Guitar Restoration – The Re-build

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Time to make the donuts…

Giving the ol’ Strat a new heart

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The pre-wired pickguard was relatively simple to install. Although I did have trouble with the four ground wires and I ran out of weekend to get it done. In the end I decided to let a pro fix the wiring issues since I was just guessing and I didn’t have the right tools to troubleshoot.

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The bridge was just plain dirty. I soaked all of the parts in a light cleaning solution and dried them out. I then took the plate and polished it up with metal polish and a soft buffing cloth. The saddles also got a bit of metal polish and now everything is all shiny and ready to be put back.

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In keeping with the literally all-black theme of this guitar, I gave it black tremolo springs. And then I re-attached the neck (after adjusting the truss rod). I did make an adjustment to the Micro-Tilt screw before attaching the neck. It was tilted back and it was the cause of some of the string buzz.

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I love it when a plan comes together…

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I am extremely satisfied with the results of the repairs and the polishing and cleaning. The guitar came out looking like that “8-out-of-10” that I was originally expecting. I learned a lot from this project.

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And here it is after I finished setting up the string height, intonation and pickup positions. It sounds even better than I thought. I am blown away by the resonance and sustain on the body. I sat in the living room and just stared at my work for about an hour.

Back to the top…

PART 1 – Teardown, PART 2 – Repairs and Parts