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Old 08-26-2011, 02:11 AM   #1
GandalfWh1te
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Lefty Stratocaster build

Gidday GB&C

After many months of research, I've started building a new guitar! Lefty strat,
Will be using the hardware and neck off an old ashton strat I own. One peice maple neck, rosewood fingerboard, 22 frets.

Body: Kaihikatea (white pine) (native NZ hardwood) natural finish, possibly stained.

Electronics: S/S/S tone, tone, vol. (undecided on pickup brand)

Theres two key reasons for this build; the first is I need a nice guitar with working electronics, and this is a build up (har har) towards a Les Paul build I have invested some serious coin in wood supplies for, which I don't want to be making noob mistakes with.

Ok so heres the template I knocked together this arvo.

First I printed the blueprint, and sellotaped together

All cut out and ready to glue to the mdf (contact adheisive is great, but use sparingly!)

Tools of the trade

All cut out, sanded, with the blueprint scraped off


Now that I've got a good template I can start churning strat bodies out like nothing!!!

Hopefully over the weekend I will have found some suitable timber and can get the ball rolling! Will take pictures of the stacks of wood we have lying around our shed- I'm really spoilt for choice!

Last edited by GandalfWh1te : 09-20-2011 at 11:33 PM.
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Old 09-20-2011, 11:45 PM   #2
GandalfWh1te
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Found some Kaihikatea (aka white pine) decided to see how it'd turn out.


Off cut sanded and grain wetted:


Body (3 peice) and template:


Body Rough Cut:


Unfortunately the wood has some borer, hopefully after contouring it won't be so prominent, as I quite like the look of the grain and would like have a natural finish.

I was impatient and rough cut the body, 3-4 hours after glueing. Do you think I should wait another 20 hrs before routing? Titebond says do not stress joint for 24hrs.
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Old 09-21-2011, 04:42 PM   #3
alexhughes70
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Nice looking build so far!, How did you print the template onto several A4 Sheets and where did you get he template from?
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Old 09-21-2011, 08:28 PM   #4
GandalfWh1te
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alexhughes: I D/L the zip file from here, I then multi-paged the pdf with a program called PStill, heres a link to the instructions for what you're trying to do:

http://www.wizards.de/~frank/HowTo/...LargePages.html

If you're lazy pm me your email and I'll email the pdf all ready to print. You're building a Les Paul right?

Some more wood pics! Will rout the body out tonight, then can start shaping.





EDIT:

Did most of the routing just now. First time routing, learned afew things, no major cutouts, afew minors.

The router bit twas not long enough, so I had a to use two different bits, one with bearing on top, one with bearing on bottom.

First Pass:


Second Pass plus cavities:



Tomorrow I will (hopefully):
Strip the donor strat, mockup hardware and take measurements.
Measure neck, make template for neck pocket and rout.
Go around the edges with a beveled bit (not sure if its called that, the one that rounds edges off! )
Carve Belly and arm contours.
Fill afew holes with epoxy.
I also plan on having a flush mounted jack apposed to the top mount football shaped jack standard to strats so I'll need to sort that out.

Last edited by GandalfWh1te : 09-22-2011 at 03:26 AM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:20 PM   #5
GandalfWh1te
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Update; Got some parts in the post,
Blank bone nut, Neck screws, pickguard screws, 'string through body' ferrules. No excuses not to put it all together now. Not sure if I mentioned in OP, its going to be a hardtail. Am using strat trem bridge, as you can see, bolted solidly into the wood.



And a mockup.


Will have it strung up tomorrow, have just finished putting the ferrules in the back, and the nut is currently epoxyd in and clamped down.

QUESTION!

I've got this set of pickups on order from guitar fetish:
Jimi-Reverse-Stagger-Alnico-Premium-Pickup
I'm wondering, these (and most pickups) are designed for a righthanded guitar, (I think) so the pole peices aren't going to be balanced as they are designed. So, is it good practice to rotate pickups 180 degrees for fitting into a lefty????

Edit:
N/m found the answer, twas as I expected, to be true to form, single coil strat pickups ie. fixed pole pickups should be rotated 180 degrees. Supposedly sounds ok most of time without doing this. Except, I'm a moron and bought pickups designed to emulate jimi for a r/h player. DUH. If I'd bought standard strat pickup set, I'd have had the same result. I like making things hard for myself apparently !
Now I just hope the pickup wire is long enough to reach when flipped!

