The Workbench

Home build

1

I had mentioned this project in another thread and thought it might be worth posting on its own.

It's nothing too ambitious, as this would be my first build. I've got enough tools and space to service my guitars, and have done some minor upgrades on a few.


What I started with here is a Baja brand Strat copy, once a gift to my now grown son. Entry level quality for the most part, he has since moved on to better gear.

I stripped it down with the intention of rebuilding it into something else, working with whatever shop and bench tools I have.

The neck and fret board are actually pretty decent, working truss rod, smooth rosewood in excellent condition. I'm still going to do a re-fret with stainless steel fret wire, a little heavier gauge. I've already got a set of Fender locking tuners for an upgrade, as well as a tusq nut.

My first challenge was working with the existing body and its routed cavities. I didn't want to have to do much routing and I want to work with a stock scratch plate, even if it is modified. Fortunately this thing was pretty thoroughly routed, allowing for a number of pickup configurations. I could even go with 3 humbuckers.

What wasn't working was the placement of the input jack. The pocket they originally routed landed a little close to the edge of the bout. And the design I came up with necessitated a slight adjustment. I've filled some of that with a chunk of wood and putty, its new position will be closer to the new bridge.

These photos follow some of the initial progress, from loose parts to the body starting to take shape.

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2

Before all the chopping actually began, I worked up a design using a stock Strat as an underlay.

I played with removing material from the body until I came up with a sort of quasi Phantom look. I did want to aim for a mod/surf type vibe.

I'll likely do something different than 3 single coils on this, but I'm pretty set on the colors.

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3

i've already complimented you on the general vibe, but want to say in particular that you've come up with something that's an unusually creative adaptation of a bog-standard design. my compliments to the chef.

4

Thanks much, macphisto!
The designing part has been fun, it's my wheelhouse. Pretty soon I'll be moving into uncharted territory with some of this though. It'll require some patience.

5

Nice work. Looks cool. Does look very Phantom-ish. Lipsticks would look very surfish !!

6

Finished moving the input jack pocket, having sanded the filled area smooth.

I'm using the old parts as placeholders for now, doing a dry fit for sussing out the spacing. Probably going with a Gotoh bridge with rolling saddles. I definitely want to keep a whammy bar on this one.

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@RustyG; Thanks! If I do single coil they'll be lipstick, yeah. It would look sharp. Right now I'm leaning toward P90s, black soapbar or Fat 90s maybe.

I've considered mixing it up though, a P90 at the bridge and lipstick at the neck.

7

Before all the chopping actually began, I worked up a design using a stock Strat as an underlay.

I played with removing material from the body until I came up with a sort of quasi Phantom look. I did want to aim for a mod/surf type vibe.

I'll likely do something different than 3 single coils on this, but I'm pretty set on the colors.

image host

– Edison

That illustration looks slick, nice! I love these kind of threads, especially with lots of 'in progress' photos. Good luck with the build, I'm looking forward to see more!


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