So I'm thinking about doing my own build/modification this summer. My hopes are to find a cheap used squire strat or something similar at guitar center and then upgrade the hell out of it. I'm leaning toward doing a frankenstein-esque type build (I just really like the paint jobs on them for the most part). So among other things, i'd like to add a floyd rose, new pickups (most likely going for an HSS), new pick guard, and paint job of course.

My questions are as follows:

1) how easy is a floyd rose installation? I'm handy with a chainsaw but don't do a whole lot of fine cut work.

2) how difficult is learning to solder the pickups myself? Never done solder work before

3) why types of paint should I use? Is a regular spray paint ok to use?

4) I'd like to relic it when its finished, anything special to know about this? Probably won't touch the hardware, just the body and neck

5) how difficult is it to put a satin finish on a neck?

Thanks for the help and if you could point me in the direction of any videos or websites to help that'd be great also. I've gone through youtube and found a couple so far but just want to know if theres anything else you may know of.

Finally, could you give me a rough estimate on how much I'd spend during the process? I'm looking to spend $100-200 on the guitar and I know the floyd is about $200 for an original.
TBH, I'm self taught in about 75% of luthier-related matters. Between UG GB&C users, youtube (sullys guitar garage for one), and Google, I've learned heaps about how to build guitars, let alone refinish them. Its how much time and money that YOU want to put in.

1) Floyd rose installations require a router and a drill press. I suppose there are other methods to get the same results, but that seems to be the cut-and-dry. I've got by using a rotary tool (a dremel), so i guess you could try that (and save some money)

2) Soldering pickups is, IMO, pretty easy if you know what your looking for. The Ultimate Wiring Thread has lots of useful info, that i recommend reading and sticky-ing.

3) I've had satisfactory results with rustoleum and or krylon spray paints. Check out this thread

4) There are hundreds of tutorials for relicking on youtube.

5) Do you mean like this?

I hope this helps.

BC Rich Warlock
Dean 88
ME682-In Progress
Carvin SX300
Clayton 1.0mm picks
Planet Waves cables.
It would also be a good idea to find or make a template for the Floyd rout. If you spend the time practicing and making it perfect before hand, your final guitar rout will be easier and there'll be less of a chance that you screw up.