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Old 12-06-2012, 07:30 AM   #1
Penfold8782
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Squire Strat rebuild: HELP ME!!!!!

Hello one and all!!

I have just been reunited with an old Squire Strat, which after many faithful years is now knackered. I want to take it apart and clean it and/ or replace the broken bits but I have NO idea how best to go about this.

Some of the issues are:
* Pick up selector doesn't always work
* Jack is "dodgy"
* Frets are a shadow of their former selves
* Tremlo unit needs a good clean, there appears to be some rust as well
* Pick ups also appear to be a bit rusty

Are there specific cleaning materials?
How much do new parts cost?
Is there a specific order with which to take the thing apart?
Are there any areas of the body to check for corrosion or other signs of damage?

Thanks!

Dave
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Old 12-06-2012, 07:14 PM   #2
zenbone
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My opinion (i restore and clean up a lot of old guitars) the biggest issue will be the frets. If they are trashed or you would need a complete refret the project might have to be scrapped. Clean up and swapping electronics is usually fairly cheap and easy. The cost of electronic depends completely upon you. If you want to put in top end crazy pickups and hardware you can but you will never get the money out of it. Online would be your best prices for hardware replacement.

as for cleaning everyone has their own system. Generally i cut the strings, strip everything off the guitar. I take the neck off and desolder the jack and ground wire so all the electronics come off easily. From there you are looking at the body and the metal parts. I clean the metal parts with mothers chrome polish (if they are chrome or aluminum), i just wash the plastic parts in hot water in a sink (usually using a soft bristle toothbrush to get into every little groove). The neck i clean the fretboard very gently with soapy water and then treat with lemon oil and i polish the frets out with the same mothers chrome polish. For the body i will gently clean it with soap and water on a rag or towel (NEVER submerge it in the water)... after that i fill the screw holes for the pick guard with toothpicks and wood glue so the small screws have a better contact. I also fill the guitar strap holes with golf tees and wood glue. I always give the guitar strap holders extra attention because they are what keeps your guitar from falling and smashing. While the screw hole fills dry i also paint the cavity with that black nonconductive paint to cancel hum and better shield the guitar.

After the screw holes dry i clip the toothpicks off and wax the body of the guitar with Mothers carnauba wax (at this point is probably sounds like i work for mothers but i don't i have just had great luck with their products when working on cars, pinball machines and guitars). after 2 or 3 coats of wax i put it back together soldering parts on and double checking that every wire has a firm contact and is not touching. Put it together, string it up and let is sit for a day or so under tension then go back and verify the neck is good to go (after taking it all apart often the neck needs slight adjustment). Then set sting height and pickup height then hammer on your awesome restored ax.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:15 PM   #3
Penfold8782
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Zen!

Sorry for the delay in reply and happy christmas! Thank you for the level detail in your post. I now have a Cruz Toolkit so taking the beast apart shouldn't prove too difficult! The cleaning sounds fairly straight forward, but the fretboard is a bit of a concern, the frets are pretty worn and the nut seems to generate buzz on the low E. Refretting isn't an option due to cost, it seems easier to buy a complete neck!

Is Mothers readily available from guitar shops or is it more likely to be found in Halfords?

As for the parts, I'll be looking into those once New Year's has been and gone!

Have a good one!

Dave
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #4
peskypesky
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Yep, doing a refret on a Squier is usually not cost-effective. If you do it yourself, sure, but its not an easy task for a beginner. Believe me, I've tried.

If the frets are truly not serviceable, it makes more sense to buy a Squier neck off Ebay, or if you want to upgrade, you could buy a Fender neck.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:01 PM   #5
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If your in the USA, www.guitarfetish.com has a good selection of parts and pickups for pretty cheap. I use their parts quite often when I redo guitars.
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Old 12-26-2012, 08:40 PM   #6
Mentholman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Penfold8782
Hello one and all!!

I have just been reunited with an old Squire Strat, which after many faithful years is now knackered. I want to take it apart and clean it and/ or replace the broken bits but I have NO idea how best to go about this.

