1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Coworker brought in a Kay Stratotone 136

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by DavidV, Aug 8, 2018.

  1. DavidV

    DavidV Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    Does anybody here know anything about these guitars? A coworker brought this to show me when he found out I've been building guitars wanting to know what it is. I helped him narrow it down to a 50's Kay Stratotone. Someone did a hack job to it at some point, drilling out a gnarly cavity in the body and painting it black. It's missing the pickup and bridge.

    He thought it may be worth something as the prices on reverb were astronomical even for refinished guitars. I'm thinking it may be too far gone for a guitar with no trussrod and a plywood top.... Maybe I'm missing something? I did offer to help him restore it if he wanted to go that route just to buff up my resume but it would take a lot to get it to original. 20180808_165701.jpg 20180808_165608.jpg 20180808_165619.jpg 20180808_165625.jpg
     
  2. Trow

    Trow Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    568
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    Wow! That looks like a fun project. I think the necks typically had a steel rod in them, it isn't adjustable but its something to help it stay straight. I don't think we'll be able to tell from pictures if its salvageable. I think its worth a shot.
     
    nojazzhere and DavidV like this.
  3. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,293
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2016
    Location:
    oakland ca.
    beautifully relic job, what kind of pickup is planned for installation.This is a must see when completed
     
  4. drf64

    drf64 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    56
    Posts:
    9,375
    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    Location:
    Ada, MI
    yikes. I would call it too far gone. It looks like a troll carved out a cave and lived in it for 20 years
     
    Acoustotron, Zepfan and noah330 like this.
  5. SecretSquirrel

    SecretSquirrel Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Posts:
    3,082
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2015
    Location:
    PNW USA
    I could sink my teeth into that! How's the neck and frets?
     
    ukepicker and galaxiex like this.
  6. galaxiex

    galaxiex Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,304
    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2017
    Location:
    Edmonton, Alberta Canada
    This ^^^^

    Check neck for straight, clamp a bridge of some kind on it and see what it does under string tension.

    I could have fun with that!
     
    ukepicker and SecretSquirrel like this.
  7. Festus_Hagen

    Festus_Hagen Tele-Holic

    Age:
    54
    Posts:
    525
    Joined:
    Jul 6, 2016
    Location:
    Jeff City, Mo.
    That is EXACTLY how I would want mine to look!

    "Custom Shop " . :cool:
     
    Danjabellza and nojazzhere like this.
  8. Mr. Lumbergh

    Mr. Lumbergh Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    8,561
    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2013
    Location:
    Initech, Inc.
    They just never specified which shop. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
     
    nojazzhere and SecretSquirrel like this.
  9. DavidV

    DavidV Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
    I'd like to find a 50's DeArmond pickup for it but they're hard to find and pricey. Plan B wound be trying to wind something similar sounding in a mini humbucker or soapbar cover.

    He told me that when he got it there was a 2x4 nailed into the cavity and filled with wood filler. there was a pickup taped to the top but it wasn't the original.

    The neck is actually straight from what I could tell, if there is a steel bar under there it probably could be playable since the neck is so thick. The frets are worn low, really low. If he wants it to be playable then I'd have to refret it for him.


    I'm not sure what he's going to decide, he was on board with getting it to be playable until he found out collectors were paying money for good ones. I'm confident that I could get it playing and looking nice with some work, but I don't know enough to get it in original shape, nor do I think it would be worth anything if I did. The only original parts he has are the body, neck, tuning keys, and tailpiece. My plan if he does take me up on the work is routing a nice square cavity over that troll cave and gluing a matching piece of wood in, hoping it won't telegraph through a nitro finish. Kay guitar.jpg
     
  10. dented

    dented Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,046
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2006
    Location:
    Packing up
    I'd take it in a minute. Find out what your pup mounting options are.
     
  11. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

    Posts:
    10,732
    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Location:
    Horn Lake, MS
    Well after finalizing the paint removal, filling in the pickup cavity the correct way and filling dings/scratches, I would put a Lollar Gold Foil or Firebird pickup in it. Maybe both.:twisted:
     
    Paul in Colorado and DavidV like this.
  12. Anode100

    Anode100 Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,773
    Joined:
    May 9, 2014
    Location:
    Behind my beard.
    I'd shoot for a single P90.

    Just resist the urge to drop a Floyd Rose in there... :D
     
    Zepfan and nojazzhere like this.
  13. Trow

    Trow Tele-Holic

    Posts:
    568
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2010
    Location:
    Utah
    I think gfs makes gold foil clones. Idk how good they are or if they have the model that originally was installed on her, but it might be a place to start
     
    nojazzhere likes this.
  14. warrent

    warrent Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,847
    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2009
    Location:
    toronto
    It's a really cool project, but I'm curious how much does your coworker think it's worth?
     
  15. jayyj

    jayyj Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,424
    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2014
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    I looks like a really cool project! If you do go for it can we have work in progress posts please? I love a good workshop diary!

    Me too! Bearing in mind a similarly hacked up 50s Gibson Melody Maker husk is worth a few hundred bucks, I'm not seeing a whole lot of money making potential in this one.
     
    Zepfan and nojazzhere like this.
  16. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,293
    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2016
    Location:
    oakland ca.
    i WAS READING ABOUT FILTERTRON pickup I think that I read ... T.V. Jones/Gretsch may have created a Dearmond pickup to replicate the pre filtertron pickup
    Gretch
     
    Paul in Colorado and Zepfan like this.
  17. DavidV

    DavidV Tele-Meister

    Age:
    26
    Posts:
    102
    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2017
    Location:
    Springfield, MO
  18. ukepicker

    ukepicker Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,953
    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2013
    Location:
    Texas
    I would've left it like that!
    Best tone I ever heard was from a gutted silvertone 1446 with a dearmond duct taped to the body on a popsicle stick - My buddy bought two non-functioning guitars at a Goodwill for $25 and cobbled them together with ductape. It played well enough, too. Just needed a little setup work. I offered him lots of money for it, and he wouldn't take it. :)

    The Dearmond Toasters are unbelievably good pickups. He had this.

    But a nice P90 would be good too. And the original lipstick in dad's old 1446 is not far off.

    I've talked with Tim at SundayHandwound about my 1446. Not about the pickups, but he seemed to be familiar with the guitar. I'll bet he'd be able to wind you something in the ballpark. He always does very high quality work, and is great to work with.
     
    BB likes this.
  19. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,409
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kimberton
    Zepfan and telemnemonics like this.
  20. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Posts:
    16,409
    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2003
    Location:
    Kimberton
    And...the money is the "Harmony Stratotone" on the headstock.
    I recently bought an original of the guitar you have, branded Rex.
    Plenty of wear, but dead cool.
    The owner thought he had something, too because it's virtually a Stratotone.
    He started around 1000 and I watched his price drop and drop.
    I was glad to get it for 450, delivered.
     
    telemnemonics, DavidV and nojazzhere like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.