pics without the flash look very yellow... and those with the flash look very white. The real color is somewhere in between.

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  2. Pa'ani

    Pa'ani Supporting Member

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    Congratulations! Very sweet looking 1966 Stratocaster, you did an excellent job. Enjoy...
     
  3. crosse79

    crosse79 Member

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    Ahhh.... very nicely done. :)
     
  4. alderbody

    alderbody Member

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    Very well done!!! :AOK

    Congratulations!

    ...just set those bridge saddles a little more parallel to the plate... ;)
     
  5. Akstrat

    Akstrat Member

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    Very nice indeed!
     
  6. K-Line

    K-Line Vendor

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    Nice work. This is the ultimate color, dark rosewood to boot. Only 2 things I would change would be to put on a green guard and then send to me!
     
  7. alvagoldbook

    alvagoldbook Member

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    very sweet. The only thing I would have done differently is added a clear coat (so it will yellow nicely in the future) and maybe thrown in a mint guitar and cream knobs and pup covers. But that's just me....I love the look of mint on a white strat.
     
  8. HHB

    HHB Member

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    wow, great job!
     
  9. buddastrat

    buddastrat Member

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    Nice! what's the neck? I'm also a sucker for mint green on faded oly white. Though they probably all came white back then. Mine faded to a nice patina off white/yellow.
     
  10. gkoelling

    gkoelling Member

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    Beautiful job! Oly white/rosewood is my favorite combination.

    What pups/switching did you use?
     
  11. exodus

    exodus Member

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    Thanks guys for all the kind words. Here is the low-down on the guitar:

    My intent from the start was to make a 1966 strat as close to vintage specifications as possible (without going too overboard). I didn’t want to relic it or age it. I just wanted one as it would look straight off the factory line and let it age naturally.

    BODY:
    The body is 1-piece alder. I forgot what it weighed in at, but it’s lighter than average and had a nice resonance when tapped. I picked it up from Warmoth’s Showcase.

    FINISH:
    My intent with the finish was to shoot a “real” Olympic white as it would be done new in 1966. (I say “real” because I feel like people refer to anything from eggshell white to banana yellow as Olympic white. Unlike most, I’m actually not a fan of faded yellow). My research showed that Fender was shooting acrylic lacquer and that clear coats were often skipped to preserve the white color.
    All my prep materials, like sealer and primer, came from ReRanch. For the color coat I went online to PGP auto paint. I plugged in Fender’s (... or DuPont’s) color code and up came Olympic white in acrylic lacquer, available in 12 oz. spray cans. It was surprisingly easy to shoot and buff.

    NECK:
    The neck is a Fender made in Japan ’66 reissue. They are the only ones that I’ve found who make ’66 era necks to vintage specs with round laminate rosewood boards. (The rosewood they use is beautiful). On this one, the poly finish was stripped off and it was shot in nitro. I then added a correct decal and covered that in a few nitro clear coats. The stuff they are making in Japan is really nice and actually affordable.

    HARDWARE & PICKUPS
    All hardware, from the tremolo block down to the screws, is from Callaham. I highly recommend their stuff. I’ve been tempted to try and replace little things to get it era-correct, like double line kluson stamped tuners and “pat. pend” stamped saddles... but they are tricky to find for a decent price.

    The pickups are Fralin Woodstock ’69. This is probably my only deviation from vintage, as the Woodstocks are reverse pole pickups—ala Jimi’s upside down strat. The wiring and switching is all stock. The case is from a Fender custom shop ’69 strat.

    The only thing left to do is get this professionally set-up.

    TONE
    :dude
     
  12. johnmfer

    johnmfer Member

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    Shhhhh.... :AOK Don't tell anyone. Four out of four bolt neck guitars I own have Fender Japan necks, three have Allparts stamps on the heel, but they're all Fender Japan.

    Your strat's amazing!! I very much like the olympic white. So, you didn't do any clear coating at all on the body?
     
