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  • First parts build

    In a way I hate the idea of posting this here because it takes away some of my excuses for procrastination, but that's also a good reason in favour too...
    Anyway, this is something I have been thinking about and it's a good time for it I reckon.

    I recently picked up an alder body from Northwest guitars.

    The idea is to put together a vintage 'style' 3 tone sunburst strat.

    'Style' because I am absolutely not trying to make a strict copy of a vintage guitar and it will not be reliced. I just want something that feels comfortable, has a decent finish (i.e. not thick poly) and looks superficially like an older sunburst strat and if at all possible, resonates well. I've no problem with it picking up a natural relic later, but won't do anything to beat up the guitar.

    FYI I haven't been able to upload pics yet, but I will do asap.

    I am hoping to get a local guy to paint the body in sunburst once I have all necessary drilling and sanding done, but if that doesn't work out I will try my hand at finishing it myself.

    It will be my first build and my first SSS strat. I have a pickup set ready and the neck is a maple neck I bought here on the forum some time ago.

    I've had it several years but despite having it on a guitar I never put a finish on it. I have decided to put the original neck back on that guitar and use the maple neck for a new parts build.

    Unfortunately, the majority of the remaining parts were delayed as I ordered them in the same place and one of them was back ordered. I'll be using the time for sanding the body and preparing the neck.

    I'll continue to add to this as I go.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    I have a really sweet flame maple Strat body that I’m gonna refinish and assemble. Looking forward to seeing how yours comes out.
    "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And it’s the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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    • #3
      This sounds like a fun project! I look forward to the pics and progress!
      Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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      • #4
        I managed to upload a couple of pics of the body in the first post above.

        They're from when it arrived - not that Iīve done much sanding yet in any case.

        It was sold as a two-piece Alder body, but I donīt see any joint. No complaints either way.

        The pickups are a Bareknucle Apache set with a baseplate on the bridge pickup. Iīm very keen to hear how they sound.

        I spent some time rolling the fret-ends and the edges of the fretboard as the fret-ends had been annoying me. I used masking tape to cover the fretboard and filed the edges with a fine, flat, file. Then I used the corner of a sanding sponge and went over it again to smooth it a bit more.

        After I removed the tape, I used a screwdriver shaft to roll the fingerboard.

        Not sure thatīs necessarily the best way to do it or that Iīve done the most amazing job but it certainly feels a lot better that it was before.
        Letīs see if it makes a big difference to the way it actually plays once itīs all put together.

        I havenīt polished the frets and I probably wonīt, although I may possibly give it another once-over before I consider that finished.

        Iīll just use the tuners and nut I had on there at first. I'll eventually need to replace the tuners as theyīll need to go back on the other guitar they came from at some stage but there's no hurry with that for now.

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        • #5
          I will be starting a new build in the new year, too. I'll start a thread when it gets closer to getting the parts.
          Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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          • #6
            What Trem and Tuners?

            My personal choice: Schaller locking and a Wilkinson V100. Best damn thing I ever played. That alone was reason enough why I should have never sold that Yamaha Pacifica...
            Originally posted by Bad City
            He's got the crowd on his side and the blue jean lights in his eyes...

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            • #7
              I am a big fan of the Wilkinson. The Super Vee Blade Runner is another great one. I dig Hipshot open locking tuners.
              Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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              • #8
                I have a Gotoh vintage style six point trem ordered, but I havenīt decided on the tuners yet.

                The neck currently has a set of black Gotoh mini 510 locking tuners as the guitar that neck was on has all black hardware. (I actually have a Wilkinson / Gotoh VS-100 for that but havenīt currently got access to an adequate workspace to do the routing needed for the body to accept it.)

                Iīm not crazy about the locking mechanism on those as it seems to take longer to string them (unless you have three hands on the job - one to pull the string, one to turn the tuner and one to hold the screwdriver in place to hold the lock).
                My preference is the thumb screw on the back, seems much more comfortable and quicker.

