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Doug

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Everything posted by Doug

  1. Mad Mike is right on...probably the finish, or a minor crack if it is the wood. I'm a bit more conservative though...if it were mine, I'd take it to a reputable luthier and get an evaluation. I wouldn't risk it suddenly breaking clean through. Which would mean a more complex and costly repair.
  2. No, the reissue trem arms are not the same. You'll have to do a Google search for the correct replacement. You don't need an actual 1965 vintage Mustang trem arm...I found one that fit my 1965 Mustang by slogging through the old parts bins at a guitar repair shop. I doubt your tuners are original. The originals are white plastic as you've guessed. Regarding your switch, yes, do get that working as designed. It's a great tonal option with the Mustang. Have a highly recommended tech with vintage guitar experience do the work. Don't trust it to a good all-around guitar tech who may know "short cuts" that you don't want done to your vintage baby.
  3. WLP, I refinished my Mustang to a natural finish...it was my first attempt at refinishing and I learnd a lot that I hope will help you. The biggest challenge is you don't know what's under that paint. Likely Poplar or another wood that may be "pieced". That is two or three different pieces of mismatched wood glued together to make the body. Even if it's a single piece of wood, some woods like Poplar have gray, brown, tan, and green streaks...not as pretty as you might want in a natural finish. So while disassembly and sanding are a challenge, exactly how to refinish a less than uniformly grained and colored body in natral finish is the hard part...the ARTISTIC part, if you will. So here's the article I wrote about what I learned...the photos won't copy & paste with the text. Refinishing a 1965 Fender Mustang Poplar Slab by Doug Pratt This is a description of what I learned from my first ever refinishing project. Actually office furniture was my first project a few months prior and I’d learned a bit from that, but not as much as I learned from this guitar project. The guitar refinishing was much more complex than I could have predicted. Fortunately, I got lots of advice from woodworking specialists, from my luthier, and from a vintage guitar expert along the way. I digested a lot of information and discovered a few little tricks, so I hope this report is helpful to some guitar lovers who face refinishing challenges. This now-natural beauty came to me as a battered Dakota Red refinish. (photo does not copy) The Plan…and the Challenges I got my 1965 Mustang (pre-CBS) in 2009 with lots of dings & scratches. It had already been refinished and, even though the refinish was in the correct original color, Dakota Red, about 1/3 of the vintage value was irrevocably lost in that refinishing. I noticed one day that the fret markers on the side of the neck are brass dots and they looked really good next to the amber neck. The red paint worked against this subtle aesthetic and I began to picture the slab in a natural wood tone matching these little markers, the neck and the headstock. I knew most original Mustangs had been made of Poplar, a light wood, and a rare few were Mahogany. When I stripped my guitar, I discovered not only a Poplar slab but all the surprises Poplar has to offer! Poplar, it turns out, can be challenging to work with for several reasons. First, there are typically two predominant colors in any one slab, blond and dark brown. These are assymetrically variegated and have steaks of yellow, gray and green. Opaque finishes are no problem, but Poplar’s eccentric variegations make it hard to predict what the wood will look like after translucent color or natural stain is applied. Second, Poplar is soft and porous wood. Softness means sanding can easily leave uneven spots. The porousness means paint absorbs deep into the grain. So there’s a double challenge in that it takes a lot of sanding, after stripping, to get down to where paint has not penetrated, and this sanding has to be done with great care to keep an even surface. Were I painting this slab, there would be no problem. However, to achieve an appealing natural wood finish, there’s a substantial challenge: porosity and variegation together mean liquid stain absorbs unevenly. I knew I could easily paint my Mustang any color. Poplar absorbs paint very well. So I selected T.V. Yellow as a default plan. But I’d decided the natural finish with the pearloid pickguard and brass fret markers was the look I wanted, so I decided to press on with my vision. Preparation: Surprises, and a Few Tricks I used a wood stripper to get through the two layers of red paint. After letting generous amounts of the stripper sit for 20 minutes, I scraped gently with a plastic scraper and then hand sanded with 100 grade sandpaper till I got down to mostly bare wood. Then, to remove most of the red saturation in the grain, I used Formby’s refinisher, a gentle stripper with conditioning agents, and rubbed that with 0000 steel wool. I saw how well the Poplar had absorbed the paint in several sections where red was embedded deep in the grain. It was clearly more than some careful cleaning wth a dental pick dipped in stripper could remove. Aggressive hand sanding might have left