  13. bluesmain

    bluesmain Member

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    sweet... nice work bro!
     
  14. dave s

    dave s Member

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    That is a real beauty! Nice job. A BRAND-SPANKIN' NEW '66 strat. Good choice.

    dave
     
  15. sampleinajar

    sampleinajar Member

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    BEAUTIFUL work man. Seriously. Have fun with it.

    Just as an addendum, you can get the lam-type board necks from Musikraft, in case anyone else is looking to replicate that look. I have them in mind for my next project.

    Congrats again!

    Steve
     
  16. hogy

    hogy Supporting Member

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    I used to have a killer sounding real '66 Strat, a friend of mine owns it now. Probably the best sounding '66 I've heard. It was originally Olympic white, but had about five layers of different colors from many refins over the years. When I stripped it I found the body to be made of seven pieces. Fender didn't waste any scraps of wood, and since it was going to be painted solid...

    btw, the logo is never finished over on an old Strat.
     
  17. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane apolitical Silver Supporting Member

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    That is one fine looking guitar! I want to play a white one like that. I'll bet it sounds every bit as good as she looks.

    (disclaimer: I didn't read this thread) but I gather that you hunted down as many 1966 parts as you could find. What parts did you have to give up the hunt on and go repro?

    If this has already been covered, nevermind.
     
  18. exodus

    exodus Member

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    Thanks for the kind words!

    No clear coat at all. I was reading a site that has a ton of info on vintage strats:

    http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html

    They had some pictures of old olympic white strats that weren't clear coated. As I understand it, DuPont made all of the paint mainly for the automotive industry, and Fender would use some of those colors. Materials like Olympic white, when mixed in nitro, had issues with fading and the car industry wanted a solution. That prompted DuPont to make acrylic lacquers. Fender simply bought what DuPont was selling. For Fender to add a clear coat on top would tint the white and cost time money and effort. Therefore, it was often skipped.

    These examples are from http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html

    [FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica,helv][SIZE=-1]1962 Stratocaster in Olympic White.
    No clear coat, sunburst undercoat.
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    [FONT=verdana,arial,helvetica,helv][SIZE=-1]1961 Stratocaster:
    Olympic White (no clear coat, no under coat)
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    On my guitar I shot it with grain filler and then applied a white primer coat. I then applied the acrylic lacquer color coat. (of course with wet sanding inbetween to keep it smooth). I then buffed it out.

    The end result is a more "matte" white finish. It works great and will probably age very nicely.
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  19. exodus

    exodus Member

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    Thanks man.

    Originally, I went with Musikraft to make me a 1966 style neck, but with a 9.5 radius board. While I would really love to support Musikraft, the quality was not top shelf. The first neck that I received had some cracks in the rosewood (I ordered a brazilian rosewood lam board at 9.5"). The lam board did not look even either.

    My second gripe was that the frets were not seated well. What really irked me, however, was that the pearl dots were not the right size. For some reason, the dots they install are clearly smaller in diameter than Fender dots. It just looked wrong.
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    I later purchased a second neck from Musikraft with vintage 1966 specs. I asked that they use a very plain grain maple, and I wanted it unfinished. The neck that I received actually had black wood-rot pits in the maple. I mean areas on the back of the headstock with pits in the wood I could stick my fingernail in. They looked like black cavities. For the money I paid, I was pissed and emailed Musikraft with pictures.
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    They accepted the return because the pits were not "plain grain" as ordered. Either way, I don't see how this should qualify as custom shop quality.

    So, I guess my bottom line is that... tread with caution when buying from Musikraft. The necks I bought were in the $350 range and not to my liking. My MIJ neck was about $200 and is beautiful. Seriously... the dark grain on this neck is stunning. It's well crafted and pure vintage to boot. (except for the side dots. MIJ side dots are plastic, not pearl. oh well.)
     
  20. hangten

    hangten Member

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    so who did you get the neck you used from?
    direct from fender in the us?
    or from a dealer in japan?
     

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