                Have been contemplating possibly these tuners but still open to suggestions.
                https://www.gear4music.es/en/Guitar-...-6-Nickel/34Z1

                I have a few days off next week before any other parts arrive, so Iīll concentrate on sanding down the body.

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                • #9
                  Never used those locking tuners. I prefer any locking tuners over non-locking, and it helps if they are staggered on a flat headstock without string trees. I do look for lightweight tuners, though, so generally Schaller and Sperzel are are out.
                  Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by playas View Post
                    The neck currently has a set of black Gotoh mini 510 locking tuners as the guitar that neck was on has all black hardware. (I actually have a Wilkinson / Gotoh VS-100 for that but havenīt currently got access to an adequate workspace to do the routing needed for the body to accept it.)

                    Iīm not crazy about the locking mechanism on those as it seems to take longer to string them (unless you have three hands on the job - one to pull the string, one to turn the tuner and one to hold the screwdriver in place to hold the lock).
                    My preference is the thumb screw on the back, seems much more comfortable and quicker.
                    The tuners on my SG Standard have a similar locking mechanism. I thought you needed a screwdriver at first, but you really don't and it frequently is easier not to use one. At least on my SG I find that the mechanism self-locks when tuning up, as it self unlocks when removing the strings during a change.
                    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by playas View Post
                      The neck currently has a set of black Gotoh mini 510 locking tuners as the guitar that neck was on has all black hardware. (I actually have a Wilkinson / Gotoh VS-100 for that but havenīt currently got access to an adequate workspace to do the routing needed for the body to accept it.)

                      Iīm not crazy about the locking mechanism on those as it seems to take longer to string them (unless you have three hands on the job - one to pull the string, one to turn the tuner and one to hold the screwdriver in place to hold the lock). My preference is the thumb screw on the back, seems much more comfortable and quicker.
                      I thought the 510s were supposed to pinch the string in place as you turned the tuner, there's nowhere I've seen where a screwdriver is necessary.

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                      • #12
                        In my ever-so-humble opinion, old school tuners where the end of the string goes down into the post are the best locking tuners. If you’re like me and you swap out parts a lot, you can remove and reinstall the strings many times without deforming the wraps at the end. Every locking tuner I’ve tried breaks the string at the tuner after one or two times.
                        "Patience is key. Hard work is obligatory. And it’s the decisions you make right now, not the habits of the past, that will shape your success in the future." - Janek Gwizdala

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                        • #13
                          The screwdriver is not 'needed'. It does make the process a lot quicker though.

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                          • #14
                            Here are a few pics of the neck Iīll be using, after rolling the fretboard / fret ends.

                            Click image for larger version

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                            Click image for larger version

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                            Most of the parts have now arrived, including the bridge so I have been measuring centrelines etc. trying to get the bridge position set.

                            Unfortunately I have come up against a couple of issues.

                            First is that the neck is anything but a snug fit. Body and neck still need to be finished, but I think Iīll need to sand the heel down the tiniest bit to fit the curve of the body so it will eventually sit more snugly.

                            Second is the fit of the trem. When measuring the 647.7mm (25.5") to mark the position of the bridge, from what I have read the 6 screw hole positions should be at exactly that point.

                            This always seemed counter-intuitive to me as the holes are ahead of the point where the strings bend over the saddles. Surely the measurements should be from roughly the centre of the range of movement of the saddles, to the nut....i.e. the two points from which the strings stretch. Am I wrong here? Also I checked using a different neck and the measurements are different, but closer to the saddle position than the tremolo post (/screw hole) position with both necks.

                            So if I were to allow for that I would need to completely re-route the tremolo cavity further back. As is, the line I have marked matches closer to the actual saddle position.

                            Any suggestions and comments welcome, especially constructive ones.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by JB_From_Hell View Post
                              In my ever-so-humble opinion, old school tuners where the end of the string goes down into the post are the best locking tuners.
                              Me too. I think those are called Klusons. All my old MIA Peavey's have them.

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