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1962 Strat Dual-Channel Preamps
Old 3rd February 2018
  #1
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phil.c's Avatar
 

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1962 Strat

Here's a 62 Strat I bought last year, it was in a bad way and really un-playable due to a bow and twist in the neck, it also had a broken selector switch.

It looks like it was originally sunburst, then Daphne blue.

Here's some pictures of the neck repair, straightening and de-twisting, also the switch repair.

The guitar once belonged to Graham Forbes of The Increadible String Band, he bought it second hand in the 60's.

The guitar is now good and a player!

Phil


























Last edited by phil.c; 25th February 2018 at 01:08 PM..
Old 3rd February 2018
  #2
Wow!!! Love it!!
Old 3rd February 2018
  #3
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kafka's Avatar
Awesome! Great job.
Old 4th February 2018
  #4
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TurboJets's Avatar
What an amazing post! Thanks for that.

Any chance of you posting about how you straightened the neck?

What kind of pickups are in there?
Old 4th February 2018
  #5
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Ok, here's the "how to" straighten and un-twist a neck.

You will need a good strong and flat worktop which will allow clamps from under it to the top of the fretboard, about four good G clamps and something like a steel rule, the length of the fretboard.

Unscrew the neck, slacken off the truss, place the neck on the worktop, check the straightness with the steel rule, note where the areas that need correcting are, place the rull flat down on the fretboard, add wedges between the neck and baseboard where needed a clamp, check down the neck by eye and adjust the wedges and clamps until the neck is straight.

If there's a twist in the neck, you will need a couple of thick strings, these go from the 5th and 6th machine heads to a secured point, when you tighten the tuners, the neck should twist to the correct position, check again that everything is secure and straight. Place an iron with full heat onto the rule, it needs to heat the rule throughout, so it will need moving to different parts of the neck unless you have a few irons. The idea of this is that it softens the glue between the fretboard and neck, allowing straightening. Leave the heat on for a couple of hours but check that everythings ok periodically, after this, leave the neck to cool overnight and hopefully, it will be straight by the morning!

The frets will probably need levelling after this.

Phil

PS. The pickups are 1962 originals.
Old 4th February 2018
  #6
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TurboJets's Avatar
Totally impressed. So with the neck reinstalled, how does the neck feel, profile-wise?
Old 4th February 2018
  #7
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Most importantly, how does it sound?!
Old 4th February 2018
  #8
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enorbet2's Avatar
Kudos for a proper restoration aimed at keeping it as stock as possible. You have my sincere hope the neck will stay straight and not slowly return to it's evolved warped shape. I'm not familiar with the long term results using such a localized heat source as a clothes iron. I always used a steam chamber with long periods in heat mode and very slow cooldown period.. Although I realize that market value is powerfully affected by how stock a guitar remains, that rarely concerns me if some items were possible to improve. For example, Paul Reed Smith has proven that simply case hardening the knife edges on Strat type trem/vibrato/whammy units makes them capable of staying in tune with the addition of at least low-friction nuts and string trees. That's not Stock but has no permanent impact that is either noticeable or unchangeable and greatly improves playability. These are changes I would have incorporated for Players as opposed to Collectors, but there can be no doubt that you did an exemplary job from the Remain Stock perspective. It's beautiful. Gratz!
Old 4th February 2018
  #9
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PdotDdot's Avatar
Sweet!!!

I have a '59 which is my main guitar. I also have a'62 Start as well which I bought for parts. Some moron had taken a router and routed out the inside for hum bucking pickups and he "oopsed" and went through to the other side so there is a hole. This thing sounds amazing but I have never been able to get it to play as nicely as my '59. I once took it to Gruhns in Nashville and they suggested if I ever opt to sell it that I sell the parts as I will make a lot more money for it. Now, to the '59 - that thing plays so well it darn near plays itself and it never needs tuning even if I use the whammy bar.
Old 5th February 2018
  #10
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If a steam chamber works for you then fair enough, but with a vintage guitar, I would not put steam anywhere near it as there are things to consider like original lacquer and decals peeling off.

The neck was straightened and de-twisted a year ago and remaines straight, the neck profile etc was not touched as the object is to leave as much originality to the guitar.

I have three vintage Strats, a 63 that I have owned since 1966, it's gigged everywhere in the UK including the "Original" Cavern. The other two are 62's, they play and sound differently. I also own a 64 Burns Marvin, actually played by the man himself, a 61 SG Special and a 61 Watkins Rapier 33 bought three years ago and was my very first electric guitar, in fact I owned all the above models in the early 60's.

The Rapier had a bent 1st string machine head when I bought it, it snapped in half when I tried to straighten it, I found out that it was not steel but an alloy and the years had made it brittle. The fix was to drill the broken shafts, insert a steel rod and then pin both pieces so they were secure when tightening the string.

Here's a picture of the repair.

Phil

PS. The 62 Strat problem above can be fixed, I have done this with a Strat, the routing can be re-filled to the original profile and the hole in the back can also be repaired, however, it will need re-painting!