indentations in the soft wood. So I used an electric block sander with very fine grain sandpaper to take off enough wood to remove the imbedded red. An experienced woodworker would have been faster, but my preparation of the slab took about 12 hours, double what I’d planned. Overall, it was good that I went slow, modulating the muscle I put in, and mustering lots of extra patience… eventually all the saturated paint and almost every ding were gone, leaving only one deep battle scar visible Finishing: More Surprises, and a Few More Tricks When the slab was completely prepared, highlights of yellow and green between the blond and dark brown sections of Poplar became obvious. This was not pretty wood and looked almost like several species had grown together. I was clearly hooked by the challenge, however, because I persisted in my vision of a natural wood finish…if only I could mute these dramatic contrasts. I learned from some woodworking specialists that a liquid stain would soak into the wood. My goal was to lighten the dark wood and darken the light wood until both match. Stain that soaks into the wood wouldn’t achieve that goal. What I needed was a stain that would sit on top of the wood and allow me to gradually build up the color. I applied Butternut Gel Stain to the brown wood to lighten it a bit. Gel stain, I’d learned, tints the surface instead of being absorbed like liquid stain. Then I applied Autumn Gel Stain to the blond wood to darken it just a bit. The Gel Stains tinted the surface of the Poplar more evenly than a liquid stain could have and brought the blond and brown each closer to an amber. Applying coats of gel stain on top of each other didn't have enough cumulative lightening effect. So I sprayed Fender Neck Amber (from Guitar ReRanch, Texas) in very thin coats. Then I was able to apply another coat of either Gel Stain, to further lighten or to darken. Three repetitions of this process brought the brown and blond sections much closer together, nearly matching the headstock. This was the look I was shooting for. Finally, I applied a Satin Nitro Tinted Clear Coat (From Guitar ReRanch) which is tinted just 20% as much as the Neck Amber. This further softened the blond-brown drama and sealed the finish (Fender Neck Amber is not a final seal). The body is now a near perfect match for the neck and headstock, exactly what I’d hoped for. My battered old Mustang now looks healthy and strong enough for hard rockin’…not a classically beautiful piece of wood, but to me it’s a handsome axe aging gracefully. You can see the body and neck are an almost perfect match. (photo does not copy) Three Brands of Gel Stain To Even-Out Variegated Grain, Coloring[1] Gel stains compared to thin-bodied stains: Because gel stains lie on a wood surface instead of soaking into it, they uniformly color porous and nonporous areas alike. That makes them relatively goof-proof, and a great help to novice finishers. And, because they don't run or splatter, they're especially handy for applying to vertical surfaces. Nevertheless, gel stains do have certain drawbacks. We avoid them on projects with lots of tight corners and crevices because the stain collects in these tight spots and is hard to remove. Thin-bodied stains don't have this problem because they wick into tight spots and the areas adjoining them. And, because gel stains don't penetrate as well as thin-bodied stains, they don't bring out the "depth" of the wood grain as well as thin-bodied stains. That's why we prefer thin-bodied stains for porous woods such as oak, ash, mahogany, and walnut. When it makes sense to use a gel stain: Sometimes you can't avoid combining woods of slightly different coloration or mismatching grain patterns in the same project surface. For example, various red oak boards may vary from pale white to pink in tone, and they may have flatsawn or quartersawn grain patterns. If economics dictate that you must use such boards together, you can help give the surface a uniform appearance by using gel stains…Species such as pine, maple, cherry, and birch have relatively nonporous surfaces…grain pops to the surface so you can get splotchy areas of light and dark because of uneven absorption of liquid stain. Gel stains help you achieve uniform coloration on these woods. The three brands we tried: The three gel stains we tried varied considerably in thickness. The Minwax product was just slightly thicker than the Bartley product, and the Wood-Kote stain was considerably thicker than the other two. So, the Wood-Kote product possessed all of the qualities-and drawbacks-of a gel stain to a greater degree than the others. For example, the Wood-Kote did the best job of masking uneven wood coloration and graining, but it was also the hardest to apply and wipe off. Removing it from crevices was a chore. [1] Wood Magazine, online woodmagazine.com; also Teri Masaschi in Fine Woodworking, Oct., 2002 Hey everyone I have a white 65 ri mustang that im hoping to sand down and stain to make it look like this Its the image below the black mustang at the top
  4. Detailed, clear, useful, as always, Mike. Thanks for helping to make this such a good forum...
  5. Here's a 1966 Mustang, refin, replaced tuners, all else original ncluding OHSC. $900.00 https://reverb.com/item/173105-fender-mustang-1966-natural I'm not connected to this in any way; purely FYI.
