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December 02, 2011Rebirth of a Stratocaster

Since fishing season is finished around here, I decided to tackle a project I’ve been thinking about for a while. Quick background- I was in a band in college and always wanted a Fender Strat. Unfortunately, they were out of my price range and I settled with some garden-variety overseas knock-off. Somewhere along the way, I ended up buying a Mexican made Fender “squire series” strat off a guy for $75 (he needed cash quick for a habit). Despite being cheap, the thing played nice and served me well picking songs in Vermont bars. I’ve held onto this guitar and played it from time to time; always admiring it’s tone and playability.

A few years ago I bought myself a proper strat; one that got rave reviews and looked gorgeous with its maple fret board and white finish. Unfortunately, no matter how much I played it and tried to convince myself of its greatness, I never bonded with it. Recently I admitted to myself what I knew all these years. The old black strat, deep down was really nice. It just needed a little attention. So I sold the white strat and prepared to overhaul my old companion. Off with the thick, ugly polyurethane finish, replaced with Surf green Nitrocellulose lacquer (like the old originals).

I had no idea the process I was in for when I started stripping the black poly off, but am glad I did it. Below are photos that show the transformation. Sure, I could’ve done a few things differently, but overall the thing turned out great and my old strat is exactly how I always wanted it. It’s lightweight, comfortable and rings like a bell (or growls when the bridge pup is run through a cranked tube amp)!

Naked strat body

Stripped down to bare wood, scratches filled and sanded

ready for paint

In my homemade painting booth after first coat of primer

sanded and polished

painting complete, cured for 30 days and sanded/buffed


reassembled and back in action

at home

back with the family

December 04, 2011You do fine work Nate. Surf green was a good choice. If you get down in our neck of the woods this winter make sure you bring your rod and give me a call. Winter fishing on the Provo can be a great time. BTW Jeanette says Hello. Merry Christmas from both of us. Stay warm Brother, Rich
Rich Tregeagle
December 19, 2011Excellent work, my friend! I agree with Rich, good job "keepin' it real" with the surf green. Only one discrepancy I noted in your quick background bio...You mentioned a band in college, but what about your stint with Fuzzbox? I heard they were really going places before your departure.


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