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#1
I began building a strat on saturday and have been making a thread about it on harmony central and since there is a lack of guitar build threads I figured I'd do it here too.
#2
I'm still waiting to get the ofr, pickguard, bridge pup, and fretting hammer for it but I had enough of the parts for the neck so I decided to start it today. It's going to be a strat, black, ofr, 22 frets, ebony fingerboard, abalone inlays, humbucker, single coil sized humbucker-humbucker, on-off coil split switches for each pup, 1 vol, 1 tone, ebony knobs, buckethead style killswitch, satin neck finish, and dunlop straplocks. It's all copied from a fender american strat although the neck will be a little longer because of the locking nut. Here's what it will look like....

pics soon
parts


maple neck blank

routing for truss rod

truss rod slot routed, the bit wasn't in tight enough for the top one and it came up and routed to deep but there was still room for another neck

Drilling the hole to be able to adjust he truss rod this one is on the bottom like the old strats, I don't like the looks of the ones at the top, it's simpler to make, and I barely ever have to adjust the truss rod anyways.

truss rod adjusting hole done with truss rod in it
Last edited by 420 FREAK at Mar 18, 2008,
#3
the whole blank

tracing strat neck outline


traced and ready to cut


rough cut

sanding


I sanded a little to much by the nut so I'm just going to glue the piece I cut off back on and it won't be noticeable then I have to shape it tomorrow. I will continue updating this most likely every night if there is interest for me to do so.
#4
Thanks for all the replies. Sorry about not posting yesterday I just didn't get around to it. my dad and me decided that I should start over because I sanded more off than I thought and it would be very visible and we didn't have any flat pieces of maple so I waited until he could bring me home one today. He's a cabinetmaker so he can get me the wood for free which is great if I mess up, it's also nice to have help when I need it. Unlike my last strat that I only made the body on (we did it together mostly) I'm trying to do this as much as I can myself and he's just makin sure I'm doing it right and not messing up. So yesterday I was only able to make a fret bender on the lathe and bent the frets here's pics.



#5
Today I was able to get up to where I was minus drilling the holes which I forgot to get pics of last time. I made a few mistakes with the routing but I filled them up with wood and epoxy and superglue it won't make any difference later anyways. So tomorrow when I get home from school I'm going to drill the holes and start shaping it. My dad doesn't use alder at work but we were looking at a list of all the different properties of different kinds off wood and poplar is almost the same thing it just doesn't look as good and according to warmoth is a little heavier but still has the same tonal properties. So he's going to try to find a lighter piece of it and it's going to be painted so looks don't matter. I've decided to do the black with clear coats on top.
here's pics of what I didn't get before

ready to cut with truss rod in

headstock ready to cut

cutting



all done rough cutting

rough sanding


then there's sanding with a disc sander and hand sanding didn't get any of that

all sanded

#7
i like your house...


.. and nice guitar
'08 Gretsch White Falcon
'98 Fender USA Deluxe Tele
'79 Greco Les Paul Standard
Airline Stratotone Crafter GAE8

A bunch of funky pedals

Handwired 50 Watt Plexi Lead Clone w/ Orange 4x12
#8
this is so ****ing cool man! Great job so far!
Quote by SomeoneYouKnew
making a windows machine look like a mac is like putting lipstick on a pig.


~We Rock Out With Our Cocks Out!: UG Naked Club.~
#10
Sweet, man!

Triple humbuckers? Post a sound clip when you finish with it!
SX Stratocaster
Fina Acoustic
J&D Telecaster
Yamaha ERB 300 (Bass)

Digitech Bad Monkey
VisualSound H2O
Ibanez TL5
Boss DS-1
Vox V847

Kustom Dart 10FX
Laney RB1
#11
nice work, a suggestions though. instead of sanding the neck to size when its just been rough cut, why not make a template and route it to size, faster, and more accurate. Good work
#12
Looks good man,

BTW there is a ton of active build threads here atm, just most people dont get to update every day etc.




