First real project - 70s Strat mongrel

bum

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Hi, OK so I am no luthier but I did want to try and put together a Strat, for fun and learning.
I asked advice in here about the micro tilt stuff for this and you guys really came through for me, so I feel it may be OK to post an update.
If this is too amateur hour please remove /move, I am OK with that :)

OK, so I wanted a 70's Strat, big headstock and I wanted it Sonic Blue.
After a few weeks of looking nothing hit all the targets so I went ahead and decided to put one together.

Parts:
Neck - 70s big headstock.
I learned here that Fender used poly finish from the late 60s, I have a 64 Mustang and it's nitro, so this was my first learning experience. The headstocks are apparently done in nitro as the Fender decals did not adhere to poly, so the front of the headstock tends to be darker, and this is the case here.

s-l1600 (1).jpg


It has a bit of mojo, which I did want. I want this not to be a relic, but worn in a bit and this is perfect.

Tuners, went with Klusons F Style. Second learning thing here, the bushings were too big, luckily I reamed the holes slightly and it worked out OK

161684735_1707377492768655_3001425530443250402_n.jpg


Bridge / Trem
I went with a Callaham aged item. I've read good reviews and they seem solid enough. It's a mild aged job on this and it really is well done

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Then, a Gotoh aged jack plug surround and a Switchcraft jack plug

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Straplocks, I have always used Schaller and they seem to have updated their design, it no longer has a hex nut but a more well made rounded thing with a grip to tighten using fingers and a screw to lock it in, very impressed

Pickups - as this is my first soldering project I went with a pre loaded Fender scratchplate with the Custom Shop 69 pickups

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Note: This had the STRANGEST warning I have ever seen on the box, check this out....

eh.jpg


Hmmm, OK?

And finally the body which I had made for me by a UK company called NGS Guitars https://www.instagram.com/ngs_relic_guitars/

He listened to my needs and really did a good job.

Here is me just finishing up the shielding in it, copper tape which was really quite easy to do

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So, after sitting looking at all the bits for half an hour I set to work.
The body had zero holes in it, and I needed to drill pilot holes for the pickguard, strap buttons, Trem claw, and most crucially the neck - which was the thing I was most scared of by far.

The way I ended up doing it was to draw a paper template around the neck heal

s-l1600 (6).jpg


And mark the hole location, I then transferred this to the body neck cavity and just kind of slowly went for it.
After a bit of sweating and wobbling of things around it all kind of clicked into place!
I am pretty shocked as a few weeks ago I screwed up putting a door handle on a kitchen cabinet, so this success was wildly unexpected.

I screwed bridge, trem springs etc in and strung it up to test it all out, and this is where I am at now:

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Still to do:
Wiring it up, my pal is coming over to give me a tutorial in soldering, after that I can intonate it and tweak the set up.
I am not happy with the nut (I'm not convinced it's even the right one, it's about 4mm too wide but came with the neck) so I will revisit that when done.

But, overall, really happy!
It tunes up, the strings are straight on the neck and action not too bad already.

171281700_301825491393921_7353162883153535055_n.jpg


Tools used:
Electric drill
Screwdriver
Coffee

I'll post a few more pics of the finished thing and hopefully a sound test video :)
Thanks to all who helped with the micro tilt stuff too, you guys rock!

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Deftone

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Nice. Love the fat head stocks. Well done.
 
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Duane_the_tub

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Super cool Strat. I owned on American Special that looked similar (sonic blue with the big headstock). It's a great look.

Nice work!
 
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bum

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Thanks guys :)
I was looking at a Sonic Blue Special before I started this, the deal feel through which was really the thing that set me off down the road of doing it myself.
It was fun, and I recommend doing this to anyone, I learned so much!
 

Deftone

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Not trying to thread hi-jack, but here's mine I built a few months ago.

20210105_153846a.jpg


The original '81 body was super heavy, and I'm not a big fan of Ash or Alder for tone. So I bought a Warmoth Basswood body, sent it off the MJT guitars for paint/relic. Wolfetone pups, new pick guard, pots, caps, wiring, hardware, etc....

Had so much fun and it turned out so good I built a fat head stock strat necked Tele......

https://www.mylespaul.com/threads/i-guess-im-building-a-tele.451765/
 

bum

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That looks like an incredible weapon my man, thanks for sharing :)
 

redking

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A note for the OP on Prop 65 - it's a law passed in California to protect the water supply from contamination by lead and other chemicals and has been taken to ridiculous proportions by the government and shyster lawyers who threaten companies with class action lawsuits to make money for themselves. This is why you see these warning stickers on every product sold in California. Example - some guy works in a woodworking factory and never wore proper PPE and was exposed to sawdust and glue and breathed it into his lungs on a daily basis for 40 years. Then at age 80 he gets lung cancer - the State of California would say, "wood and glue" caused him to get cancer (with no real evidence of the cause), so every product containing wood and glue are "known to cause cancer" for Prop. 65 in California. Now, every piece of wooden furniture sold in California has this warning label. I'm guessing the box you showed was something that was made of metal that contained trace elements of lead perhaps. You would literally have to eat the trace elements of lead contained in the product 5 times per day for 30 years to have a 0.01% risk of getting cancer.

 

bum

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Thank you for the explanation!
That at least sort of makes sense, as a UK resident it was very confusing ha ha

It was on the box for this:

So I guess, Fender = California = That label, thanks!
 

Deftone

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That looks like an incredible weapon my man, thanks for sharing :)
Thanks, bud. Right back at you.

BTW, I have the mid & neck pu'ps, I just need to install them. I'm only going to use one volume and one tone.
 
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redking

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Thank you for the explanation!
That at least sort of makes sense, as a UK resident it was very confusing ha ha

It was on the box for this:

So I guess, Fender = California = That label, thanks!
Oh I almost forgot - killer strat project!!
 
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bum

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Hi dudes!
OK, so I am back :)
I have been soldering, a first for me.
I took my time and think I made good connections, however I am getting buzzing :(

Buzzing is constant, stops if I touch the cable in the jack plug with my hand.
Does not buzz wirelessly, only when plugged in a cable.
Sound is coming through really nicely on the guitar, pickups wise all seems good.

So, thoughts on this?
When I went to wire up the guitar there was a white wire which I soldered to the tip of the jack plug.
There was a black wire with a loop attached which it said in the instructions to screw into the body, so I did this (I do not get how that grounds the guitar though).
Then there were two more black wires, they both seem to come from the same place, so I took one and wired it to the ring on the output jack, and the other I soldered to the trem claw, I am 99% sure I made good contact there.

So, what do you guys think? I don't get any crackling at all if that helps.
Thanks!
 


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