Saturday, February 22, 2014

My Five Strats

Well, something happened that kind of surprised me.  I ended up with another Stratocaster.  Here's the full story here:

And because of that, I am now up to five Stratocasters.  Which is funny because I always thought I was more of a Les Paul type of guy.  But I am into modding, and Fender's are easy and awesome to mod.  I will say this.  I've gotten some pretty darn good deals on all of them.

Here's the pictures.

From left to right:

1.  The sonic blue Partscaster.  It's made of a lot of parts from my overseas distributor, and a Squier neck.  It just so happens to be the best playing one that I've ever encountered.  I consider myself really lucky to have come across this.  Even though this is considered my "cheapest" guitar, it's probably the nicest playing. 

2.  The newest one I've picked up, a 1999 MIM Strat.  I usually don't like sunburst Strats, but this one has some mojo going on.  I have some pickups on order for it.  I just re-fretted it, and it plays nicely.  Oh, I didn't re-fret just for the heck of it.  I fret-dressed it first, and there wasn't enough frets left to be playable.  So I yanked them out, and re-fretted it.

3.  This is the one I like to call Smokey.  It started out life as a 1993 Olympic White MIM Strat, but whoever owned it smoked like a chimney, and gave it a tobacco patina.  When I got it I knew I was going to have to do something with the frets as they were chewed up.  So I re-fretted it as well.  I also have a new tremolo on order as the old one is rusted up and can't be adjusted. 

4.  I bought this one at a pawn shop after much haggling.  I bought it in 2009, and it's a 2008 MIM Strat.  I didn't know it at the time, but there's a reason why a new Strat would be hanging in a pawn shop.  It's due to it's the screwed up warping of it's neck.  But I took care of it with a fret-dress, and adjusting the strings up higher. 

5.  My oldest, and most costly.  I spent 9 months getting the money and parts together for this one.  I thought up every awesome thing I could put on a guitar, and made it a reality.  I still love the custom paint job on it. 

So as I close this out, I think to myself, "Man, I've got to slow down."  I'm going to end up with another five Strats.  I'm running out of room.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Repairing Josh's Guitar.... Yet Again

So my buddy Josh has a bad habit of breaking the neck on his Dean Acoustic.  Here's the original posts from last year.

Part 1:

Part 2:

So he was leaning his guitar against the wall instead of leaving it in it's case.  And you know what happened.  It fell forward, and busted the neck again. 

Of course he doesn't tell me about this.  It's too embarrassing to him, as he's sure I will take pictures and write a blog about it.  Okay, I am doing the blog thing right now.  But I get it from him, and give it a look over.  A broken neck will never break where the previous glue joint was, in that, the glue is stronger than the wood.  So it busted in a different place, but not a bad place.

Normally I would show the picture of the break right here, but I forgot to take one.  I will say this was one of the easier breaks I dealt with.  It didn't break all the way though.  So I stuffed the break full of glue, thinned it out, and forced it down all the way down the break.  Then I clamped it and let it set for three days just to make sure.  Since the break didn't take out any chips of wood, I decided to buff it out instead of sanding it, and it came out smooth.

Now I took this picture with my close up lens, and a HECK of a lot of flash.  Namely, I wanted the crack to show.  But remember, under normal light you don't really see the break(s.)  And the fact that it's on the back of the guitar doesn't hurt. 

Again, under the light it looks rough, but after putting it on the buffer, it's very smooth.  I've had it strung up for a few days now, and it hasn't come apart yet, so that's a good sign. 

So I have worked my magic again.  It will be able to be played once more.  And if Josh breaks it again, once more I will repair it. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Awesome Guitar Weekend

I am going to try to keep this in a straight timeline as this might get confusing.  It first started with an awesome craigslist ad.  It seems this guy was selling one of the new Hagstrom Ultra Swede guitars (in trans black) for $195 with a Hagstrom tweed hardshell case.  I thought this was too good to be true, but he had a phone number.  So I gave him a call and got to talking to him.

It turns out this was the same guy I bought my Laney amp from.  If you read my blog then you will know I posted four blogs about it.  Namely about buying it and then cleaning it up, to finally getting it repaired. 

So the good news was I knew the guy.  The reason he was selling the guitar so cheap was that he lives in Winter Haven.  It's too far for people from Orlando to come there, and it's 50 miles from Tampa to boot.  But if you have someone dedicated like me, driving is no problem.  So I drove over there.

We got to talking and I really liked the guitar.  It actually reminded me more of a Gibson Nighthawk than it did a Les Paul.  Due to the basswood body, it's actually pretty lightweight.  It also has a neck that any shredder would enjoy.  Here the picture of it.

I changed out the pickups and added straplocks to it.  The only issue is that it needs a backplate.  I went to both Sam Ash and Guitar Center, and neither one of them had one.  Note:  It takes the wider SG type of backplate. 

Oh, when I pointed out a pretty good ding on the guitar, the guy knocked five dollars off the price.  He didn't have to, but he felt he should.  He really is a nice guy.

So now that I bought one guitar, it was time to sell another one.  I had an Ibanez Artcore that I never really bonded with.  So I decided to put it up on craigslist.  I was mainly looking for cash, but I did say if the right trade came along, I might be interested. 

Here's the Ibanez.

It's in dang good condition.  I can't find a ding on it, so if I was going to trade for something then I would want something pretty good.  Well something pretty good came up.  Namely this:

It's a 1999 Fender MIM Stratocaster WITH!!! a hardshell Fender case.  That's a win for me.  Except for one thing.......  I was supposed to be getting rid of a guitar since I bought one.  Now I have two new guitars.  I can't say I'm really mad at myself, since it's a problem some people would love to have. 

Now comes the fun part.  Deciding what pickups to put in the Strat.  I will say this, the stock ones aren't too bad.  They are usually just the most awful pieces of crap, but I actually played out with this guitar last night.  I had a lot of fun with it. 

So hopefully I'll get another blog out of working on the pickups for this guitar.  I'll make sure to take lots of pictures.