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Absent Mind is, as usual, completely correct.

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#13
Quote by carousel182
nice work, a suggestions though. instead of sanding the neck to size when its just been rough cut, why not make a template and route it to size, faster, and more accurate. Good work

Then I have to make a template which would be the same as doing the neck, and this time I made sure not to cut on the line like I did on a little bit of the last one that's why I messed up;
#15
Quote by Absent Mind
Looks good man,

BTW there is a ton of active build threads here atm, just most people dont get to update every day etc.


I guess I just never noticed them as I don't spend as much time here as I used too. Yeah when I start something I always work on doing it as much as I can so this will probably be updated every day unless I have to wait for some of my hardware to come in the mail.
#16
Quote by forsaknazrael
Looks nice!

You just sanded the sides of the neck down until they were straight?

Yeah I can't cut straight enough on the band saw to get it really close and then I sanded the headstock and heal, it works pretty easy since I attached the belt sander to a table.
#18
Quote by carousel182

thanks, Those are some nice guitars, I'll remember to ask you if I have anything I can't figure out.
I've made a strat body before and it turned out great, this is my first time trying a neck.
actually here's a pic of it it's pretty much just a regular strat but made out of mahogany.
#20
Quote by carousel182
That looks really nice, hows it play??

It plays good but I need to do a fret level on it and the trem puts it out of tune so it's basically a hardtail but it's a nice guitar.
#21
I drilled the holes and shaped it today. I used a spokeshave, rasp, belt sander, and disc sander.
finding hole size
drilling holes

holes drilled

ready for the spokeshave


other shaping sanding and closeup pics




#24
nice work man, one question, why didn't you glue the fretboard on while the back of the neck was still flat and their was no radius on the fretboard. I know you can do it after shaping but I've always thought it was easier to do it before carving because you're clamping two flat surfaces.
#25
Quote by carousel182
nice work man, one question, why didn't you glue the fretboard on while the back of the neck was still flat and their was no radius on the fretboard. I know you can do it after shaping but I've always thought it was easier to do it before carving because you're clamping two flat surfaces.

It would be easier but I bought the fretboard pre-radiused and I thought having a flat surface to lay the neck on while shaping would be helpful and I didn't want to ding up the fretboard while shaping it which I guess isn't a big deal because ebony's supposed to be so hard, it won't be much harder to clamp I'll just cut some pieces of cork to protect it.
#26
My dad brought the neck to work and used the jointer to make the headstock thinner. Then we installed the truss rod and glued on the fretboard.
headstock

marking fretboard to cut it



gluing fretboard on



poplar for the body I still have to glue it together but I'll do that this weekend since my floyd rose hasn't even shipped yet
#27
Looking nice. How hard was it to shape and sand the neck profile on the back? I am also building a guitar. I started making a strat but changed my mind in the middle of making the neck so now I am going to have a strat style neck bolted on to a PRS style body. Good luck on the rest of the build!
#28
Quote by acdcrocks0323
Looking nice. How hard was it to shape and sand the neck profile on the back? I am also building a guitar. I started making a strat but changed my mind in the middle of making the neck so now I am going to have a strat style neck bolted on to a PRS style body. Good luck on the rest of the build!

This is the one thing I was worried about doing I couldn't find any good guides or anything. I basically had no clue what I was doing so here's just some more detail into it. It wasn't very hard other than being worried about sanding to deep and messing up the neck by just sanding too much. I used a belt sander upside down to make it a little thinner where it was going to be shaped then I used a spokeshave and then used a disc sander to smooth it all out and I used a rasp a little bit when I couldn't get the spokeshave to reach. The disc sanding took the longest probably a few hours with that. I found that having a neck to copy off of is a must and putting a line down the middle to work up to and making lines where then end of the shaping is the easiest way to do it. In the end it came out pretty close the transitions from the heal or the headstock are smoother than the fender neck but in a way I like it better.
#30
Quote by LP Addict
your neck wood looks really boughed, and im 90% sure its soft maple. be weary of that when you assemble it. hopefully its a perfect flat saw, or quarter saw

