All done, more or less. The stain - poly wipe on combo was very, very easy to use. Three thin coats, 24 hrs and steel wool between coats, 10 days of travel while it cured. Looks great in photos and from 3 feet or more. Up close you can see the poly is unevenly 'shiny' in spots, it didn't take to the alder evenly enough to look professional (close-up). There is still grunge and paint bits on the hardware that I was too lazy to get off, whatever - I cleaned it up and made it a useable guitar again for sure.
But I do have one last question: is this string placement 'normal' on a strat? The high E is way far from the edge while the low E is right up against it. The bridge seems to be perfectly aligned, and the neck seems to be fitting just right. Looked at some picture of strats and I couldn't tell if they were like this or not. If anybody has an american fender strat with the 2-hole trem lying around, maybe they could see if their strings line up like this too? Thanks in advance.
It apears to me that the neck needs a bit of alignment. the spacing at the nut appears even, closer to the 22nd fret things are off, just loosen neck bolts a wee bit and torque it into place, should probably loosen strings a turn or 2 as well, or do like I do, just hold the trem down to relieve string tension.
So you inspired me to rework my late 80's MIJ Start. So far I have broken it down and finished most of the sanding. I have the last of the electronics on their way to me from Warmoth, so now I just have to wait until my Dad is avalible to spray it. He did auto body work for many years, so he has all the necessary spray equipment to do the finish. I considered doing a natural finish, but once I sanded through to the wood in a few spots I saw that - as expected - its a basswood body, and it has some of that nasty green streaking in it. So I let my 5 year old son pick the new color... "Sparley Blue" it is. :hello2: