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Restoring an old Strat copy guitar

Yesterday we went to Dunbar Sloan auctions in Wellington to see if they had anything interesting.  We hadn't been before, but I'd been told by a friend that it's worth a look.

The list contained 407 items and number 401 was the one I wanted to make a bid on (I'll come to that shortly..).  We arrived about an hour before it was due to start, and had a good wander around the various lots.  There was lots of lots ;)

They had (from memory) 10 or so boxes of old books, boxes of old electrical items,  china, glassware, kitchen stuff, fridges, beds, old stereos and pretty much everything else you might think of :)

A few things caught our eyes.  Jacqui liked the look of a porcelain doll, there was a pretty little single chair and number 401 was a guitar & amp.  There was also a box of microphones that I liked the look of.

First up was the box of mics.  I put a bid of $30 on it (how exciting!) but someone went up to $50, and that was too much. There were several nice mics in there, but nothing worth $50.

Next the doll.  We expected it to go over $100, but I tentatively bid $20, not expecting much.  However, it was plenty, and we got the doll.  Nice :)

The chair came up next.  It's the sort of thing you see in Harvey Norman for $400, so I was expecting it to go for about $200.  It looked practically brand new.  We agreed not to exceed $150, and were pleasantly suprised to win it for $100!

Finally the guitar and amp. The amp is a well worn Peavey 108 Rage which seemed in pretty good condition. The guy said that they culdn't get the amp working, but having dealt with little amps like this several times over the years, I guessed it was probably little more that a lose wire.

The guitar was a VERY well worn stratocaster copy made by a company called "Legend" - never heard of them, but it seems fairly well made (others agree) .  The wood was decent quality and the neck was nice and straight.  It was missing a tuning head, and some of the metal bits were a bit rusty.  Still, so long as the wood is good, the rest can be restored or replaced.

So I decided not to exceed $100 - 60 for the amp, 40 for the guitar.  Probably a bit much for the guitar, but I liked the wee amp.

I think I got the price exactly right.  Another guy seemed keen, but stopped at $90.  So, I got them for a very reasonable $100.

When I got them home, a closer inspection revealed that neither had been cleaned in at least 10 years!  I got out my trusty screw driver and started to dismantle the amp.  By far the best way to clean this sort of stuff it to take it right down to it's components.  Clean each bit, the reassemble.

A quick trip to Mitre 10 to get new screws, and the amp is looking like new.  The input socket is a bit crackly, but I reckon I can fix that (bought a soldering iron for the job).


Looks pretty good.  New screws, and a bit of a clean. There's a little rust on the corners, but a bit of black paint will cover that up nicely :)


The guitar however, isn't so straight forward.

It seems to work OK when I plugged it in.  I made some fairly unpleasant noise, but a least it worked!  However, the missing machine head will need replaced (I can get the whole set fairly cheaply) and I'll have to get new electric bits. The pots are very noisy, the 5-way selector looks like it's made from recycled nappies.


All the bits have been removed for cleaning.  It's covered in crappy stickers, and for some reason, grease. 


It's also very dirty.  I took the whole thing to bits, and proceeded to clean.
The scratch plate is very odd.  Weird marble effect that just serves to make it look cheap.  It's also a bit warped so later I'll take a trip to a local guitar emporium, to see if I can get a new one.


Weird scratch plate.  It's a bit warped on the right near the volume knob holes.


Anyway : It's very much a work in progress, but I reckon it'll actually make a nice guitar when I'm finished.

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