It is currently Mon Feb 24, 2020 11:09 am

All times are UTC - 7 hours



Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Author Message
Post subject: vintage strats: look for dowels
Posted: Tue Aug 19, 2008 6:10 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
There have been posts about the mysterious holes under the pickguards of American Standard and MIM Standard Strats ... the CNC positioning holes.

Well it turns out that vintage guitars have had such holes too, from Day One. The difference being the holes were much smaller (for pins to hold routing jigs) and they plugged them with dowels!

Here's a picture of a 1963 strat body sanded clean:

Image

The two dowels are clearly visible as dark brown approximately 1/4 inch circles: one to the right of where the neck plate attaches, the other along the bottom edge, to the left of center. Some say that these holes go all the way through the body, but I don't think so as they don't seem to line up, front to back, on my guitars. The upper one can't be seen from the front as it's under the pickguard.

Even if the vintage guitar (1954 through the '70s) is painted, you can usually find the dowels because the paint and clear coat sink into the edges a bit. You just gotta hold it to the light right.

Sometime in the early '70s the positions of the dowels changed a bit and both can be found on front and back. Look for these the next time you are shopping for that vintage axe.

These dowels can be found on other Fender guitars too, of course.

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Last edited by orvilleowner on Fri Feb 18, 2011 9:16 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Top
Profile
Fender Play Winter Sale 2020
Post subject:
Posted: Wed Aug 20, 2008 8:43 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
Followup: on the Jazzmaster, there's a dowel right in the middle of the back of the guitar! Click on this link to a big interesting pic

http://www.jimshine.com/jaguar/faux1.jpg

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:12 am
Offline
Rock Icon
Rock Icon
User avatar

Joined: Tue Mar 11, 2008 10:08 am
Posts: 9034
Location: Louisiana
Good information guy. Thanks!! :wink:


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 7:16 am
Offline
Rock Icon
Rock Icon
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jul 16, 2007 6:51 pm
Posts: 25274
Location: Witness Protection Program
It also looks like a nice piece of ash. :wink:

_________________
Being able to play and enjoy music is a gift that's often taken for granted.

Don't leave home without it!


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 3:24 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
Here's more dowel fun. Check out these pics of a 1973 Music Master and play "spot the dowels."

http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n236 ... e/dow1.jpg
http://i113.photobucket.com/albums/n236 ... e/dow2.jpg

I didn't mention, but the dowels are assumed to be walnut.

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:08 pm
Offline
Rock Icon
Rock Icon
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:57 am
Posts: 13164
Location: Peckham: where the snow leopards roam
Well now, how fascinating. I was reading in that article to which you posted a link ( http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html ) about the holes under the pickguard on vintage instruments where nails had been driven in to support the guitar above a worktop whilst spraying the finish.

And now these other dowel-filled holes. Curious-er and curious-er.

We are to understand they are where the template was screwed to the body while the router was reading the shape off onto the roughly cut blank - that's it, right? Within which case the dowels must be in identical positions, at least for all the bodies made from a given individual template. Is that indeed the case?

While we are at it, has it now been established that those round indentations beneath the pickguard and sometimes in the neck pocket on modern guitars are indeed to do with the CNC positioning process? That was a theory I suggested, but I've not yet seen confirmation...

Cheers - C


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:19 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
Quote:
We are to understand they are where the template was screwed to the body while the router was reading the shape off onto the roughly cut blank - that's it, right? Within which case the dowels must be in identical positions, at least for all the bodies made from a given individual template. Is that indeed the case?


Not screwed, just pinned: pins hold the template to the body blank. They are in identical positions (for at least the time period that template was in use). Then they filled the pin hole with a walnut dowel. The dowels are easily seen on the few 30+ year old strats I have --- once you know to look for them and where.

Quote:
While we are at it, has it now been established that those round indentations beneath the pickguard and sometimes in the neck pocket on modern guitars are indeed to do with the CNC positioning process? That was a theory I suggested, but I've not yet seen confirmation.


Official confirmation? Let's check the Factory Tour pictures to see if we can see those big holes in action.

Quote:
I was reading in that article to which you posted a link ( http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html ) about the holes under the pickguard on vintage instruments where nails had been driven in to support the guitar above a worktop whilst spraying the finish. And now these other dowel-filled holes. Curious-er and curious-er.


I find it curious that no mention is made at that site of the dowels. I've not seen them mentioned in the books that go into minute detail. I have seen scant mention on the web (eg., eBay items where the dowels are used for authentication, which is why I created this thread). It seems to me to be a "Secret ID Method" that is held close to the vest among the Vintage Network. But I thought we all ought to know.

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 4:26 pm
Offline
Rock Icon
Rock Icon
User avatar

Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 4:57 am
Posts: 13164
Location: Peckham: where the snow leopards roam
In short; if we all hang on your coattails for long enough, we are all going to become somewhat expert in spotting genuine old guitars for ourselves! Then folks won't be needing to be sent to the dealers or the auction houses :D

Keep up the good work, fella. There's folks out here hoarding up every syllable that comes our way.

G'night - C


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Thu Aug 21, 2008 5:34 pm
Offline
Hobbyist
Hobbyist

Joined: Sun Apr 27, 2008 6:47 pm
Posts: 13
Quote:
I was reading in that article to which you posted a link ( http://www.provide.net/~cfh/fenderc.html ) about the holes under the pickguard on vintage instruments where nails had been driven in to support the guitar above a worktop whilst spraying the finish. And now these other dowel-filled holes. Curious-er and curious-er.