Some of the issues are:
* Pick up selector doesn't always work
* Jack is "dodgy"
* Frets are a shadow of their former selves
* Tremlo unit needs a good clean, there appears to be some rust as well
* Pick ups also appear to be a bit rusty

Are there specific cleaning materials?
How much do new parts cost?
Is there a specific order with which to take the thing apart?
Are there any areas of the body to check for corrosion or other signs of damage?

Thanks!

Dave


i would just replace all the electronics, since theyre pretty cheap. you can get full electronic sets from guitarfetish for like 12 bucks. for the frets, you are going to have to have them replaced by a luthier, it shouldnt be that expensive. rust on the pups is okay, as long as the pickup itself isnt damaged from the inside. you can get really good pups(for the price i mean. dont expect miracles, but they have some really sweet blues pups) from guitarfetish for like 60 bucks. so all in all, you can make a huge improvement with a sub-100 dollar budget.

Last edited by Mentholman : 12-26-2012 at 08:41 PM.
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Old 12-26-2012, 09:19 PM   #7
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^^^ A re fret is prett expensive like typically $150+. You can get a new neck from guitar fetish for $40
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:50 AM   #8
Mentholman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
^^^ A re fret is prett expensive like typically $150+. You can get a new neck from guitar fetish for $40


oh wow, over here it costs around 30 bucks. well yeah i guess get a new neck then.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:52 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by Mentholman
oh wow, over here it costs around 30 bucks.


What planet are you on?
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:48 PM   #10
Arby911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentholman
oh wow, over here it costs around 30 bucks. well yeah i guess get a new neck then.



I'd be very curious to know where you're getting a refret done for $30?
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:26 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentholman
oh wow, over here it costs around 30 bucks. well yeah i guess get a new neck then.

You are full of shit end of story.

TS please do not listen to this guy he knows absolutely nothing about what you need or the prices of the work


Jesus doe not like liars and you are a liar. The freat wire alone is over $30

EDIT: GFS pickups are at most $40ish. I use them alot and I think the most I have paid for a pickup is $35+ S&H
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Last edited by Robbgnarly : 12-27-2012 at 06:29 PM.
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Old 12-27-2012, 06:30 PM   #12
Arby911
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
You are full of shit end of story.

TS please do not listen to this guy he knows absolutely nothing about what you need or the prices of the work


Jesus doe not like liars and you are a liar. The freat wire alone is over $30


Nah...

Fret Wire runs $10-20 or so.

The balance of your point is still valid.
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Old 12-27-2012, 11:39 PM   #13
Mentholman
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
You are full of shit end of story.

TS please do not listen to this guy he knows absolutely nothing about what you need or the prices of the work


Jesus doe not like liars and you are a liar. The freat wire alone is over $30

EDIT: GFS pickups are at most $40ish. I use them alot and I think the most I have paid for a pickup is $35+ S&H


wow, why are you such a dick? i am actually confused and not offended by your odd attitude.

all everyone is trying to do here is help, and you come in incredibly rude. i am not from the us, and since the op did not initially specify where he's from, (we eventually find out he is from the UK and refret prices are likely to cost differently over there. so we're pretty much doing the same thing arent we? calling prices based on where we live, when the op lives in a different place from ours. and you call me a liar, fully knowing that refret jobs can vary from country to country. nice logic there.) i called the prices based on where i live and convert it to us currency, just because there are more us-based guitar part sites for easy reference. fret wires cost about 10 bucks and the labor costs more, at about 20 bucks. as far as i know there are no luthiers that charge over 45 bucks for a refret job from where i am from. also, alot of GFS pickups run for 60-70 bucks. check the site.

before calling someone a liar, maybe ask where he is getting his info from first? and maybe next time, ask in a manner that doesnt show your complete lack of class, education and proper upbringing.

Last edited by Mentholman : 12-28-2012 at 12:09 AM.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:10 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mentholman
wow, why are you such a dick? i am actually confused and not offended by your odd attitude.

all everyone is trying to do here is help, and you come in incredibly rude. i am not from the us, and since the op did not initially specify where he's from, (we eventually find out he is from the UK and refret prices are likely to cost differently over there. so we're pretty much doing the same thing arent we? calling prices based on where we live, when the op lives in a different place from ours. and you call me a liar, fully knowing that refret jobs can vary from country to country. nice logic there.) i called the prices based on where i live and convert it to us currency, just because there are more us-based guitar part sites for easy reference. fret wires cost about 10 bucks and the labor costs more, at about 20 bucks. as far as i know there are no luthiers that charge over 45 bucks for a refret job from where i am from. also, alot of GFS pickups run for 60-70 bucks. check the site.

before calling someone a liar, maybe ask where he is getting his info from first? and maybe next time, ask in a manner that doesnt show your complete lack of class, education and proper upbringing.

