I routed the control cavity LP style - from the rear. Then I discovered that Stratocaster pots and switches do not appreciate being transferred from an eighth inch thick piece of plastic to a 3/8th thick piece of maple.

I think some long shaft pots would solve one of my problems but the five-way switch is too short. I'm afraid that I'm going to have to get the router going again. Is there a five-way switch that would work at greater depth?
a 5 way switch would be difficult to put into a les paul. Unless you had a 3 way switch in it already but that is kind of rare/

tall pots for sure I'd suggest for sure for that maple cap. Push pulls especially because you can get some extra sounds out of each pickup and to most they are easier to wire. lots of ideas can be done with them like a rotary switch using a Varitone (easy) and so forth. The varitone gives you 5 extra tones per position but some of the PRS inspired stuff can be a headache.

pretty much when you pull up on them you get extra sounds
coiltap (parallel) / coilsplit - for single coil sounds
phase reversal
and so on..
The Jimmy Page wiring that guitarelectronics.com is an excellent example

now if you want a 3 way toggle style selector that does extra tones try out the "Freeway" toggle they call it. It's about 30-50$ american though so i guess it depends on how much you love the guitar. Stewmac sells it and their (freeway switch) customer support is excellent.
A fair number of modern/boutique builders route extra and use regular short-shaft pots and 5-way switches. If you're comfortable routing out a little extra that's probably your best option. I've never seen a longer version of a 5-way.

Your other option would be to recess from the top of the guitar. Recessed pots are not uncommon on higher-end builds, it looks really nice but I'm not sure how it's done.
Thanks fellas. It is as I feared then. More routing to be done. The front routing sounds interesting. who does that kind of thing? I'd like to see an example.
I meant to say "recessed". That's what I meant.

Hey tallwood I am still working out what I want but I liked the sweepable mid idea you posted. I'm aware that I can do some push-pull knobs to improve versatility but I don't know what I want it to do yet.
Tentative plan is HSS with fender cs fat 50s and the new shawbucker. The volume pot will be a split 500k/250k. Then I'm planning 1 master tone control and 1 sweepable mid cut control.
I don't even know what else I might do if I made the tone controls push-pull. I am sure I could split the humbucker with one but I don't have any ideas about the other.
PRS is the most obvious one, Ibanez does it on a few models like the J-Custom S9870, ESP does it with the Horizon and a couple others. Nik Huber, Kauer, Fibenare, lots of smaller high-end makers recess pots or switches, although I can't think of anyone who recesses a blade-type switch, perhaps the deep long groove would look funny.

Tom Anderson Atom CT is a great example of subtly recessed elements on the top. It's done with just dimples for the pots, they're not even recessed all the way around, and the blade switch is pushed out to the edge of the guitar so it requires less wood to be removed from the back. The bridge is sunk, but with almost no slop or cutout around the edges - same with the pickup mounting. Everything appears to simply float on the surface of the guitar. It's not like PRS which puts big craters around the pots or Ibanez where the knobs are sunk halfway into the top. Those are fine examples, but I love the way Anderson tucks things away such that you might not even notice on first glance that there are no screw threads or pot shafts visible from any angle, and everything sits close to the face of the guitar. Very cool work.

Just a word of warning, based on what I have seen in my mate's repair shop. If you do route the top thin for the switch, try to reinforce it is some what to make it less fragile. - Breakage is apparently common in that area. For the same reason I would play safe and use long shaft pots rather then make the top thinner. - Or reinforce it.
if you need to mak the thickness of the top wood thinner go to lowes and get a wide spade drill bit and remove the wood around the hole.

this would be better

Very Orange CARVIN DC 700
PRS SE Custom - crunch lab&PAF pro
Ibanez GRX40 - modified
Peavey Valveking 112 w/ 2x12 cab

Originally Posted by Shirate
The guitar, the only beautiful female that looks better with the top ON haha

I get it now roc. That Tom Anderson looks great.

So in deference to the possibility of breakage it sounds like I ought to use the long shaft pots and only deepen the rout where I'm mounting the five-way. Cool.

I keep learning new things. I wanted a strat style input jack so that's what I did but now that I see how much wood got covered I almost wish I'd done the other style.