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Did Fender make custom necks in the fifties?

Discussion in 'Pre-CBS Strats (before 1966)' started by Stenutin, Dec 12, 2017.

  1. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    I know there were some custom colors available prior to the sixties for +5%.
    How about custom necks or other parts?
    I got a -57 stratocaster that does not have a V- or boat neck.
    It is a maple skunk that is a -57 neck but its like a slim C.
    Serial plate has a (-) minus in the beginning.
    The guitar goes in its original case "the other direction" if you know what i mean.
    The case has a Fender logo on the top side.
    Im suspecting some one made a mistake in orienting the inside of this case.
    The canvas of the case is in tackt covering the nails or screws neede to hold the neck holder and the accessories department in the case.
    Latches are installed correctly.

    I know Fender was cost consciuous and if the factory made mistakes, they went along and tried to ship to the vendor or customer as quickly as possible.

    Im suspecting this is the case with this strat that was "Refinished in its original color" in 1986.

    Check out the pics and comment if you have knowledge to share.
    I do know this is a player that has been refinished.

    IMG_0421[1].JPG
    IMG_0422[1].JPG
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
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  2. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockingham Palace
    I don't think there were custom made necks, but there was a lot of variation.
    What is the neck date? Later '57?
    I have seen '56 guitars with c-shaped necks, although that year is known for the soft-V shape...
     

  3. Highway Star

    Highway Star Former Member

    411
    Apr 22, 2016
    Who knows?
    A lot of 57 strats got a minus in front of the serial number. It does not indicate a "custom order".

    I've played two 57 strats from the same month with two different neck profiles. One with the typcal V-shape and one with something between a C-shape and a U-shape, both from 9-57. There are no 100% safe standards on 50's handmade guitars. The bodies vary a lot too.
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017

  4. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2014
    Arizona
    Can you show us more pictures? Close-ups of the headstock, the back of the neck and body, etc. I believe that neck was also refinished and that may be why the shape seems customized. Also wondering about the color in the body cavities.
     
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  5. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    According to guys that worked at Fender back then, it all depended who was running the sander that day as to how the necks turned out - the guy being interviewed apparently rolled his eyes at the idea that "certain years had certain profiles." All the finish work was by hand, so it ran the gamut.
     

  6. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    Tone Ranger- im thinking the same. We shouldnt be too stiff thinking the profiles were demanded.
    The neck has a pencil mark #4 at the bottom but no mark at the butt.
    It could also be that this guitar was refinished in the sixties and a new profile made then.
    Who knows. The neck is a slim c and if it was reprofiled it was done by a pro.
    The neck has been overspreyed a long time ago and the decal is not original.
    Some plastics seem to be newer like the knobs. Propably MIJ.
    Pickguards neck pickup hole is slightly bigger then what i have seen.
    The holes are usually very tight around pickup plastics. The PU plastics in this guitar seem to be original or old under blacklight.
    How were the pickguards made in -57? Were they hand cut?
    Pots seem to be original and have april -57 complying with the necks #4.

    I will open it up soon and take some pictures of the mics and cavities but i suspect they are painted over.

    About the previous owner Darryl Agler (from -86). Is he associated with Hamiltone guitars?
     
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2017
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.

  7. TheDudeMan

    TheDudeMan Strat-Talker

    Age:
    40
    320
    Sep 19, 2016
    The Crossroads
    I'll give you $300 for it, but you'll have to cover the shipping..... could be a late 57' one of the first c necks like the 58's have..... I've been gassing for a 58' the last few years.... maybe this summer I'll grab one.
     

  8. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    Thanks for the offer. I have drooled for these guitars for years. Gotta tell you though that my -58 has a boat neck. Slight V there and unfortunately the guitar does not ring like this this -57.
    Seems to me im collecting anomalies. I possess also a -61 refin which has the slimmest neck i have played. Dont get me started.

    skebat.JPG

    Closest to original is the -65 JB with only neck PU changed. Im not a money man
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017

  9. jofish

    jofish Strat-O-Master

    593
    Aug 28, 2015
    Hull, UK

  10. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockingham Palace
    Do you have more pictures of the '57? Neck, body,... What is the purchase history? Bought in Finland? Or in the US?
    I must admit, Googling the name of the previous owner isn't very reassuring. But that doesn't mean anything of course.

    Although there seems to be a lot of consensus on the shapes per year, like said before, there were a lot of differences. Even between the different necks from one sander. I've played 6 different XA necks and they were all great, but all different. Included is also the Clapton "Brownie" measurement, which I of course didn't measure.

    I try to take measurements of everything whenever possible. Call me obsessed... :D

    Telecaster_1956_neck_data_numbers.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 13, 2017
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  11. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    This -57 strat was bought from a Dallas auction. I dont know much more then what stated here. Im thinkg contacting Darryl for more information. I also googled him and saw a couple of complaints him selling some stuff. And a legal dispute of some guitar brands. Nothing too alarming nowadays i guess.
    What exactly are those measurments, different guitars and the length to fret from the nut?
     
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  12. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockingham Palace
    Those are neck depth measurements. So the measurement from back of the neck to the top of the fingerboard.
    This is only part of the measurement, the other part is taking the profile, I do that with solder wire and copy with pencil and paper. Some tools I always have with me when shopping, trying or visiting guitars...
     

  13. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    Ill try to do somekinds of measurements when I take the guitar to the local Vintage dealer. I dont have the tools to do it here.
    It would be interesting for me and them also as have been wondering about those -57 and -61 necks.
     
    T Guitar Floyd likes this.

  14. inra311

    inra311 Strat-Talker

    281
    Oct 12, 2008
    Europe
    Are you sure of this, necks shaped by hand?
    I know that Fender used a neck shaping router bit in the old days. A kind of dangerous beast. A guy had to push the neck along the huge router bit, on a special table like jig.
    However I am not sure if the pictures I have seen of it are early 60ies or 5oies... and I never understood what really was the matter that lead to the V necks, heard many different explanations..
     

  15. Mipstoo

    Mipstoo Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 18, 2013
    Rockingham Palace
    The neck shaping router was only the first part for shaping the neck. Every neck was sanded afterwards by different guys like Tadeo Gomez or Xavier Armandez (not confirmed). Tadeo was known for his work.
     
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  16. ToneRanger

    ToneRanger Most Honored Senior Member

    Jun 8, 2009
    Area 51
    Correct - it was during the sanding process that you would get a lot of the neck shape variation...
     
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  17. StoogeSurfer

    StoogeSurfer Strat-O-Master

    533
    Jan 13, 2010
    USA
    There's a story in the Stratocaster Chronicles about a new guy at the plant in the late 50s who cut hundreds of necks with the wrong profile before someone realized what he was doing. They sent them out on guitars anyway, and were frankly surprised when no one complained, LOL.
     
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  18. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2014
    Arizona
    Stenutin, we're wondering if you have had a chance to get more pictures of the inside, etc. :)
     

  19. Stenutin

    Stenutin Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    51
    10
    Dec 12, 2017
    In Heaven
    Yes, here are some. About the History.. called the owner and he was quite upset this guitar went for the price it ws bought at the auction. He said he bought in the early seventies from the (famous) band Crazy Horse. I was not clever enough to ask if it was Danny Whittens guitar. I have looked for pitures to prove this. Have not found yet.
    BTW under the neck it has the pencil mark #4 (or #7. escapes my mind now)
    Neck has been oversprayed probaply in -86 and it has a repro decal.
    The frets are original but probaply been filed very low in purpose.
    Also it has propably had a different neck pickup installed at some point. The cavity might have been deepend and the pickguards hole at the neck pickup is not as snug as the others are. Agler has been a guitar collector and u can see he has kept this well.
    He had interesting stories and things to tell about his businesses.
    Some guitar magazine should interview him.

    fstrat57sm2.JPG fstrat57sm3.JPG fstrat57sm4.JPG fstrat57sm4.JPG fstrat57sm2.JPG fstrat57sm3.JPG fstrat57sm4.JPG fstrat57sm5.JPG fstrat57sm1.JPG
     
    Last edited: Jan 20, 2018
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  20. T Guitar Floyd

    T Guitar Floyd Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 27, 2014
    Arizona
    Thanks for the pics! I used to work at that shop in those days and knew the owner and repairmen. I'm pretty sure that John the owner mixed the color and TR did the prep and hand rubbing. AFAIK John still owns it and it is now "Tejon Street Music", specializing in mostly acoustic guitars,
    mandolins, banjos and ukuleles. John is known for building F-style mandolins and high quality ukes.
    I remember Darryl Agler, but did not know him well. :)
     
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