Side project


Master Member
ok, so I picked up this 2004 american standard strat for $300 (yep!) on craig's list. It looks like a basket case, obviously, but plays great / all electronics perfect. Seller was a pro musician (young indie rocker) and despite looking like doodoo  it is set up absolutely perfectly and works just exactly right. There is some minor damage to the finish on the neck too but it's purely cosmetic and doesn't affect play or feel. The kid had painted it about 4 different colors through the years, added stickers and etc. without ever getting better at painting. I'm thinking, strip it, do an ez finish job, and ebay for a bit of profit and learn a bit more about finishing in the process. Alternatively, part it out, keep the body, and fashion a Warmoth around it. I'm not keeping it because I need a bridge HB and a W compound radius.

Sanded down to the wood in a spot on the back; pretty plain looking alder.

Suggestions for finishing? Thinking 1. brown or red oil stain (minwax) and then some truoil. 2. just truoil. 3. actually learn how to spray a guitar properly. Maybe, transparent blue dye followed by gloss poly? I'm torn between easier (#2) and more learning (#3) with #1 being another ez option.

I'm in no rush and welcome your guys' suggestions.


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Wow what a sh*tfight!! I'd love to have a lash at something like that. First thing is getting all that crap off the body and see what you've got.
Let's see it naked!!! :guitarplayer2:

I did a textured finish without spraying for a friend who wanted a quick fix on an el-cheapo bass. I don't think I would do it to a genuine strat though. Here's before/after shots just in case


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What's that textured stuff? Truck bed liner? Looks pretty cool, though the "thin-nitro" crowd might quibble.
You probably won't find a better candidate to work on your spraying skills, go on that direction; you can always sand it all the way back down to the alder and go to Plan B.
That certainly is a good practice piece, You can always rest assured that whatever you do, it will never look worse than it did when you started!  :laughing3:
stubhead said:
What's that textured stuff? Truck bed liner? Looks pretty cool, though the "thin-nitro" crowd might quibble.

Pretty close! It's called 'hammertone' over here. The "thin-nitro" crowd wouldn't dirty their guns over this plywood beauty. :icon_biggrin:....come to think of it, neither did I! :laughing7:
Ah! Seafoam green. A nice color. This is like being a rock archaeologist.


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Sandpaper shares just went up :icon_jokercolor:

Go TF :hello2:  Wait till you get to the curvy bits :eek:  OMG :guitarplayer2: :guitarplayer2:
Though it might be hard to verify, I'm pretty sure an "American Standard" Strat wouldn't have the universal routes that allow humbucking pickups? It's not a problem, in fact it's a big advantage for you if you do decide to keep it (like, yeah, you won't) and make a guitar with a bridge HB. Authenticity is irrelevant to me - I just need wood - and Fender has pumped out such a dizzying array of Strats the last few decades it just might be a 2004 American Standard, but usually universal routing is pooh-poohed by the tube-sniffer crew. :binkybaby:
I thought about that, too, stubhead. The neck has the right decal and serial number of a 2004 am. std. strat., I checked that out. And the switches and pups, etc. are all the right stuff - the am. std. switches are 'stiffer' than aftermarket ones I've used, and the wiring looks like a pro hand job (ew!). It has the same decals in the neck pocket as the ones for sale on 'the stratosphere' on ebay. Body is made of alder, three pieces pretty nicely joined, basically all signs point to it being what it says it is. Finally, the seafoam green paint seems to be nitro - it's a thin, fine paint and not at all like the glossy poly on my old squier. Also, I had a squire and took it all apart, and it's a different animal. Finally, the kid who sold it to me was far far too spaced out to pull a scam - he could barely tie his shoes.

And I do think I'll resell this - I'd rather take the profits and buy a W hollow strat with flame maple top. I definitely prefer W necks to Fender USA necks, and if I'm going to sell and replace the neck, might as well do the whole thing.
Hey, I finally finished sanding the **** thing. That took me about 5 times as long as I thought! I thought my hand was going to fall off. And I'm left with a pretty average looking 3-piece alder body I could have bought from W for about $140. It's got a couple of blemishes I couldn't remove, and dark streaks where the grain filler remains. Now that I've spent all this time sanding, I'm not in the mood to get all experimental with the paint anymore - last thing I ever want to do is sand this back down again. So I bought Minwax 'polyshades' one-step stain and poly finish in cherry. Did one coat already and will do two more. Here's the raw body.


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Here is is after one coat of the minwax stuff, which gives it an almost mahogany-like look.


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"And I'm left with a pretty average looking 3-piece alder body I could have bought from W for about $140."

For $145 you can get some much nicer looking W wood....
I know, Jack, that's why it's kind of hard for me to be excited. I'm excited that I'm done sanding, that's about all I can say. Also it will be satisfying to 'save' a nice guitar. Well, a good learning experience if nothing else, and I'm sure I'll turn enough profit to buy the hardware for my W goldtop strat.