Restoring My First Guitar
January 16th, 2012
Happy New Year! I hope this note finds you happy and warm…
While not being one for official New Year’s Resolutions, I do notice that I tend to shake up my hobbies and habits this time of year. Certainly it feels like a new start, and there’s no reason not to take advantage of feeling like there’s a clean slate to etch upon. Winter has finally come to Long Island and, since I’ll be spending a little more time indoors for the next few months, I figured it was finally time to take on a little project I’ve been wanting to complete for some time.
My parents gave me my first electric guitar on my 15th birthday. It wasn’t fancy, but it was mine; an off-white Squier Stratocaster that would follow me around through high school, off to college and beyond before being shoved into my closet and largely forgotten about. It was haphazardly painted, stripped, paired with other parts, beaten up and modified so many times that there really was nothing left of the original other than the body.
Since then I’ve bought, sold and traded countless guitars, but I was never willing to part with that ol’ Squier, even though I never played it or felt musically bonded to it. I finally wondered, “why do I put this guitar through so much trouble?” Only recently I realized that, for a number of reasons, my Squier was always the guitar I thought I was supposed to chose, but it was never the guitar I really wanted.
So, finally after 25 years, my 1986 Squier Strat is getting a full and well-deserved makeover. Last weekend I stripped the body and ordered a vintage style replacement neck. Over the next month, I’ll slowly and carefully fill the grain on the body, seal, sand, spray it glossy black, and sand some more until it’s time to lacquer it up and let it rest before final polishing. Then I’ll outfit the ol’ dog with some really tasty electronics and hardware and get it ready to play.
I’ve done some modifications on guitars before, but never a full rebuild. I gotta say… I’m pretty excited.
Enjoy your clean slate, check out the upcoming shows, and thanks for listening!