That headline might seem as though it is about to condemn something, however, it is really referring to what can happen when on an otherwise routine trip to a local waste disposal site to get rid of recyclable materials.
A few weeks ago, I had to replace my 20 years plus garden shed – the roof was in a sad state and only afforded marginally drier (less wet?) conditions for items stored there. Unfortunately, it would have been too much to have tried to repair so a new, bigger, stronger shed was ordered, for delivery on 9th October 2018.
Disposing of the old shed was no simple task and required dismantling, cutting up anything that was not directly reusable and then taking the several loads of wood to the ‘tip’. Whilst loading my first lot of waste wood in to the ‘wood skip’ I noticed a rather strange item poking from beneath rotting and smashed pieces of wood. On closer inspection I could clearly define what appeared to be a whole solid body electric guitar. “Shouldn’t be in the wood skip” was my uttered reaction and then informed one of the site staff. He retrieved the item and brought it down to dispose of in another non-specific waste skip. I politely asked, if the item was just going to be thrown away, could I take this and see if it could be ‘rescued’ – other than a few scratches, dirt and appalling strings it seems it could be given an extended life.
Roll on a few hours and I had the copy Stratocaster hooked up to an amp to find out the extent of its usability. First bad sign was awful crackling on inserting the jack plug to the guitar. On inspection it was clear the jack plug plate had been removed and replaced but the retaining nut for the jack socket was loose and poorly aligned. One spanner, cleaning cloth and a few minutes later – problem resolved. The pick-ups needed minor attention and worked just fine, though if to be improved needed replacing. Having found positive outcomes, so far, I ordered a new set of D’Addario light electric guitar strings from a local music shop … and a new back plate, as the original was missing.
Emboldened by this transformation I hooked up to my Blackstar ID Core 20 and … yes, this salvage job was now almost complete … except for the back plate. I ordered that on 19th October and it arrived on 7th November. I should have read the seller details much more closely as this was coming direct from China.
I won’t pretend that this is now as good as an original strat, or even some of the copies, but I now have a fully functioning solid body electric guitar that sounds reasonable through the ID Core 20. There is a little more cleaning in depth to be done which will then leave me with the dilemma of ‘what do I do with it?’ I really don’t have a need for it and it is occupying space in the house (no, I won’t consign it to the new shed – however good that is). I must give this more thought, although the point of writing this posting is, hopefully, to encourage others to look out for such items that are discarded which, with a little care, attention and very little expense bring back to life for another chance to be used.
Just as a finishing curiosity, so far I have spent £12 on strings and backplate, which is exactly the same amount I paid back in 1964 for a second hand ‘no brand’ copy stratocaster and a Watkins Westminster amplifier (all-in price). Spooky!
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