NGD ‘56 Strat and a Poll

What color to refin?


  • Total voters
    125

stratocastaway

Strat-Talk Member
Jun 9, 2011
14
Washington State
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 was made the same year as I was and it looks a lot like I feel most days. I can't wait to see the "after" pics when you're done.
 

gm1cusnr

New Member!
Jul 30, 2015
7
Lafayette, Louisiana
Not sure if anyone has performed a re-fret on the neck of this guitar in the past... That being mentioned, (you may already know this,) be aware; that up into the mid to late 70's, the Fender factory installed their neck frets 'sideways' from the treble side. What this means; is, if you have to re-fret an original neck, pulling frets out of the top *WILL* result in many tiny pieces of your fretboard tearing out with the fret being lifted. The original frets need to be driven back out sideways in order to prevent tearing up the fret slots. Sadly; not all folks who do re-fret work know this. (firsthand experience, darn it!)
Hope this is useful to you.
Happy New/Old Guitar Journey.
~ Ol' Will ~
 
Last edited:

Doc538

Strat-O-Master
Silver Member
Dec 10, 2017
500
Ma
Original finish is 2 tone sunburst, that’s the way I’m leaning depending on how the crack and grain look. We shall see!
Think I would go with the burst but fix the crack but don't try to hide it, gives you a great story and a real individual look, derust the trem and spray with a sealer, keep the patina, kinda rat rod style
 

PCollen

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2014
4,043
Florida
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 ?
Does "got" mean it was given to you, or did you pay for it and how much ?
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 ?
I'd refinish the body in the same color it is..or close to it. The crack will always be a weak point, regardless . The story is that Jeff Beck retired his original Surf Green JB Signature guitar when he dropped it and the body cracked right up the middle, similar to yours. Good luck with that.
 

silhouette

Strat-O-Master
Nov 21, 2011
795
Norwich UK
I think that you need to get professional advice given the value attached to Strat from this era. Refinishing has a material effect upon the value. You need to consult an expert on repairing the crack and other faults. It might be that the whole project could be expensive to arrive at a guitar that might be worth a lot of money. So you need an experts guidance on how to approach a restoration. I voted other by the way. I would be in favour of a refret if necessary, as if that makes the guitar playable that is an important factor in the instruments future.
 

Jekscar

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 30, 2015
15
Italy
Nice got!

In your shoes, I would leave the body as it is, properly cleaned but nothing more.

Anyway @silhouette gave you a grat advice, follow an expert than can guide you in enhancing the character of the guitar first, preserving the value then.

In Italy we have Cesco' Corner who is a great place for an advice, I'm sure you can find something similar in the USA.

Cheers.
 

=KARMA=

Senior Stratmaster
Feb 24, 2015
1,920
Londinium
Not sure if anyone has performed a re-fret on the neck of this guitar in the past... That being mentioned, (you may already know this,) be aware; that up into the mid to late 70's, the Fender factory installed their neck frets 'sideways' from the treble side. What this means; is, if you have to re-fret an original neck, pulling frets out of the top *WILL* result in many tiny pieces of your fretboard tearing out with the fret being lifted. The original frets need to be driven back out sideways in order to prevent tearing up the fret slots. Sadly; not all folks who do re-fret work know this. (firsthand experience, darn it!)
Hope this is useful to you.
Happy New/Old Guitar Journey.
~ Ol' Will ~
Just like this:

 

randalltampa

Strat-Talk Member
Oct 1, 2021
38
Tampa, Florida
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!
This is a joke, right? If you're suggesting closeting the body, tuners, pickups, pick guard, electronics, and bridge, and finding a player guitar, isn't that the same as "put it back in it's case, and buy somet"?
 

grussell

New Member!
Sep 3, 2022
3
Music City
I just bought a ‘56 Stratocaster, and im getting a refret done. I may have to replace the nut. Does anyone know what the nut material is for ‘50s Strats?
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,010
NW LA
Please tell me you're gonna clean all the dirt, grime, and poop, yes poop, off that fretboard?? You can literally see play wear in the grime. Ugh.

And yes there's feces on your fretboard. If it's on your cellphone, which it normally is on most peoples phones, it's on your fretboard too. And fretboards get far, far, far nastier than any phone will.
 

Wound_Up

You can call me Duane 😁
Jan 23, 2020
5,010
NW LA
Does "got" mean it was given to you, or did you pay for it and how much ?

I'd refinish the body in the same color it is..or close to it. The crack will always be a weak point, regardless . The story is that Jeff Beck retired his original Surf Green JB Signature guitar when he dropped it and the body cracked right up the middle, similar to yours. Good luck with that.

Would it make a difference(in anything?) knowing what he paid for it?
 

Parksie

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 6, 2020
1,015
Sydney
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 ?

Awesome guitar mate.

If it was mine I would finish it in trans Blond or 2 tone Sunburst as the 2nd option.
 

RadioFM74

Senior Stratmaster
Apr 5, 2016
1,750
Italy and Switzerland
Blonde (hence my vote for 'other')
Second best: a rather faded sonic blue
Third best: fiesta.
If nothing else serves, black will be the best way to cover the crack and it's very classy.
Not sunburst ;D
 


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