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Old March 6th, 2013, 10:31 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Don't hear of many pine strats...why?

I built a couple successful pine teles, as have many others. In fact, I'd have to say the best playing tele in my stable is a sugar pine with a USACG neck and pickups from a CS pine Esquire.

So feeling the urge to create a new strat (after my son started playing and claimed my best one), I snagged a pine body on ebay from Danny Hines.

Did a search to see which direction other builders took it and found only a few isolated mentions of pine strats.

Why is that? Granted there is no equivalent in strat legend to the pine esquire, but since strats have been made of every wood that sprouts out of the Earth, as well and lucite, aluminum and who knows what else, this shouldn't stop anybody.

I'm building one. Anybody else running pine strats or harboring strong opinions on the issue?

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Old March 7th, 2013, 12:01 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Maybe it's a structural issue, soft wood, trem bridge?
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Old March 7th, 2013, 12:48 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I'm guessing the pine might be a bit harder to do the arm and belly cuts out of--splintering pine or issues with porosity for the finish?

There is a historic basis for pine teles based on the snakehead tele prototype being pine. It just *feels* more right for a bandsaw slab tele being made of pine than a complex streamlined shape like a strat.

But sure, do a pine strat if you like; should be a fine guitar. I can't imagine that pine is any more of a problem to work with than paulownia/empress or really soft ash or basswood.

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Old March 7th, 2013, 12:57 AM   #4 (permalink)
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If it were a hardtail, I don't see any problem at all. As Ringo mentioned, there could possibly be an issue with the vibrato bridge. Definitely post pics if you do it. Strats are my favorite guitars.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 01:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Possibly a valid point about the trem screws, but there are a zillion basswood, pauwlonia, etc. soft wood strats around when you think about it.

I'm leaning toward the explanation that strat folks just haven't thought about it, whereas tele builders caught on to pine...probably most spurred on, as I was, by this site.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 01:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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The reason I don't use pine for strat bodies is because those tummy and forearm contours are a bitch to smooth out on pine. The curved surfaces are very tough to sand evenly to get a nice smooth curve. Then, when you put some finish on it, the grain swells, and it starts the sanding smooth nightmare all over again. Other lightwoods, like obeche, don't suffer from the issue.
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Old March 7th, 2013, 04:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Yeah, Colt, I hear ya on sanding and finishing pine.

One sugar pine body I tried to do a real nice seal, fill, and high polish reranch nitro oly white job on had some minor grain sinking in spots and strange fine raised lines that popped up two years after I shot it. Had to hit the whole thing with fine sandpaper and repolish.

Just a fact of life for me but I can see how that would raise an eyebrow if it were a custom job done for a picky customer.

Pine strat bodies are available from a number of the CNC outfits though, which takes some of the pain out of it for those who go storebought. However, a perfect and lasting pro gloss finish might be difficult.
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Old March 15th, 2013, 05:17 AM   #8 (permalink)
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I have a thread here re: a custom pine Strat that I had a luthier make for me. My first pine Strat. I'll also post feedback (re: tone or otherwise) here for review once the project is complete.
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