First Build Project...Q&A

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by chrimturn, Jan 16, 2015.

  1. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I got ahold of a Chinese Bullet Series Squier for free. I believe it's a '94. Serial # NC409599.

    You can see that the wood beyond the nut was broken. It looks like it chipped off and they used wood glue and filler to repair it...then painted over it. There's also some chipping going on in the neck pocket. The guy was just giving it away so I decided to take it and try to get it in shape. This will be my first attempt at repair/rebuild.

    So, I'm going to replace the neck. Are MIM or MIA Standards/Specials compatible?

    Would it even be worth it considering the chips surrounding the neck pocket? It has 4 bolts and seems to be mounted firmly. Appears to just be more cosmetic than anything else.

    I'm gonna do some research on stripping the paint and refinishing but may opt to leave it and just rewire it and swap out the pups.



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  2. Yogi

    Yogi Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    I used to have a 97 bullet. 22 fret neck full size body. The neck pocket on mine was wider than fender spec so normal fender necks won't fit without some serious shimming
     
  3. Michael919

    Michael919 Senior Stratmaster

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    It's not worth the effort because of possible figment issues as Yogi mentioned. Do you want to replace it just because of the repair? I wouldn't. It doesn't affect anything.

    I'd level crown and polish the frets, replace the tuners with something a little better (will require reaming the holes bigger) and swap out the pickups, switch and pots. I've done that with an old bullet, plus scalloping the board and a few other mods, and it was a great project and an awesome guitar.
     
  4. ChefBlue

    ChefBlue Senior Stratmaster

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    what is your overall goal? There can be many replies....just sayin'
     
  5. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    My goal is to learn how to work on a guitar. I don't do any type of repair or "involved" maintenance on my MIA Strats because I'm not comfortable doing it. I was going to buy parts separately and build one from scratch, but I figured I'd take this cheap-o and take it apart and put it back together. Nothing to lose but time.

    The strings are helping to hold the wood behind the nut together. I see no point in trying to fix it again. So I was going to buy a new neck to put on this body. But if its going to be more of a hassle with this body, I'll just squash the idea and buy different parts separately and go from there.
     
  6. loudcherokee

    loudcherokee Strat-O-Master

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    How do you mean the strings are holding the neck repair together? They don't seem to be touching the wood at all.

    I busted my squier neck in the exact same spot trying to replace the nut. Clamped it up with wood glue and it was as good as new. From the picture you posted, it doesn't appear to be a problem.

    The neck pocket area seems to be just cosmetic. If you're wanting to repaint the guitar you could easily spot repair those areas with a little bondo spot putty and paint over it.

    LC
     
  7. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

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    No need to replace the neck unless there are other serious problems with it. The fixed chip behind the nut shouldn't really affect anything.

    +1 you should use that guitar to learn repair techniques. Clean it up and level/crown the frets, new nut, replace the electronics, etc. I wouldn't recommend stripping the body; you likely won't find a quality piece of wood under there. You could just refinish right over the top of the current finish. You would have to fill a few chips and sand off the gloss first, of course.
     
  8. nadzab

    nadzab Peace & Love, my Brothers & Sisters... Strat-Talk Supporter

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    If the neck is full-length instead of utilizing an overhang to accommodate the 22nd fret, you would likely run into scale length/intonation intonation issues with a MIM or MIA neck. I agree with what other posters have suggested, use this one for practice - make it as good as you possibly can - before tackling a Partscaster.
     
  9. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The tension on the nut was relieved when I took the strings off. The seam started to open up where the wood was glued back on. There is a more visible crack now...showing through the repaired piece.

    I saw a Squier neck on ebay for $50 with the same misc. prefix "NC" on the neck plate as this this one. It was also the same year..'94.

    Instead of messing with this damaged piece and trying to repair what was already repaired, I was thinking about buying that neck and swapping them out. As long as its in better shape.
     
  10. loudcherokee

    loudcherokee Strat-O-Master

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    Ok....so it sounds like the wood UNDER the nut is damaged, not just behind it.

    I think it can still be fixed, and would be a good project, but if you can get a similar neck without that crack for $50, that seems like a good deal if it's in good condition. Make sure the truss rod works if you can. Frets can be fixed. Just keep in mind what the above posters said about the neck pocket as well as the length of the neck with the 22nd fret.

    LC
     
  11. Michael919

    Michael919 Senior Stratmaster

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    Broken headstocks are relatively common on Les Paul's and repair is typically thought to be stronger than before. Your problem is very small in comparison.

    Why not treat this as part of your project? Get a good clamp and learn how best to use it to press the break together. Then use a small needle to get glue into the crack even if you need to carefully open it up slightly more. Clamp it together, wipe off the excess glue, let her dry and you're done. As you've learned, the tension on that area compresses your repair area, so there's no reason it should ever be a problem again.
     
  12. chrimturn

    chrimturn Fire in the Wire Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Thanks guys. I'm gonna buy the new neck just to have it since its only $50. But I'm going to try to salvage the existing. If I make it worse or permanently damage it, I'll have a replacement.

    Thanks for the input.