I seen on a factory tour video on youtube ( forgot how i found it) they hung the guitars to be sprayed by putting screws through the neckplate area where the neck bolts on and holding them that way, so as not to damage the body, this would also support the lack of paint in neck pockets...


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Fri Aug 22, 2008 5:51 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
More dowel information: there is a small dowel filled pin hole on the back side of a vintage Strat headstock. IIRC, it's between the D and G string tuners and covered by a tuner. This you can only see when you remove the tuners. Interesting tidbit: on a vintage lefthanded Strat, this dowel is clearly visible on the front of the headstock because they didn't have special lefty jigs!


Because there's so much interest :wink: here's a nice picture of the dowels on a 1960 P-Bass body (with closeups):

Image

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Last edited by orvilleowner on Fri Feb 18, 2011 8:58 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:11 pm
Offline
Hobbyist
Hobbyist

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 8
orvilleowner wrote:
Quote:
We are to understand they are where the template was screwed to the body while the router was reading the shape off onto the roughly cut blank - that's it, right? Within which case the dowels must be in identical positions, at least for all the bodies made from a given individual template. Is that indeed the case?


Not screwed, just pinned: pins hold the template to the body blank. They are in identical positions (for at least the time period that template was in use). Then they filled the pin hole with a walnut dowel. The dowels are easily seen on the few 30+ year old strats I have --- once you know to look for them and where.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

About the identical positions of the dowels, from my experience, and I have seen many old bodies. The dowels are always in different positions even with guitars from the same year and I haven't seen 2 guitars with the dowels at the exact same spot. The location of the dowels usually changes from one guitar to another and they are a bit left, right, up or down, but are roughly located in the same areas, sometimes very roughly. So I believe that they used many different templates. Also I have noticed on one of my guitars that is currently unfinished that the dowels are not in the same spot at the front and back, which means that the pins were not inserted straight into the body, but with an angel, this suggests that it was a manual job and not made by a machine. I will post pictures later on.


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 4:20 pm
Offline
Rock Icon
Rock Icon
User avatar

Joined: Mon Jun 30, 2008 10:47 am
Posts: 15336
Location: In a galaxy far far away
curiouser and curiouser.
my old history teacher could of learnt alot from this thread. I.E how to maintain pupil interest.

_________________
No no and no


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Sat Aug 23, 2008 5:47 pm
Offline
Rock Star
Rock Star
User avatar

Joined: Tue Jul 17, 2007 9:44 am
Posts: 7282
Location: Washington
VintagePhsyco wrote:
About the identical positions of the dowels, from my experience, and I have seen many old bodies. The dowels are always in different positions even with guitars from the same year and I haven't seen 2 guitars with the dowels at the exact same spot.


Welcome to the forum, VintagePhsyco!!

I haven't attempted to take accurate measurements, so this may be true. My pre-1973 Strats seem to have them in the same place, but I can't say for certain if they are in EXACTLY the same place body to body.

The positions of the dowels in my post-1973 Strats are quite different from the pre-1973 Strats. The post-1973 Strats' dowels seem to be consistently positioned.

I can certainly believe that different templates could have the pin holes in different places. Who knows how long a template lasted?

Other than my own guitars, I haven't seen very many pictures where the dowels can be clearly seen. I've been posting the pictures I know about. I'd love to see more, especially if we can discern the "moving" dowels. Thanks for the input.

As for front-to-back alignment of dowels. it DOES seem to me that they don't always line up, but other "experts" have told me that they have to line up because they are one hole through the body. Again, I haven't tried to prove/disprove that with accurate measurements. If the holes don't go through, then they could be quite shallow, a half inch or less? So the dowels could be quite short, and no angles involved.

What about the small dowels on the headstocks?

_________________
Member #26797
My other guitar is a Strat.

Image


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:02 am
Offline
Hobbyist
Hobbyist

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 8
I have just returned home and took a better look at the unfinished guitar I have, the guitar is a 1957 stratocaster. The dowels are indeed at different spots on the back and front and were probably made by 2 different pins and not by 1 hole through the body. I believe that they are not deep at all. If they were used for templates, the templates were probably pinned to the body to hold it in place, and then they cut the routes for the pickups, control cavity, bridge and so on, and then a template was placed on the back using the pins again, and the body was routed for the tremolo springs and bridge. I was thinking of why would there be a need to punch the pin all the way through the body from side to side, and came to the conclusion that there is NO REASON to do that unless you are pinning it down to a table or using 4 metal sticks to hold it in mid-air. Also, I once heard that they were not used for templates, but rather for holding the body while routing it, so that it wouldn't move. If someone has any corrections or thoughts about this process, I would love to hear them, dowels always interested me. All that I said above are just my personal thoughts and not actual facts, and I would love to know the truth of why they are there.


Top
Profile
Post subject:
Posted: Sun Aug 24, 2008 10:28 am
Offline
Hobbyist
Hobbyist

Joined: Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 8
Here are some photos of my guitar:

Image
Image
Image
Image
[/img]


Top
Profile
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 59 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next
Go to page 1, 2, 3, 4  Next

All times are UTC - 7 hours

Fender Play Winter Sale 2020

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to: