1976 Fender Stratocaster Restoration

Initial assessment

Many years of pub gigs had discoloured the body to the point where the owner found it impossible bring it back to life without damaging the paintwork. However, the paintwork was a previous refinish so, after consultaion with the owner it was decided that another refinish was in order. The headstock also had some bad staining but our thoughts were that we could clean this up with some cutting and polishing without disturbing the decals, so the guitar was disassembled ready for the work.

Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel

Stripping and prepping the body

We stripped and sanded the body which was ash, so this needed to be pore filled before applying the primer. There was a small piece missing from the pickguard and as it was quite dirty and scratched we removed the pickups and pots etc so it could be thoroughly cleaned and repaired.

Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, body stripped © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, body stripped © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, pickguard damaged © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, pickguard damaged © 2020 Guitar Angel

Painting, pickguard repair and headstock cleaning

The body was primed, colour coated in Olympic white followed by some light tinted lacquer coats, to make it a little more creamy, and finally clear gloss, all in nitro cellulose. The pickguard tip was repaired and the headstock cut and polished to remove the staining.

Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, colour coats, tint coats and clear coats © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, pickguard repair and clean © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, headstock cut and polish, original lacquer preserved © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration, headstock cut and polish, original lacquer preserved © 2020 Guitar Angel

Assembly and setup

Once we'd buffed and polished the body paintwork it was time to reassemble and set up the guitar then send it back to the customer.

Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel
Fender stratocaster 1976 restoration © 2020 Guitar Angel