  6. Hi, Caleb. You have a prize there, friend. Mine was originally red and was refinished before I got it. The new finish was vintage-correct Dakota Red but the vintage value was destroyed by the refin. So I refinished it natural so the body matches the headstock & neck...the aged pearl pick-guard really stands out now. Let us know how the new nut works out. Cheers,
  7. Wow, you have a 1965 Mustang. Me too. But wait a minute, unless you have an excellent Luthier lined up. Learning to cut a nut takes practice. Plan on having a good coach or a great instruction manual, and plan on ruining a few before you get it right, Caleb.
  8. I'm jonesin for a Harmony Stratotone H49 Jupiter. https://www.google.it/search?q=harmony+stratotone+h49+for+sale&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=eyJpU5LIGbDa0QWft4DAAQ&ved=0CEwQsAQ&biw=1280&bih=585 If you run across one, please let me know. Thanks,
  9. Mad Mike, you're always helpful with a ton of knowledge...thanks. Doug
  10. Thanks for the good find, CJS... ... I was prepared not to like it (I'm a Mustang purist). But gotta admit, I like the tort with the trans-cherry and matching headstock. Really beautiful. I like the tuners' configuration and shape of the headstock. They retain the phase buttons...Yesss!...a Mustang copy without them is just a "Must". The bridge is a pretty serious compromise so this new one better be noticeably better...can't tell if it's got vibrato. I'm very curious to hear these pups. And it's at a decent price (of course no case in that). BTW, I've been living in Naples, Italy for a while now and will be through the Summer. Any other off-set short-scale fans near here? Cheers,
  11. My heart's with ya, man. I have the same need for my '65. Somebody, HELP!
  12. Below is a reasonable reply I got from Daniel at Chicago Music Exchange. It's my understanding that the finish black light test is an accepted vintage-industry method for assessment. I replied with encouragement that in the future they include verification when their ads make extraordinary claims. Cheers, Doug Hello Doug, Thanks for the inquiry and interest. Fender made a hand full of one-off sparkle colors in the '60's. Typically they were reserved for trade show displays or special orders. Based on several references, it seems that the sparkle finishes were usually done by a local auto shop down the street from the Fender factory, and often times, on top of the already existing Fender finish. In this case, the finish seems to have been applied on top of Daphne Blue, which was a standard color for these guitars at the time. The finish black lights very old and this looks very much like several of the original sparkle finish Fenders we've owned. Regards, Daniel, Chicago Music Exchange
  13. They never did until maybe 1970. And then it was mainly a nice cosmetic touch. The Mustang is so small and light, you (well, I) really don't need the contour. Cheers, Doug
  14. Can you believe this? I guess if it really is Fender factory original, as claimed, it might be worth $4,000 or $5000 USD. But more than nine grand... http://reverb.com/item/520-fender-mustang-blue-sparkle-1966
  15. Thanks, HNB, you're spot on. I have a 1965 Mustang, all original with the white plastic tuners, and it's so small & light that I don't notice the absence of body contour. I always prefer the contour on any guitar but on the Mustang it really doesn't make a big difference.
  16. Wow! Nice. And with shipping to Cardiff...
  17. Keep us posted, Justin. "What doesn't kill you..."
  18. He's played a lot of guitars and never knew he played a Mustang. Looks like a refin with replacement humbuckers...
  19. This is so beautiful...that neck & headstock...can this be for real? http://www.ebay.com/itm/FENDER-1966-MUSTANG-DAKOTA-RED-SUPER-CLEAN-EXC-w-OHSC-ALL-ORIGINAL-BEAUTY-/261364506835?pt=Guitar&hash=item3cda89e0d
  20. Thanks for the tips, redman. I'll check it out, take the strings off, and see if taking the bridge off is intuitive...I'm not a techy guitarist and have never tinkered with my guitars. So hte idea of removing the bridge is a bit daunting as I sit here at my laptop. And when you refer to "grub screws", I'm not sure I'll know one when I see it... But I'm game to try. I'll let you know what happens. Thanks! Doug
