#1
A bit of an ambitious one; my first ever project. I'm calling it a build, but its just that i've got an old strat copy lying about that isnt doing too much for me. i really want to tidy her up, and get her to a playable standard again. I'm hoping once it gets underway, it should only take at most a month to get everything finished

The Current Spec
70's Style Maple body, Black
22 Fret Maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
Stock Hardware
Stock Pickups

I know its a bit of a marmite thing here, but i'm also looking to relic it, make it look a bit like Clapton's Blackie, or just one of the Road Worn Series.
Here's the plan:

+ Replace stock pickups with Fender Tex Mex pickups*
+ Replace neck (i'm not too keen on the rosewood fingerboard)
+ 'Relicing' the body, headstock and aging metal and plastic Hardware
+ Adding a graphic. still undecided. I'd want something like the Monterey Strat.

*I'm wondering if it would be possible to change from a fat strat to an SSS setup. Is it possible, and how could i do it?

EDIT: I'm looking to get a clean, glassy John Mayer/Clapton/Hendrix style bluesy sound, if that helps at all. I'm adding a picture right now
Attachments:
Plan.jpg
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Jun 4, 2010,
#2
By fat strat I'm gonna assume you mean HSS. Some of the highway 1 MIA strats are routed for HSS but are actually SSS, just be clever in covering it up, and fill out the hole.
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#3
you can change from a fat strat to an s/s/s just fine. going from an s/s/s strat to a humbucker setup requires routing unless you have a swimming pool route though. I also dont know if you would like the tex mex pickups they have a lot of bad reviews saying they are cold and ice picky. If you are going to spend a lot on custom pickups go texas specials *if you want fender* or lace or lindy fralin.
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#4
Thanks, i did try and upload a pic but its just not happening. ive got the plan from that kisekae on my profile in my pictures.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#5
A lot of work has already gone into the planning of this project. Did a bit of work today on deciding where i'm going to put in the body damage. this shows plenty of different places i was considering, but i doubt i'll put all of them in, i dont want to overdo it. To do it, I think im just going to rough it up with a bit of steel wool, and chip bits of the paintwork away.

Also, i've decided to keep the neck i've got for now. it doesnt play too badly, plus theres already a fair bit of wear on it, so it means less work when i come around to relicing it.
Attachments:
resized.jpg
body damage resized.jpg
body back damage resized.jpg
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#6
are you going to soak the knobs,pickguard and pickup covers in coffe or tea to color them? If you havent thought about that you should add it to the list
*lust list*
Vox tone lab
Vox ac50
satchurator
satches time machine
vintage phase 90
Money towards this gear = $0.00

Quote by Doctor Matthews
Yeah I dreamt I was fighting Master Hand, but then I woke up to realize I was jackin' it in my sleep.
#7
Quote by TechnoLp
are you going to soak the knobs,pickguard and pickup covers in coffe or tea to color them? If you havent thought about that you should add it to the list


yeah, that section was only really for aging on the actual body. for the plastic hardware im either going use tea or coffee, or use a thin layer of yellow shoe polish. ive heard some bad reviews on tea and coffee, so if it doesnt work, i'll go with the shoe polish.

I'm still in the planning stages, but the actual work might have to hold on for a while until i get the free time and neccessary supplies together.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#8
u sure it's maple body? o_o

if you get a graphic on it, then don't relic it! or vice versa!
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#9
Quote by ECistheBest
u sure it's maple body? o_o

if you get a graphic on it, then don't relic it! or vice versa!


Im not sure about the body... I'll get back to you on that one.

I was thinking if i did a graphic and then relic'd it, it would look authentic? if worst comes to worst, i'll stick to relicing. Thanks for the tip, i'll bear it in mind

I havent uploaded any pics of the actual guitar yet because i've sent it in to the shop. They set her up about a weeek ago, and they didnt put the springs back in under the pickups :') I should have it back by this weekend, i'll take a few photos and upload them, just so you can see what i've got to work with right now.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Aug 1, 2010,
#11
Your body is not maple. It's either ash or alder. When you post pics, get a shot of some bare wood somewhere and i can identify it.