Old 5th February 2018
  #11
Gear Maniac
wow amazing !
Old 5th February 2018
  #12
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enorbet2's Avatar
Just FTR, phil.c, I would never endanger any detail of a vintage instrument without informing and consulting a client since it wouldn't belong to me. It's Owner's Choice all the way. If I am the owner then I tend to consider tradeoffs and opt for what plays and sounds the best. However though I very much like the old school "Hard "V" neck profile I have never tried to alter a neck to suit that preference. In that case, I'd buy a new neck and store the old one.

BTW that is one beautifully precise job on the machine head shaft Am I correct in assuming you disassembled the piece to gain solid access to the shaft? Was the steel dowel splined or smooth? I've used Drill Stock for truss rod construction but I'd have to consider many options for a device that so constantly undergoes rotation/twist stresses. Again beautiful work. Kudos.
Old 5th February 2018
  #13
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The steel shaft was basically mild steel, glued into both ends and then the dowels added, there's no need for high carbon steel etc or a splined shaft as the area is relatively short and the glue and dowels do the job, however, I wouldn't use just glue!

The shaft was bent almost at a right angle...easily done!

Thanks for the kind comment BTW

Phil
Old 5th February 2018
  #14
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

A friend of mine had a Les Paul with a terribly twisted neck. He had it professionally repaired, but within two years, the twist came back. I hope that doesn't happen to the Strat...
Old 6th February 2018
  #15
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
A friend of mine had a Les Paul with a terribly twisted neck. He had it professionally repaired, but within two years, the twist came back. I hope that doesn't happen to the Strat...
That will depend on a variety of factors and some can't be known by any other means than Time. However one can often reduce the likelihood of a twist by using matched tension set string gauges. One of the reasons I resort to a steam chamber whenever possible is that I am just way too fond of Light Top - Heavy Bottom sets. There was a time I made up my own from 0.010 to 0.056 but being on the road (availability of singles) made me cave to 10s thru 52s, still an unbalanced load and increased risk.

Of course Les Pauls don't lend themselves to steam chambers but specially built steel jigs that can be torch heated without damage to the finish are possible. I've been tempted to try the cryogenic slow thaw method just for the experience and lulz but never got beyond the imagining.
Old 6th February 2018
  #16
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kennybro's Avatar
Yeah! Totally beautiful. I can hear it just looking at the pictures.
Old 6th February 2018
  #17
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Thread Starter
Another good thing about finding a guitar like this is that it's possible, because of it's problems to get it at a greatly reduced price, of course, the price is a lot different when it's fixed

Phil
Old 6th February 2018
  #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Of course Les Pauls don't lend themselves to steam chambers but specially built steel jigs that can be torch heated without damage to the finish are possible. I've been tempted to try the cryogenic slow thaw method just for the experience and lulz but never got beyond the imagining.
I can't help it: was that a joke (cryogenic stuff)? From what I know, that's a way to kill frozen once-living tissue (cell rupture)...
Old 7th February 2018
  #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikhael View Post
I can't help it: was that a joke (cryogenic stuff)? From what I know, that's a way to kill frozen once-living tissue (cell rupture)...
Not quite a joke since I've never tried it and don't know enough to make a joke but there have been many claims and also some truly wild and crazy claims that taking materials down to near Absolute Zero and then slowly raising the temperature can create some sort of molecular alignment that makes the whole stronger. Cell rupture only occurs when materials contain water or some substance like it that expands upon cooling. I doubt that's an issue in kiln-dried lumber.

OTOH the cynic in me suspects the whole idea is a bit of woo-hoo voodoo, so it is maybe just a tad joke-y. . ... or.....

Quote:
Originally Posted by Full_Metal_Jacket
Pogue Colonel: Marine, what is that button on your body armor?

Private Joker: A peace symbol, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Where'd you get it?

Private Joker: I don't remember, sir.

Pogue Colonel: What is that you've got written on your helmet?

Private Joker: "Born to Kill", sir.

Pogue Colonel: You write "Born to Kill" on your helmet and you wear a peace button. What's that supposed to be, some kind of sick joke?

Private Joker: No, sir.

Pogue Colonel: You'd better get your head and your ass wired together, or I will take a giant crap on you.

Private Joker: Yes, sir.

Pogue Colonel: Now answer my question or you'll be standing tall before the man.

Private Joker: I think I was trying to suggest something about the duality of man, sir.
Old 7th February 2018
  #20
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post
Not quite a joke since I've never tried it and don't know enough to make a joke but there have been many claims and also some truly wild and crazy claims that taking materials down to near Absolute Zero and then slowly raising the temperature can create some sort of molecular alignment that makes the whole stronger. Cell rupture only occurs when materials contain water or some substance like it that expands upon cooling. I doubt that's an issue in kiln-dried lumber.

