Hi guys, I am planning on doing a partial guitar build.
I am trying to make an explorer that looks similar to Hetfields wooden explorer
Due to limited time and resources, I have bought a neck with a reverse jackson headstock style from a luthier located in NZ.

Heres the plan, I already have a nice Mahogany explorer body cut out. I need to rout out everything as the body is completely blank at the moment. Theres a couple things that I'd like to know though.

Im aware that there needs to be an angle between the neck and body if I am to use a tune o matic bridge. Will 3 degrees suffice and how would I rout that angle out?

Second, would it be better to make the guitar a string through as opposed to the TOM stop piece? and if I do make it string through, do I drill the holes at an angle and does it matter where I drill?

Third, does the pickup location matter?

As far as neck angle,
It cant really just be determined like that. A lot of it depends on how deep you are going to set the neck in. If you do a shallower neck pocket, it will need less angle.

I personally prefer to cut the angle into the heel of the neck instead of the neck pocket.
I use a belt sander to angle it toward the headstock. Only thing is, you have to have the bridge holes drilled and have the bridge in place to check the neck angle every so often until you get it the right angle.
Thanks for the reply, Im planning on a bolt on build for my first.
How would I go about routing pickup cavities out? Is there a template for it online and does the distance between the pickups matter as long as the scale length is correct? 25 1/2 in this case?
I am sure there is a template you can print out somewhere. You will still have to make a template out of wood or MDF though.
I use a router to rout them, with a flush trim router bit.

aside from scale length, it doesnt matter too much where the pickups go. But it will make a difference in sound.
The best think to do is to put the neck pickup right up against the end of the fretboard, and the bridge pickup about 5/8-3/4" from the bridge.
Do you by any chance have a digital explorer template that can be printed out?
I have seen your builds, they look amazing but do you have any tips on measuring and drilling holes for TOM bridges?
I feel that they should be exactly in the center inline with the fretboard