I'm not a big fan of un natural relics, but i do appreciate it when it's done right. We'll see how you fair.
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#12
Ippon, im getting springs in it because i've been using it a lot recently, playing a lot of hendrix and clapton, bluesy stuff. plus its getting done for free, so i may aswell
basically i paid for them to put springs in under the pickups when i was having it set up, (because mine mysteriously dissapeared...?) and they didnt put any in. im not entirely sure what happened to the other springs, but my guitar teacher's said he'll put in the springs for me for free. i know on first look it seems a bit daft, but there is method in my madness. :P

and Metalwarrior, as soon as i have the guitar back, i'll try and expose a bit of the bodywork so you can have a look. I dont suppose it makes a great deal of difference what wood it is made with, does it?
i think the first thing i'll get done is the plastic hardware, i still need to find out where i can get the various tools and stuff. for the pickguard, knobs, pickup covers and switch head all i need is either tea or coffee, or some yellow shoe polish. Im not too shabby with a soldering iron, but i dont have one, so the electronics will have to wait.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#13
Update

I've decided im going to definitely put a graphic on the backplate of the guitar. using spray on plastic paint and a stencil, i'm going to put an image of Jimi Hendrix onto the guitar, something like this:

I may even see about engraving the neckplate with a quote or something, but i am on a budget, so i'll have to see how things pan out

EDIT: obviously, the graphic would be a bit thicker. i find microsoft paint very limiting
Attachments:
BACKPLATEresiszed.jpg
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Jun 6, 2010,
#14
for aging the fingerboard, what would you say is the best alternative to using a dremel tool? i dont have one, and i dont fancy forking out £35 when i could be spending it on the pickups. i'm on kind of a tight budget here, so i want to get the best i can out of this thing without cutting any corners.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#15
alright, i've been looking at it, and i reckon im gonna need some locking tuners. I use the trem a fair bit, and it keeps knocking the top E and the A strings out of tune, sometimes even the D. i think if this is worth doing, its worth doing well.
also my trem bar keeps going a bit wobbly after i've used it, just kind of wobbles a bit after i've used it. any help on how i can get it sorted?

Pics coming soon. cant get the exposed wood yet, havent bought any sandpaper. but i'll get to it. i'm off on holiday to rome in the first week of july, then the week after that i want to use the guitar for a school concert, so i am on a deadline here. i probably wont have it finished by then, but i'll give it a go.
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#16
Looks cool... Check out my bass build in my sig. Locking tuners on a strat does seem like a good idea. Have you thought of doing any wiring mods to this? You might want to look into getting a new bridge eventually because if i remember right the squire(/copy) ones aren't that great.
#17
im not sure what you mean by wiring mods tbh, call me a noob but hey haha. could you explain what you mean a bit more?

i may invest in a new bridge, it does tend to wobble about a bit, but im very aware of my budget. also, the project may be on a diferent guitar, apparently sanding down the paintwork and rusting hardware isnt to my parents taste -.-

so its probably gonna cost me about 30 to 40 quid for a cheap strat copy if i look in the right places, and probably a similar price for other parts excluding the pups.

btw, that bass is looking sick
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#18
Quote by Rock&RollStar
im not sure what you mean by wiring mods tbh, call me a noob but hey haha. could you explain what you mean a bit more?

i may invest in a new bridge, it does tend to wobble about a bit, but im very aware of my budget. also, the project may be on a diferent guitar, apparently sanding down the paintwork and rusting hardware isnt to my parents taste -.-

so its probably gonna cost me about 30 to 40 quid for a cheap strat copy if i look in the right places, and probably a similar price for other parts excluding the pups.