Last edited by GandalfWh1te : 10-09-2011 at 11:35 PM.
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Old 10-09-2011, 11:47 PM   #6
Ippon
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Nice build! Transparent Amber finish?

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Old 10-10-2011, 12:22 AM   #7
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I think more like, lets hope the pickups fit in the cavities backwards. But seriously, I doubt it'll make much of a difference as to which way round they're put. Also, damn, that is a really cool grain that wood's got! And did you cut it from that first piece of wood I see? Because that one looks really cracked.
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Old 10-10-2011, 06:38 AM   #8
GandalfWh1te
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Cheers fellas,
Ippon, the latest pics show it finished with two coats of danish oil. Since the wood had a couple of flaws I thought the more natural looking oiled finish works better with this particular guitar.
[read: I f*d up the arm contour, the wood has the odd borer, and I was slack on the sanding! ]

And LeviMan I think you may be referring to the pic titled 'off cut sanded and grain wetted' I think that bit came off the end of a plank hence the cracks.

I feel slightly foolish after my previous post going on about pickup orientation, thinking about it afterwards, I realised the set I ordered are just a set of left hand pickups, so R/H players can be cool like Jimi Hendrix. From guitarfetish.com:
"The Jimi set features reverse stagger- makes those Strat power chords hotter and thicker!! Jimi didn't flip a righty guitar around to play lefty 'cause it looked cool- the reverse stagger creates a slightly stronger "A" string and a slightly smoother "B" string- subtle but powerful."
I highly doubt I'd be able to note any discernible difference myself anyways!

Also I checked on the neck just now and the epoxy has just started hardening, wasn't very warm today so its taken longer than usual. Should be set proper by the morning, so I can get onto filing the nut down, then get the neck bolted, and string er up !!
- Then I'm just waiting on the pickups and pickgaurd blank to arrive from USA and she'll be complete
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Old 10-29-2011, 06:41 AM   #9
GandalfWh1te
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Since last update I have installed neck, built a pickgaurd, wired it all up, shielded the cavitys, and roughly slotted the nut. I'm waiting to get a smaller file to get the higher 3 strings slotted deeper.So apart from finishing slotting the nut, and changing the legs over on tone pot 1 (its wired backwards) its about complete. I'll take some pictures outside tomorrow with a good camera.

I plugged her in for the first time today, pretty happy with the sound, and am stoked there is next to no unwanted feedback, the shielding really works wonders.
If you have a noisy strat, and some tinfoil and glue, I would highly recommend shielding it.
like this:
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Old 11-21-2011, 09:18 PM   #10
GandalfWh1te
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update time

Got the knobs and some other bits and pieces from stewmac, so thought I'd post some pics, am 99% finished, just needs the nut slotted, but I'm waiting for files to show up...

The Workstation:


An observant eye may notice; A stunning white and orange Amp, which I recently built, its the Ruby Amp, and her purpose is to test circuits, sit on my bench in easy reach, and not take up too much space. She does her job very well, and sounds pretty tasty for SS amp that runs 1/2 a watt !
The circuits she will be testing are so far some fuzz faces, and a big muff pi which you can see in the pic above. Plan on building more circuits as soon as parts arrive. Have ordered parts for 5x ea of Klon Centaur, MXR Envelope Filter, ProCo Ratt, DOD Compressor.

Any how, heres the obligatory pics of strat posing in the sun:
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Old 12-06-2011, 05:31 PM   #11
divinorum69
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Wow so little replys. Looks great. It is a little bit thicker than normal strats right? How much does it weigh? aprox.
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Old 12-06-2011, 07:55 PM   #12
Heilz
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My sir, i salute thee for making such a beautiful looking instrument :]

I hope you enjoy it as much as i enjoyed looking at this
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:07 PM   #13
GandalfWh1te
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Thank you kindly good sir. Indeed I do enjoy playing it; almost as much as making it

divinorum69: it is 43mm thick, sooo.... *checks strat plans* its actually 2mm thinner I suck at guessing weights, but I'd say its probably lighter than you're average strat- I could be way wrong there though
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Old 12-14-2011, 03:50 PM   #14
divinorum69
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I do not understand. My build, my current strat build is 45mm, and it seems veryyy thick-
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Last edited by divinorum69 : 12-14-2011 at 03:56 PM. Reason: Confusing sintaxis
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