You never stated you were not in the USA.
I still call BS on the price of a refret you gave unless you live in a 3rd world country (which I doubt since you are online).

And further more don't come to these forums spouting about your "knowledge" on these issues which most regular users know is false. I can understand a refret costing you $40 but you would be doing the work yourself and not having a skilled luthier do it.

I know what GFS pickups cost, I buy them and most are under $40 actually most are closser to $30 but we'll leave that alone.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:26 AM   #15
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For the price of a refret, which would be around $150-$200.00 at least, you would be much better off either just going to E-Bay and getting a used squier neck, which would probably cost you in the vicinity of around $50.00-$100.00 or more, depending on the model. Or you could just take that money and save yourself the headache of getting all new parts and just go to Guitar Center's website and click on their used gear section. On there, you can find a used Squier Strat with prices ranging anywhere from at least $50.00 on up, varying on the model.
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Old 12-28-2012, 08:46 AM   #16
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OP is clearly in the UK, or at least the EU. So all this talk of American prices and shops is irrelevant.

OP, hit up axesrus.com. They're cheap (free postage on most orders, even if you just buy a single capacitor!) and have (virtually) all the parts you need. Look for 'import' or 'metric' parts; 'imperial' or 'US' parts won't fit a Squier. Axesrus are pretty good at keeping their labels clear, but do double-check everything and measure things properly, just to make sure you're buying the right one.

It's not really worth spending time cleaning up a Squier's vibrato ('tremolo' is a volume effect!). If it has indeed rusted then the various pivot points are likely to be dulled, so it will probably come out of tune anyway. Again, axesrus have various good bridges available that will fit a Squier; personally, I like the Wilkinson model with one normal screw hole and five larger scew holes, as it's a little easier to use than a normal 6-screw bridge and has a push-in bar, which is a nice feature. If you want the guitar to stay in tune really well then you might want to consider getting a graphite compound nut, graph tech saddles (tad expensive, check wdmusic.co.uk) and better tuners (lots available; locking ones are the easiest to keep stable, axesrus sell a few which will fit a Squier and wdmusic sells more).

'Rust' on the pickups really does not matter, but if you want the guitar to look as-new then you'll simply have to replace them; luckily, this is fairly chap and will probably improve the sound of the guitar, too, as Squier stock pickups aren't terribly good. Axesrus sell all sorts of affordable pickups, which in my experience are quite good. Not fantastic, but nicer-made than the stock pickups, anyway. They even sell complete Strat pickguard assemblies with everything already wired up; you just need to solder the jack on, due to the way Strat bodies are made. This will kill several birds with one stone as they include the jack and a switch.

The fret job is the tough one. For the cost of a refret (let alone the cost of all the other parts you'll be buying) you could buy a whole new Squier. It will be cheaper to buy a new neck—again, axesrus and wdmusic sell Fender-style necks of various kinds at reasonable prices—and fit your current tuners on to it, or even just go on eBay and buy a second hand Squier neck that still has the tuners and nut on.

... Or just buy a new Squier, because honestly by the time you've spent £100 or so on a neck, £50-ish on electronics, £25-£50 on hardware... well, you're basically then going to a lot of effort and you're only about another £20 off a brand new one.
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:40 PM   #17
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what model is it?
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Old 12-28-2012, 12:46 PM   #18
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just for the record, normal GFS Strat pickup sets start at $45.95 and go up to $72.95.

The noiseless Neovin Strat sets are $84.95 to $89.95.
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Old 12-28-2012, 07:45 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by peskypesky
just for the record, normal GFS Strat pickup sets start at $45.95 and go up to $72.95.

The noiseless Neovin Strat sets are $84.95 to $89.95.

I was talking about single pickups not their sets
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