NGD ‘56 Strat and a Poll

What color to refin?


  • Total voters
    125

StratoMutt

Dr. Stratster
Mar 15, 2019
11,944
SE Pennsylvania
Wow! Rough is an understatement.

If it were me, I'd replace the body with one that looks similarly worn in a color of your choice - 2TSB would be proper. Save the original body and look into having it repaired.

Find a bridge that is reliced without the awful rust. Save the bridge as is.

The pickguard and pickup covers are done. Once again save and replace with suitable ornery looking plastic bits.

Pickups? Rather than rewound how about some quality authentic sounding coils / ratty looking magnets (Fralin?) under nasty plastic bits? Save the originals...

What do the tuners look like? Same swap as described above.

Finding parts that look like semi-natural wear to equal the neck will be difficult. Worth having a player that is appears to be largely authentic would be worth it.

I can only imagine what the electronics look like by the deterioration of that sad bridge.

Please post more images!
 

Oldiemurphy

Strat-O-Master
Jan 23, 2022
851
Austin, TX
It's a huge restoration project. And since you'll be investing a lot of time, energy and money, I'd say get it as close to original as possible. That definitely includes the two-tune sunburst. If you can still see a trace of the crack, that's ok. It's honest. Does the son have any photos of how it looked before he refinished it? Best of luck, and document the journey with lots of pics!
 

CyFan4036

Senior Stratmaster
Platinum Supporting Member
Mar 22, 2018
1,273
You are here
Just got this ‘56 Strat from the original owners son. It’s certainly seen some things, but it’s actually all original besides body paint and the tone cap. I plan to rescue at as the original frets are completely worn, pickups probably need rewind, and it has this awful crack.

Apparently the original owner was playing a gig and a biker pulled a knife. So the Strat became a baseball bat. I was told if I looked in the crack and under the paint I would find blood ha.

I plan to send the body to get the crack filled and properly fixed and get the body refinished. I know just who to send it too. I’d much prefer sunburst, but he said it might be iffy with the crack and how much “fake graining” he can do to blend it. Not sure if the body is ash or alder (it’s 6-56 so it could go either way). But it would be a shame to do a solid color on a nice piece of ash. I will have the body aged lightly because the neck is so worn. So a poll on colors that I like and photo attached

Also any tips on cleaning that horribly rusty bridge/saddles ?
That just looks like it needs reglued.
 

HazyPurple

You've gotta get up!, to get down!
Silver Member
May 5, 2020
2,217
UK
2 TSB, the electrical parts will be knackered but the chrome parts will need re chroming.

I'd be determined to keep original as feasibly possible...
 

turfdoc

Strat-Talker
Mar 14, 2009
137
Texas
Fix the sound chain electronics, clean up the hardware, revisit the setup...and Don''t touch the body, if that crack is secure.
 

Busk

New Member!
Jan 31, 2014
3
Paris
Original finish only, or just strip the blue as best you can and leave it all Rory Gallagher looking. Only repair the crack if the body is about to fall apart. I'd just stabilize it and leave it showing. Replace whatever cannot be salvaged with quality, original-looking replacements. Pro re-fret with original-sized frets, but it can be dicey because it may not be possible to dial in the best playability without sanding the fingerboard. A pro will know. Don't mess with the pups unless they are really not working properly (obviously).
 

demilieu

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 5, 2012
55
houston
Just got this ‘56 Strat from the original owners son. It’s certainly seen some things, but it’s actually all original besides body paint and the tone cap. I plan to rescue at as the original frets are completely worn, pickups probably need rewind, and it has this awful crack.

Apparently the original owner was playing a gig and a biker pulled a knife. So the Strat became a baseball bat. I was told if I looked in the crack and under the paint I would find blood ha.

I plan to send the body to get the crack filled and properly fixed and get the body refinished. I know just who to send it too. I’d much prefer sunburst, but he said it might be iffy with the crack and how much “fake graining” he can do to blend it. Not sure if the body is ash or alder (it’s 6-56 so it could go either way). But it would be a shame to do a solid color on a nice piece of ash. I will have the body aged lightly because the neck is so worn. So a poll on colors that I like and photo attached

Also any tips on cleaning that horribly rusty bridge/saddles ?
the more you do to it for restoration the more it looses interest and monetary value as a collector's guitar. best thing is do as little as possible to get it playing well, and keep any parts that get replaced. all the wear and tear (even the obvious body crack, cracked pickguard and home paint job) is part of that guitar's history. if the frets need to go, than re-fret it because that's reasonable to do. but leave the signs of wear on the fretboard wood. if the pickup does needs re wiring than do it, but be sure first it needs it because that reduces the value of the electronics a lot. people who do vintage restorations will take it up to whatever level of wear you want, right up to NOS. but if you're not carful someone might take it up to a strat you can find at any guitar center and to me that's a denial of the guitar's heritage. the best thing for the bridge is clean off the obvious rust with an abrasive like steel wool and wd 40 and stabilize the metal with a light coat of wd. custom shop does rusty bridges for heavy wear guitars. for playing purposes you can do a replacement but keep the original parts. to get what's there working generally all you'd probably need is to replace the rusted set screws.
 