It's just the pics it's 100% straight and it's hard maple my dad's been a woodworker for 45 years and he confirmed this for me.
#31
I have'nt got around to uploading pics until now so I'm 4 days late I'll do them day by day.
Tursday:
sanded fingerboard flush with neck

nut slot to be enlarged friday

friday:

cutting nut slot for the locking nut





I messed up and went to far so I used a piece of ebony from above the 24th
fret for it I had to file it down and epoxy it on.
#33
drilling the holes for the dots


getting ready to drill the side marker holes

everything superglued in and ready to sand

#34
saturday:
when I woke up my parents had already picked up my floyd rose from the post office now I have all the parts except for some electronics


finishing sanding the fingerboard

hammering in frets


The hammer I bought off ebay didn't work good at all (should have bought the one from stewmac) but my grandfather let me borrow one of his brass hammers for it.


#35
cutting and filling fret ends



Time to mask off and level while adjusting the truss rod to make the neck straight after pounding the frets in the truss rod broke and only turns one way but I decided to keep going and fix it if I need to when I assemble the guitar.






#36
Today:
I tried to crown the frets but I found that I flattened them out to much
leveling them partly due to they were small and the truss rod and the fingerboard is to brittle to take them out without chunks of the fingerboard coming up. So between this and the truss rod problem which I would probably have to fix anyways I am redoing the whole fingerboard/frets. My dad and I tried to use steam and tightened the truss rod all the way and used a chisel and still couldn't get the fingerboard off. We had to cut it off on the band saw and dig the truss rod out and we'll probably use a jointer to get the neck flat again. This time I'm not doing face inlays and I'll probably round the neck profile some more before putting a new fingerboard on it's kind of fat.
taking out the frets:


Where the nut broke off the truss rod. I only tuned it about a 1/4 turn so it's a faulty truss rod.

I don't have any pictures of the rest but the fingerboard is in many pieces and a lot is still attached to the neck.
Since I can't do anymore work on the neck now I unclamped the body blank and sanded it.



all sanded

tracing the guitar

traced
#38
loooking pretty rad. you should definitely put a hard finish on that neck man. its rift sawn, if not fully protected by the elements and humidity it will warp towards the treble side.

do yoruself a favor.

get a double action trussrod, and route your truss rod rtoue all the way to the end of the neck on the heel. plug it with a scrap piece from your fingerobard. if your truss rod ever breaks, which it wont, you drill out that plug, stick something in, and tap the truss rod a good few times and it will come out the top, no removal of fingerboard.
Last edited by LP Addict at Mar 24, 2008,
#39
Quote by LP Addict
loooking pretty rad. you should definitely put a hard finish on that neck man. its rift sawn, if not fully protected by the elements and humidity it will warp towards the treble side.

do yoruself a favor.

get a double action trussrod, and route your truss rod rtoue all the way to the end of the neck on the heel. plug it with a scrap piece from your fingerobard. if your truss rod ever breaks, which it wont, you drill out that plug, stick something in, and tap the truss rod a good few times and it will come out the top, no removal of fingerboard.

I never said I wasn't putting a hard finish on th neck
I'm not making a new neck and this is routed for this truss rod (which is double action) you probably mean one adjustable from the head. It's a good idea though. The new truss rod is much better then the last one I tested it before installing it. breaks stewmac will send me a truss rod repair kit there customer service is great they sent me all the parts I lost before too.
#40
my computers really slow but there getting there
On Thursday I received the replacement parts from stewart mcdonald. I didn't start anything until Friday when my dad cut the nut slot bigger (for the locking nut) on the table saw it came out much better than trying to do it by hand. We glued it on there's no pictures of that because I already took a bunch before and there the same thing I'm not going to upload duplicate pictures because it takes too long.
Friday:

neck with truss rod

fingerboard


shaping the neck a little bit more it was a little too big for what im used to


taking strat apart too make patterns for routing my dad helped me a lot on this




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