  21. So I was doing the right thing? ...either the wrench was too small or the sockets are stripped?
  22. I'm trying to raise the action on my 1965 (vintage) Mustang. I looked at the bridge and on either end of the bridge saw shiny round "heads" with little holes in them. The holes appear to be round; I gently tried an allen wrench in the holes and it fit snugly as if it's the right gauge but just spun freely. Rather than fumble around like this, I'll wait for guidance from someone who knows for sure. Cheers,
  23. Sylvester, you are going to enjoy hot rodding your Mustang. While I'm not qualified to offer much technical advice on your plan, you're both strategic in your approach and open to using others' advice. You can't lose. Enjoy! And let us know how it comes out. Cheers,
  24. Hi, Sylvester. I was wondering about this a few years ago and did a little research. I'm pretty lo-tech and four years new to electric guitars. This article seemed sensible and useful to me, including the referral to pup-master Lindy Fralin's website for more info: MEASURING PICKUP PERFORMANCE[1] Because impedance and resistance are both measured in Ohms, people often confuse the two. Though they both can be thought of as a restriction on the flow of electrons through a circuit, thus being measured in units of resistance, they are not the same. Impedance is a phenomenon that most markedly affects AC circuits, when the magnetic field induced in a wire by the flow of current, impedes (or "chokes") the flow in a wire running parallel and adjacent to it. A coil puts the wire in parallel and adjacent to itself, over and over again, allowing the magnetic field of each wrap to "choke" the current in each adjacent wrap. That's why you see coils sometimes referred to as "chokes". An ohm meter will only measure DC resistance, which remains constant over a particular length of wire, whether it's stretched out straight, or wrapped around a bobbin. The factor we are really interested in is inductance, which is measured in Henrys. Inductance happens when the movement of a magnetic field causes (induces) a flow of current in a wire. That's what happens when you pluck the strings of an electric guitar. The magnetic field around the pole-pieces is disturbed (moved around) by the vibrating wire string, inducing an AC current in the coil (the signal). The reason DC resistance is used to compare pickups, is because it's the easiest thing to measure. If the NECK and BRIDGE pickups both use the same bobbins, magnets, pole-pieces, and wire (I don't know if Mustangs do), DC resistance will give you an indication of the variation in inductance. More resistance = longer wire = more wraps around the bobbin = more inductance = a "hotter" pickup. If your bridge has about twice the DC resistance, compared to your neck, you can surmise that it has about twice the length of wire and thus, about twice as many wraps around the bobbin. Does this mean it has twice the inductance? Sort of. As the wrapping progresses, the wraps get further and further from the magnetic core and the wire length of each wrap gets longer. If the wraps are not uniform, you introduce another variable; if one magnet has more Gauss (the unit of magnetism), that becomes another variable. That’s why there's all the "abouts" in the above paragraph. At best, DC resistance is a very rough way of comparing two similarly constructed pickups. You can't compare Humbuckers to P-90's, or P-90's to Fender single-coils. Or any of these to PAFs. The classic Mustang pups are 5.5kΩ, or "kilohms". Theres : Ω (ohms) kΩ (kilohms) MΩ (Megohms) Standard (1960s to early 1970s) Mustangs pickups are wired in parallel and if each pickup is 5.5kΩ and you have both on you are cutting the resistance (but not the volume) by half to 2.5kΩ... but if they were wired in series you would be doubling the output (K) to 11kΩ but the volume doesn't double. A humbucker is two single coils wired in series, each coil can be as low as 4kΩ but because there's two in series it makes 8kΩ. Whether two pickups are wired in series or parallel is irrelevant as to whether they will be humbucking or not. Providing one pickup is RWRP (reverse wound/reverse polarity) to the other pickup they will cancel hum regardless. So, resistors or K (which include pickups and potentiometers) in series doubles the value and in parallel it halves the original value. -From Bandit, Nov. 24, 2009 on the Jag-Stang website forum. Re: Pups' resistance; Sent: Mon Nov 23, 2009 6:18 am; From: feedbackismyfriend Ya I just got back from an absolutely wonderful weekend. To be honest, I have a pretty minimal knowledge of how pickups work. The "k" is put after the measurement of resistance and I'm not really sure if that is just a symbol or if it refers to a thousand (IE: 12k=12,000). Also, I believe that ohms is the correct term, but I'm not really 100% sure. As far as how a pup's rating affects its tone, in general a higher rated pickup has more output and is more responsive to midrange frequencies (thus being able to drive your amp quite a bit harder), but tend to suffer a bit in their responsiveness to bass and treble frequencies. Lower rated pup is pretty much exactly the opposite; it has less output, but is much more responsive to bass and treble frequencies (they tend to suffer a bit in the midrange area though). Also, how the pickup is constructed and what kind of material is used for the magnet affects the tone a lot, It's not just about the pickups' rating. As far as sites go, I would recommend checking out Lindy Fralin's website. Lindy Fralin is a very highly regarded pickup manufacturer and I found their site to be quite informative. -Glenn [1] Note: the original pickups on a 1965 Mustang are typically about 5.5 K, or ohms.
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