Fender American Original '60s Finish

Geoff06

Strat-O-Master
Nov 15, 2021
533
Wisconsin
My thought about the drum sander got me wondering. Does anyone know if Fender runs their American bodies through a drum sander during production? If so, any idea what speed they normally have the feed set at? If the feed belt or the rollers of a drum sander had something really, really weird going on, I wonder if it could result in a surface that would look like that after a quick hand-sanding.
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
5,570
Edmonton, Alberta
Would you still it after it's been sanded down though? Don't they make the body super smooth and it's the primer that grabs the paint?

Yes I’ve had many nitro finished AVRI and custom shops that show the body seams in certain lighting. Same with the grain, especially on a ash or alder body with heavy grain patterns.

The thicker the finish it’s not as easy to feel the grain but on these even with the polyurethane sealer, it’s applied thin then the thin nitro top coat.

Go check out a AV flash coat lacquer or a custom shop. They’re all sanded flat too. Remember these are tools, not precision rockets. They are sanded flat but not tested with a straight edge and a 0.0001 feeler blade as you would do for say a cylinder head.
 

AV59

Senior Stratmaster
Aug 3, 2015
2,948
New York
If you look closely from this angle, just straight light in the room, you'll notice the wavy look to it. This is what I am referring to. On top of that, you can actually feel it.
I totally understand why this would bother some, but I actually kind of like it. If it plays well, I’d probably keep it. It’s unique. Personal taste thing I guess.
 

evansj87

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 12, 2019
20
Augusta Township, MI
I totally understand why this would bother some, but I actually kind of like it. If it plays well, I’d probably keep it. It’s unique. Personal taste thing I guess.
Thanks for the input! I am continuing to think about it. The best part of the guitar is the Rosewood fretboard. One of the nicest wood grains I've ever seen.
 

evansj87

Strat-Talk Member
Feb 12, 2019
20
Augusta Township, MI
Now that I see it is not a black AO I retract my prior indication of suspecting a fake, and insert the belief that it was a crappy finish, but not so crappy I would return it if it plays well.
I return guitars because I do not like how they sound or play or feel, but lacking the finish falling off, I might overlook this.
Thanks for the post. It does sound and play well. I'm still kind of processing what I want to do. Definitely some mixed feelings about it, but we'll see what happens.
 

StratAlchemist

Senior Stratmaster
Jan 28, 2010
1,137
Traveler
Yes I’ve had many nitro finished AVRI and custom shops that show the body seams in certain lighting. Same with the grain, especially on a ash or alder body with heavy grain patterns.

The thicker the finish it’s not as easy to feel the grain but on these even with the polyurethane sealer, it’s applied thin then the thin nitro top coat.

Go check out a AV flash coat lacquer or a custom shop. They’re all sanded flat too. Remember these are tools, not precision rockets. They are sanded flat but not tested with a straight edge and a 0.0001 feeler blade as you would do for say a cylinder head.
Can confirm to seeing the center seam on a 2012 59AV. Starting to get a little checking at the back of the trem too. You can see the seam by looking at the distortion of the overhead light in this pic. AB2075DA-2E97-4F89-9840-AACBA1A2D407.jpeg
 

Intune

Most Honored Senior Member
Jan 14, 2021
5,570
Edmonton, Alberta
Can confirm to seeing the center seam on a 2012 59AV. Starting to get a little checking at the back of the trem too. You can see the seam by looking at the distortion of the overhead light in this pic. View attachment 584741

Especially with any of the AV series. The flash coat lacquer is thin with a nitro based sealer. So it’s very easy to see the seams and you’ll probably notice the grain patterns soon, if not already. It doesn’t sink in as much on a alder body but it still does to a certain degree. Looks great.

That to me is the finish fender should have put on all the reissues since the very first run in 1982, not flip flop back and forth.
 

3bolt79

Dr. Stratster
Oct 16, 2018
14,778
Oregon
This is exactly what I am talking about. If you look at the guitar at an angle in the light you will see ripples across the top of the guitar like this. I have owned many strats, but never seen anything like this. If you run your finger across it you will feel your finger go up and down the waves as well. So you can definitely feel it. Trying to understand if it's a poor sanding job or what is going on. 🤷🏼‍♂️
If it’s new, send it back.
 

BuffaloHound

Senior Stratmaster
Sep 25, 2018
1,340
S
It’s certainly a defect. Hard to believe that one made it past QC.
But it looks kinda cool and doesn’t affect playing. I might keep it if it was mine. But I’d have to see it in person.
You’re not being anal if you wanna return it. Totally reasonable.
 

buzzword

Strat-Talker
Silver Member
Nov 12, 2020
118
Los Angeles
Usually when pain sinks into the grain the texture is a lot more abrupt, on yours the waves are smoooooooth. I've never seen anything like this before. Not to mention that grain lines tend to run longitudinally, not across the body.
Those aren't grain lines, simply light reflecting off the finish. I'm looking at my guitars right now, they all have vertical grain yet are all currently showing horizontal reflections exactly like this one. Betting he has horizontal blinds.
 

Martins Strat

Strat-O-Master
Jul 28, 2018
793
UK
Those aren't grain lines, simply light reflecting off the finish. I'm looking at my guitars right now, they all have vertical grain yet are all currently showing horizontal reflections exactly like this one. Betting he has horizontal blinds.
Have a look at the picture in post #33.
 

BryMelvin

Senior Stratmaster
Silver Member
Feb 13, 2014
1,076
AZ
Hi All,

Just wanted to see if anyone has ever seen anything like this or if you own a Stratocaster that has this. I have owned a few and never seen this before. If you look at the attached photo, you'll notice that the top of the guitar is very wavy. If you run your finger across it you can actually feel your finger go up and down ever so slightly over the top of the guitar. Is this normal? I don't think it is, but I'm curious to get some opinions on this. There is also a spot above the neck plate where there's a couple indentations or sunken in areas. My assumption is that they didn't get enough filler in those spots or something.

It's a great playing and sounding guitar for sure, just seems like the finish is a little off. I am curious to get some input on this though.

Thanks!
It looks to me like the grain filler used has shrunk and grain filler was used to fix a rip out in the wood. The front of the body is just reflections of distorted light.
 
Last edited:

Jekscar

Strat-Talk Member
Mar 30, 2015
14
Italy
Before returning, I'd rather check the sustain, neck and body pocket clearence/joint, fret finishing, and of course the sound. To me they are the most important manufacturing features. For the laquer, earlier it wear better is it for me, and if the waves accelerate the process they are welcome.
 


Top