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Identifying body wood (1996 MiM)

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Gfreak, Aug 15, 2014.

  1. Gfreak

    Gfreak New Member!

    5
    Aug 15, 2014
    hOUSTON
    Hey y'all, I recently decided to strip down my strat and give it a natural finish look.

    And getting down to the wood, I'm curious about what y'all think it looks like. I always thought that it was alder wood. But now that I"ve gotten it sanded down, I feel like it doesn't look much like alder... Am just being crazy/paranoid here? lol

    It's my understanding that the mim strats from this year were made from alder or poplar...and it doesn't look like poplar. So any responses on this would be awesome. :D

    Also, it seems like the sides were made from a different darker) wood? Is this normal, and is this an actual different type of wood? Or simply a veneer that was put on top of the body.


    Thanks y'all!

    [​IMG]
     

  2. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    That looks exactly like red alder on the top of the guitar....as for the sides, etc, - impossible to tell from the photo.
     

  3. shovelmike

    shovelmike Senior Stratmaster

    Sep 26, 2013
    Missouri
    I am not an expert at identifying types of wood, but it looks like it will be very attractive.
     

  4. sjtalon

    sjtalon Senior Stratmaster

    Back then, Sunbursts were poplar body, alder veneer top and back.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2014

  5. Lonn

    Lonn Administrator Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 6, 2014
    Gone
    Admin Post
    I'm going with tree wood, just to be safe.
     

  6. Gfreak

    Gfreak New Member!

    5
    Aug 15, 2014
    hOUSTON
    Derr, completely forgot to upload the side picture. My bad, will get that up soon haha.:oops:

    @sjtalon, I had heard that before. But I haven't seen anything on this guitar that looks like poplar. Poplar generally looks fairly bad when at bair wood because of that greenish tint that it has right?


    [​IMG]
     

  7. Lonn

    Lonn Administrator Staff Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Jul 6, 2014
    Gone
    Admin Post
    Whatever it is it's a cool look.
     

  8. Guitarmageddon

    Guitarmageddon Squier-a-holic Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    41
    Apr 19, 2014
    Windsor, Ontario, Canada
    Red alder body....and for some STRANGE-ass reason the back has another wood glued onto it....which looks like maple or basswood....was this originally a sunburst? they might have covered up some inferior back grain with that piece.... At any rate, it's a mostly solid-wood body and will sound great I'm sure. Just not sure how she's going to look in a natural finish or whatever. Solid colors will turn out great on this body though....
     

  9. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    30
    Jan 21, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Mim standards have veneers on the fronts and backs that's what you're seeing
     

  10. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Yup. Yogi's got it.

    Any images of the back veneer?

    See, this is a Quick and Dirty way to make bodies and some are an acquired taste and some are pretty awful looking. My impulse is to turn anyone I can, back from this kind of adventure because the guys who grind off or remove all this Polyester on these MIMs and find something ugly, throw their mistakes in the dumpster. I hate to see all that waste and one or two kind of interesting bodies like this is not enough Upside to offset all that Carnage.
     

  11. Gfreak

    Gfreak New Member!

    5
    Aug 15, 2014
    hOUSTON
    I'll try and throw up a picture of the back later tonight when I can.

    @boris, would it not be ok to simply leave the veneer on the front and back with the sides exposed? I kinda dig the lighter/darker wood combo look.
     

  12. Boris Bubbanov

    Boris Bubbanov Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    You can do whatever looks best to your eye. Finish it all clear gloss; see what that looks like. If you don't like it, tone the sides in and leave the front and back clear or trans. If that doesn't work, tone in the back.

    Remember, they cover these heavily with finish because SOME need all the help they can get. You're totally free to create any look you like.
     

  13. StratMike10

    StratMike10 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    57
    Apr 8, 2010
    Florida
    I stripped a body just like that and went further to remove the veneer, which exposed a 5-piece body. But I stained and oiled it, and it didn't turn out too shabby.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

  14. Gfreak

    Gfreak New Member!

    5
    Aug 15, 2014
    hOUSTON
    Gotcha gotcha, just didn't know if there was another reason you were saying that (Like the finish wouldn't stain into the veneer or something like that).

    I got it together today to see how it looks (pickups are coming in next week, can't wait...)

    And I gotta say, I love how it turned out. Especially since this was my first time even taking a guitar apart, let alone refinishing/reworking something like that haha. :D

    Unfortunately I don't have a good enough camera to do it justice, but here it is.

    Guitar - Imgur
     

  15. Bigsbyguy

    Bigsbyguy Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Oct 26, 2010
    New Mexico
    I've got a MIM R Cray model. I'm a hardtail guy. I think it's an '05-'07 guitar. I bought it used in 07 or 08. They are advertised as having an Alder body. Anyone know if that model would have the laminated body? Was that pretty common in MIM models?
    I wasn't aware they were using this type of a body. I wonder why?
    This one sounds good acousticly and resonates well. I'd be impressed to find out it's a lam body.
    I'd like to see some more body shots of the one your refinishing if you could post a few more.
    I heard once years ago that when they first started the Mexi plants that the bodies and necks were made here and shipped there for finish and assembly. Anyone know that to be true?
     

  16. Bigsbyguy

    Bigsbyguy Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Oct 26, 2010
    New Mexico
    I just looked at your pics Gfreak. Its been 15 years since I worked at a shop. This type of body manufacturing is easier and cheaper then just a block of Alder?
     

  17. guitarman60

    guitarman60 Senior Stratmaster

    Mar 2, 2013
    Kentucky
    That is cool. Love the dark tones.
     

  18. Gfreak

    Gfreak New Member!

    5
    Aug 15, 2014
    hOUSTON


    I'm a little confused about what you're asking. Are you saying it would've been easier to buy an already finished body to use?


    Also I believe that's correct about the american/mexican strats in the mid nineties I believe there was a fire in the ensenada plant in the early/mid nineties.
     

  19. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    30
    Jan 21, 2009
    Tuscaloosa, AL
    Well its easier and cheaper because you don't have to worry about book matching and you can use more smaller and cheaper pieces but still have an attractive looking burst. When you are covering everything with a veneer no wood gets wasted
     

  20. Bigsbyguy

    Bigsbyguy Strat-Talk Member

    12
    Oct 26, 2010
    New Mexico
    Gfreak, No, what you're doing is cool. I used to build Stephen's Extended Cutaway guitars at the shop in Seattle. But that was 15 years ago. I had never seen a stripped MiM body till just now. The construction caught me by surprise.
    Yogi, Was this technique used mainly for 'Burst Strats?
    I'm surprised this method is cheaper. Seems like more labor to get to a finish ready body?
    For the money the MiM Fenders, and for that matter the Korean made Epi's etc are all great values and great platforms to try different things out.