This is typical of and Strats

Dating stratocaster pots

It can be stamped or marked on any product to identify the production source vendor and date of manufacturer. What I'm saying is that pot and capacitory date codes are not a reliable indicator of guitar build dates. The exterior thick foil sticker is now no longer used. The handle was a smooth plastic-leather over metal.

Notice the redish material the factory used to angle the neck. Different than the s one-piece maple necks.

This saved a spray step when shooting a sunburst finish. If the code is seven digits long, then the fourth and fifth digits indicate the year. Since I primarily collect amps by Fender, and guitars by Gibson, Fender, Martin, National, Epiphone, Gretsch and Rickenbacker, I really can't help them with these other less popular brands. But now the center wheel is white plastic instead of brown bakelite.

Note there is some overlap. Tweed, brown tolex, white tolex.

The position of the nail holes was moved on the Telecaster only. One nail hole near the neck pocket on a May Fender Stratocaster. They instead used the paint stick to suspend the body while drying. Most gray bottom pickups have a deep burgundy colored pickup wire.

Old style Telecaster bridges. It's worth mentioning since a lot of people rely on pot dates. Pre Fender guitars have a serial number on the bridgeplate or neckplate. Fenders distributed in other countries were often shipped without cases. This seems silly, as we're talking about electronic parts not eggs.

Jazzmasters and Jaquars also used other colors like red and blue. Fender used this technique into the s. This case was basically rectangle, but with very rounded corners. Most gray bottom pickup assemblies have at least one pickup with a hand written date. The and later white pickguards do yellow a bit with age.

Switch made of metal and a fiberous brown bakelite type material holding the switch contact that has flat side cuts. Serial numbers compiled from several sources including myself, Gruhn, and Duchossoir. Pickups are dipped in hot wax to eliminate microphonics, and this wax is evident on the entire pickup. Other Plastic Parts pickup covers, knobs. Tuner buttons were chrome plated plastic.

Fender used nitrocellulose lacquer for all finishes. Usually this isn't too difficult. Also shown is the difference between reissue and original slab board necks.

Also by the rosewood changed from Brazilian to Indian rosewood. In either case, all original Tele switch tips have some stampings on their bottom side.

Also by the rosewood changedIn either case all