btw, that bass is looking sick

Thanks a lot!
By wiring mods, i mean that you can wire your guitar differently and run your pickups in series/parallel, you can coil split your humbucker... In guitar building and customization there is a thread called the Ultimate Wiring thread which will be able to help you a lot more than I can. Heres link to the wiring thread: https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1019006e
They guys there are extremely helpful. Here's a link to a seymour duncan which has very easy to read wiring diagram/mods for all type of pickup combos:
http://www.seymourduncan.com/support/wiring-diagrams/
Strat looks great!
#19
FINALLY! I have the go ahead for my project. I saw a better guitar for a really good price, and decided to buy that as an alternative to buying a crap one.

heres a couple of pics of the guitar before i start working on it:

The body, fitted with stock pickups including a humbucker. a couple of scratches on the bodywork, with a sizeable dink near the jackplate.


The back of the body. I know this is a little blurry, sorry :/


Headstock, fitted with stock tuners


back view of the headstock


Most of the metal parts have picked up pretty bad scratches, the neckplate is so bad that im going to replace it. it just isnt what im going for.
I'm going to look at buying supplies for starting to age finish on the body (i.e, sandpaper, scotchbrite pads) once i get back from my trip to London. Looks like this project is finally starting to get underway!
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Aug 7, 2010,
#20
Alright, now my project has begun, and already it's taken a wobbly turn. I had a go at relicing the body, and have already it doesn't look natural at all. So now, the plan is to sand down the body and make a Monterey Pop Strat tribute.

It's going to be a challenge, no doubt; the most difficult part of it will be painting on the vine leafing graphics, but as ridiculous as it sounds, my grandma who is an absolute whiz with artwork has volunteered to help me
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#21
hehe awesome grandparents ftw. i love mines.

i feel sorry for the ones who lost them already in their lives. i know i will soon though. gl on the painting! man i wanna repaint my strat too.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


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#22
damn right, grandparents are legendary. my grandmas nearly 80 and shes asked for an ipod for her birthday :')

thanks for the comment and i hope you dont lose your grandparents too soon
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
#24
i've been on and off working on the guitar. I've removed the tuners, the bridge and the neck etc, and started sanding down through the poly. from there, i've thrown some wood filler into the spots where there's been dents and stuff. the plan is to throw on some paint stripper for the awkward parts that my sander won't touch.

I'm thinking of staining the neck, because its a little bit too light for my liking. is it difficult?

also, i'm going to need to replace the majority of the hardware. I may just buy a new set of tuners, a jackplate, straplocks and a neckplate (possibly look at a new vintage styled bridge, depending on how far my money's stretching) , then buy a decent pre-assembled scratchplate with a singlecoil in the bridge. I've already got a strat with a singlecoil, and i love the sound of it. I'm looking at Wilkinson WVS at the moment, but, money permitting, keeping my options open.

So for now, its stripping the paint, sand and sealer, hit it with the primer, and start painting. i'm halfway through drawing up the plans, after assembling a good portfolio of people's previous projects, and of course, the original. But should i use Poly or Nitro for the finish?

Spent most of today trying to finish stripping the body. Also, drew up some basic drafts of the patterns on the horn and scratchplate, but ive got to say that the jack area is an absolute pain in the arse to sketch. none of them are particularly easy, but im learning a lot so far from this build, and i think things might turn out ok :P

I'm using my Granny's garage as my workshop so to speak. we think the main worry is going to be either if there are parts missing or left over at the end, or if the neck doesnt fit on. i must say she's been an absolute diamond throughout this project so far. she's going to hospital on thursday to have a pacemaker installed, so i'm on my own for a couple of days; maybe while i'm pricing stuff, i can touch up my decal designs. Thinking maybe I'll tweak a few parts, to make it my own.

Thanks for all the comments guys

EDIT: will i need to apply primer if i have used sand and sealer?
'The Blues is Easy to Play, but Hard to Feel'
Jimi Hendrix
Last edited by Rock&RollStar at Sep 26, 2010,