Fix it! Patch it! Clean it!
This is what my living room sofa looked like with all of my tools and parts and bits and related stuff. On the upper left, you can see the replacement pickguard that I was so lucky to find and buy on eBay. JACKPOT! All of the electronics in one purchase! The entire S1 Switching system, the stock Fender SCN and DH-1 pickups… all wired up! This was the biggest expense of the restoration (almost $300) but the time and effort saved were totally worth it.
The workbench was the kitchen table with a soft towel on it. Working with a gloss black finish is a real pain. You have to be extra careful and be extra clean around it. And since I don’t have a lot of space to work on, I kept all of the tools and parts away from the guitar body.
Drilling and Filling
I learned this trick years ago from a luthier friend of mine. The pickguard holes were all threaded out and too wide and had bits of wood and glue inside them. Luck was once again with me (your results will vary) because the holes were not too messed up. I was able to measure with my drill bits the widths of every hole and they were all under 1/8th of an inch.
This meant that I could take a quick run down to the hardware store to get a 1/8th inch wooden dowel to use as the plug.
- I drilled out the crappy holes to 1/8th of an inch, measured the depth (important!) of each hole. It turns out Mr. Strat Hack was not consistent with his drilling either.
- You then cut the exact length of dowel according to the depth of the hole.
- Add the wood glue to the dowel bit and gently tap it in to the hole.
- I used a piece of plastic over the dowel bit and hammered it in (GENTLY). The plastic kept the finish from cracking and denting.
- The wood glue is usually dry within 10 to 20 minutes. I waited an hour for all of them to set
Then I could re-drill the holes using the smallest diameter drill bit. Awesome.
The body was really okay. I mean, the finish was all messed up but this is not something that would affect playability. This is a personal thing. I try to take good care of all of my guitars. I am not a fan of “relic” or “aged” models. If a guitar that I OWN is gonna look aged or used up is because I played the crap out of it and it got its “character” because of my years of performances with it.
I bought the EternaShine Guitar Scratch Remover after seeing a few positive reviews on Youtube. Actually, all of the reviews about this product are positive. The stuff does what it says it can do. It’s not going to un-ding or un-gouge the worst parts, but it does do a great job at the surface scratches and about 70 percent of the buckle rash in the back. I was impressed. THIS STUFF WORKS. Just follow the directions… literally follow the damn directions and you will like the results.