OTOH the cynic in me suspects the whole idea is a bit of woo-hoo voodoo, so it is maybe just a tad joke-y. . ... or.....
I was just trying to picture some luthier in a little shop with a full-blown cryogenics lab in the back...
Old 7th February 2018
  #21
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Are you talking about my place
Old 10th February 2018
  #22
Gear Maniac
 

When I was a younger ignoramus.... I sold a 61 Strat when moving across country. I've kicked myself in the arse for about 30 years for that one. It looked exactly like your 62 and I feel considerably worse than i did 10 minutes ago - Thanks, you ass. By the way - nice work on the restoration
Old 10th February 2018
  #23
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My first Strat was a 63 I swapped a 61 SG for it in 1966, I still have the guitar, but what we forget is that in the 70's and 80's they were not classed as vintage or special as my guitar has had different paint jobs and switches added in the past, I have to say that now it is restored as good as possible to how it was when I had it, so don't kick you're ass or as we say arse too much as we have all done stupid things in the past!!!
Old 11th February 2018
  #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phil.c View Post
My first Strat was a 63 I swapped a 61 SG for it in 1966, I still have the guitar, but what we forget is that in the 70's and 80's they were not classed as vintage or special as my guitar has had different paint jobs and switches added in the past, I have to say that now it is restored as good as possible to how it was when I had it, so don't kick you're ass or as we say arse too much as we have all done stupid things in the past!!!
I've been quite lucky when it comes to instruments - my stupidity lied when it came to the choices I made in/with women. lol
Old 12th February 2018
  #25
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My 63 Strat, and on those famous stairs



Old 14th February 2018
  #26
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Nice. I see you blobed the switch back together with epoxy. I hope it holds. What I do is cut small pieces of perf board and epoxy those to the sides of the broken wafer. The perf board soaks up epoxy by itself and makes for a thicker and more integral overall repair. Just a thought in case it breaks again.
Old 14th February 2018
  #27
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Thread Starter
Thanks Frank, a few ways to repair these, but much better to use the original.

Phil
Old 14th February 2018
  #28
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enorbet2's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by phil.c View Post
Thanks Frank, a few ways to repair these, but much better to use the original.

Phil
I have the same reaction to "Old is better" that I do to "New equals improved"... Baloney! I need more than that. Things don't have value just because they are old or conversely because they are new. They have value because they earn it by providing a function. Now if the desired function is to maintain originality, usually mostly concerned with collectibility and money, then that being a valid choice... fine. However that doesn't automatically equal better.

In the case of Stratocasters, while I have played many old ones including a 1954 that iirc was numbered in the 300's and it was a great guitar BUT getting the 3-way switch "stuck" was a pita, especially live. The trem bevels should have been case hardened as proven by many later vibrato systems that don't require a locking nut and tools to unlock them when a string breaks but will stay in tune rather nicely.

Those are real improvements having nothing to do with the almighty "Original" but with actual function and performance.

And while I'm on a decent rant, I despise the fact that people consider what they think of as "Original" being applied to things that require maintenance like most wood products. It even applies and maybe especially applies to antique furniture. Why anyone would prefer a beautifully crafted old piece on which the shellac has "alligatored" (turned black, cracked, cratered and scaled) when the original craftsman would be horrified to think of such mistreatment is beyond me. It's like revering neglect and phony proof of Old and I find it not only disrespectful of the original craftsman but of the very concept of quality.

End of Rant.

Note: This is not a rant at you, Phil. I meant what I said with absolute sincerity that your work seems precise, well-conceived and executed and your guitars and works have only you to please as the ultimate arbiter. I'm just ranting about illogical and impractical assumptions of what constitutes perceived value. Form is supposed to follow Function.
Old 14th February 2018
  #29
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IMO, it is much better to get a vintage Strat, or indeed anything else in as pristine condition as possible, of course the price is much higher! I think the reason why guys like old scratched and dented ones is that they give then street cred, it makes them look like they have been playing a long time an are very experienced
As for, does old sound better, you know yourself, not necessarly so, as well as my 63, I have two 62 Strats, one plays and sounds much better than the other.

I have spent the past five years getting the same model guitars as I had in the 60's, I have managed to get a few, the one that is hard to find is a Fender Regal, made by Harmony, under license to Fender, there are very few of them about, here's my old one and my first electric, a Watkins Rapier 33 which cost 29gns back in 63, I had to draw up a Rapier logo and have a decal made of it to fit into the recess in the scratch plate, it's the one in the picture.



Old 14th February 2018
  #30
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Mikhael's Avatar
 

For me, the reason to look at beat up ones is that they were PLAYERS. A lot of times pristine examples didn't play or sound so good, thus they never got worn.

Conversely, I despise "relics". Go figure. And I have little love for old guitars - they're either good, or not. Age doesn't matter to me.

I admire the attention you put into that switch; however, I would never have done that. I would've stuck a new switch in it, for playability's sake.

But that's me. As much as I admire a well-built guitar, it's a tool to make music. I admire a good chainsaw too, but I don't have any hanging on my wall...
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