[QUESTION] How do I bring my old friend back to life?

Where do I begin bringing my old friend back to life?

Hi all. I’m looking to bring this, my first meaningful guitar, back to life:


This is a Tom Delonge Fender Stratocaster and it was a perfect guitar but I have treated it badly these last years. It’s been in my loft. I’m ashamed of this but let’s not dwell on it. In the past, it’s been gigged to death and used for endless studio time. But I’ve let it rot. I want to bring it back to a state of beauty and have it as my main guitar for home study. The pickguard has gone a funny colour. I bet it needs one hell of a set up.

For context, I’ve been playing guitar since I was 13 (I’m 34 now). Marriage, house buying and baby making/managing have reduced my play time to virtually nothing in the last 5 years. But now I am learning theory and I want to learn how to set up a guitar. I am going to bring this guitar back to life with my own hands. Please help.

I’m open to changing the aesthetics of this guitar here and there. Here are my questions, to which I would love direct and totally opinionated answers:

  • Can I buy any Stratocaster scratchplate and place it on this guitar? I would like a black scratchplate, I think. What would you do?
  • What kit do I need to set up a guitar?
  • Who is best to read/watch in order to gain knowledge on setting up a guitar?
  • Can I replace the tuning pegs? Would you? They look dull as shit.
  • How do I safely clean the pickup?
  • Finally, what would you do?

Thanks for any help you can give me. I can’t wait to learn all of this.

submitted by /u/bobknarwhal
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