partscaster

Strat-Talk Member
Apr 6, 2013
42
Mars: sector 6
I'ld find out if the refinish can be separated away from an original finish.
If not, I'ld leave it. If body is stable, i'ld leave the crack alone, too.
Dont get the pickups rewound unless they are coil failures. Even then , see how much wire could be reused, or set the old ones aside. If they work, keep as is.

The old wire is unique... new wire is produced by different methods, has different impurity types and levels. That effects the signal and sound. People pay a lot for "new-old stock" wire..( I've seen few thousand $ added on for a pickup set newly wound with old stock 50/60's wire) and its harder and harder to find. Yould do better to set any busted old pickups aside, and replace with new vintage style. Perhaps someone in future can salvage old wire, mags, and bobbins and rebuild for you. IE, a geek like Dave Stephens from Stephens Designs.

I'ld keep the bridge as is too, and use a replacement drop-in bridge if original doesnt work. Maybe I'ld touch up the saddle contact surfaces.
 

Guithartic

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 10, 2021
1,924
Jacksonville, FL
2-Color sunburst. I wouldn’t worry if you can see a line, where the crack is. It seems to be right where the two boards are connected. It is pretty normal to see the seam through the finish.

Or, if you can see what the original color was (you said it has already been repainted in the past), make it back to its original color. That would be my preference.

or surf green If they made surf green Stratocaster’s in 1956.
 

chrimer56

New Member!
Nov 1, 2018
2
NJ
Kip Elder @ Starr Guitars in Orlando would do this justice on the restore/refin and aging to match the neck and hardware. A few repro parts and you’re in business. I vote sunburst. I bet that bridge is salvageable. With a good wide burst (see pic) that crack will be hardly noticed but still there. And you want it there. So you can tell the story. Done well, made playable, frets and parts where necessary and kept as original as possible I think this will still hold high value. You have a real ‘Heavy Relic’ here for sure. 009AC3E9-B6CA-48D2-AEDA-6EAE97987089.jpeg
 

coolrene

Strat-Talker
Sep 18, 2020
116
France
Just got this ‘56 Strat from the original owners son. It’s certainly seen some things, but it’s actually all original besides body paint and the tone cap. I plan to rescue at as the original frets are completely worn, pickups probably need rewind, and it has this awful crack.

Apparently the original owner was playing a gig and a biker pulled a knife. So the Strat became a baseball bat. I was told if I looked in the crack and under the paint I would find blood ha.

I plan to send the body to get the crack filled and properly fixed and get the body refinished. I know just who to send it too. I’d much prefer sunburst, but he said it might be iffy with the crack and how much “fake graining” he can do to blend it. Not sure if the body is ash or alder (it’s 6-56 so it could go either way). But it would be a shame to do a solid color on a nice piece of ash. I will have the body aged lightly because the neck is so worn. So a poll on colors that I like and photo attached

Also any tips on cleaning that horribly rusty bridge/saddles ?
Check with Matthew Scott’s guitar wiz Joel. He’s been doing some miracles with old, battered guitars.
 

thomquietwolf

Dr. Stratster
Gold Supporting Member
Silver Member
Dec 2, 2010
20,721
Peardale CA
Just got this ‘56 Strat from the original owners son. It’s certainly seen some things, but it’s actually all original besides body paint and the tone cap. I plan to rescue at as the original frets are completely worn, pickups probably need rewind, and it has this awful crack.

Apparently the original owner was playing a gig and a biker pulled a knife. So the Strat became a baseball bat. I was told if I looked in the crack and under the paint I would find blood ha.

I plan to send the body to get the crack filled and properly fixed and get the body refinished. I know just who to send it too. I’d much prefer sunburst, but he said it might be iffy with the crack and how much “fake graining” he can do to blend it. Not sure if the body is ash or alder (it’s 6-56 so it could go either way). But it would be a shame to do a solid color on a nice piece of ash. I will have the body aged lightly because the neck is so worn. So a poll on colors that I like and photo attached

Also any tips on cleaning that horribly rusty bridge/saddles ?
Why paint?
And
Naval jelly on the rust!
 

caples

New Member!
Oct 9, 2021
2
USA
I would recommend starr guitars 100% i have not seen one of his refins that looked bad. I would either go with 2 tone sunburst or a color similar to what is on it now. i would think a similar blue would be cool just to show the history but that’s just me.
 


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