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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / The 2019 poor mans 1956 Stratocaster project has begun.

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Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 21st, 2019 09:45 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, not truly poor, but comparatively.

My buddy Tommy from USACG who I've bought from since 2006 gave me what would be a "parting gift" since he left the company. He had a new guy on the line for a week and I bought a strat body and it was fairly messed up, so he sent me an ultralight ash strat body. Single piece about 3.5lbs if I recall.

I've had the body hanging in the basement a couple years as I haven't been thinking about guitars as much for a while with all my hand issues preventing me from enjoying playing.

Because 1pc bodies tend to cup or warp a little more often, I sprayed the body with lacquer to try and at least minimize the moisture wicking while it hanged. I need to take a straight edge to it but it looks ok.

Since I only have one Strat currently with a dinky MIM neck on it, I'm making a nice big soft V 56 type S style.

Now, Tommys Strat bodies are based off his grandads 54 Strat. The contours in 54 were not as deep as the 56 to 58 contours, so I hit them on the belt sander checking against as many pictures as I could find. They are just about right.

I made a few bumps and dings in the wood when contouring so I steamed them out with gun cleaning cotton pads dampened with water. Then hit it with a soldering iron to make steam.

The neck is on order. It'll be the first I've ordered under the new crew so we will see if it's still as good.

One piece maple neck .900 thick at the first fret, .970" at the 12th.

Stainless 6105 frets.

9.5" to 12" compound radius. I chose this option as many vintage pro guitars measured by Dan Erlewine had this compound radius after many refrets. Its also only a change of about 3 inches. I like my Warmoth 10-16" but the rate of change is a little much for me up high on the neck. It'll be just right for me I think.

Going to paint it 50s blonde, not Mary Kaye. That look that from a distance looks like a solid color but then you get up close and say “oooh look, some grain!”

So, next I will get my sanding scratches all going with the grain. Then seal coat, grain fill, sand and color. Put 10 to 12 coats of clear on, sand it back and polish.

Neck arrives late June.

Now, gold anodized guard or white single ply?

What pickups X-D)

Pics soon.

(This message was last edited by Achase4u at 04:06 AM, May 22nd, 2019)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 02:08 AM   Edit   Profile  

Body contours.

Sanded and almost ready

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
May 22nd, 2019 04:50 AM   Edit   Profile  

Cool project.
That forearm contour gets *really* thin at the end.
I like doing my own contouring. I think it's a big part of making something truly custom.

On your belly contour on the back, will you smooth out where the contour finishes and the flat begins?

I like to really blend that line so the transition is essentially invisible. I've recently noticed that a lot of production strats have that very defined transition though. I just happen to like it smoother.

Keep posting pics. I like watching the transformation of builds!

Also, it's not too late to hardtail!! ;^)



Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 02:41 PM   Edit   Profile  

Totally! There were some old examples where that edge at the forearm is quite thin indeed.

Yea I've got some 220 smoothing to do on transitions yet but that's about it I think. Probably not invisible but smoother than it is now. I will spray a lacquer coat as I find I can see the wood a little better after that.

I may lower that guy cut contour a little more. We'll see. I've got some time before the supplies get here so I'm sort of procrastinating.



Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
May 22nd, 2019 03:34 PM   Edit   Profile  

When you're close to being done rough sanding, hold a small flashlight against the wood and it will reveal any uneven areas like bumps and dips you may want to sand out.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 03:38 PM   Edit   Profile  

I will try the flashlight tricky dicky!

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
May 22nd, 2019 03:52 PM   Edit   Profile  

"... guy cut contour..."

First time I've heard it called that. Isn't that sexist now??? ;^)

Are you going to do the sunburst yourself?

I'm still working out how to shoot a solid colour & clear with a spray gun. I'm a long way from attempting any kind of burst.

Actually, I reckon I could manage a "splatter-burst" at the moment!

(it could be a thing... really!)

(This message was last edited by Mick Reid at 05:54 PM, May 22nd, 2019)

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 04:01 PM   Edit   Profile  

HAHA. Don't worry, my junk doesn't go that high!

It was auto-correct - supposed to read "gut contour"

But I think you know that '-)

Or it's just the theory of relativity at work. It is both a guy contour as well as a boob contour. Wait, I have those too. Hmmm.

It becomes a girl contour in the hands of a wommern, and a guy contour in the hands of a may-un.

Nope, doing it 50s blonde(see above post #1 as to type - I know, it's a long post lol)

I sprayed some at Callaham and nothing like a good gun setup. I don't have any place for that though so I am using rattle cans in the yard. We'll see how many bugs get in the finish...

If you can afford the paint, I would take a donor body that is cheap, burst it, cover it, burst it etc for practice. The middle is no issue, its just the outer edge technique of the one or two colors that is the trick...

Mick Reid
Contributing Member
*****

Australia

American-made in Oz!!
May 22nd, 2019 04:57 PM   Edit   Profile  

" doing it 50s blonde..."

Ah yes, I *did* read that, but it was 2 days ago... and I forgot :^(


Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 05:30 PM   Edit   Profile  

No worries. I'll forget by tomorrow, too. That's why I made this thread outlining my plans lol.

Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

May 22nd, 2019 06:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

LOL

Let’s see...

Now WHERE did I put that thread!?!

Achase4u
Contributing Member
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U.S. - Virginia

May 22nd, 2019 09:27 PM   Edit   Profile  

Lol. That's actually happened to me before!

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 3rd, 2019 04:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Well, I just got notified that the neck will arrive Friday the 7th. That is about 4 weeks ahead of schedule. I am not quite ready. Time to get to work on finalizing the body and finishing it.

BbendFender
Contributing Member
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American Patriot

About as ordinary as you can get.
Jun 3rd, 2019 05:24 PM   Edit   Profile  

Looks good to me.


Leftee
Contributing Member
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VA

Jun 3rd, 2019 05:25 PM   Edit   Profile  

I’m waiting on a neck. I ordered it 5 weeks ago.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 4th, 2019 12:17 AM   Edit   Profile  

Thanks, BbendFender! It's fairly close. I'm using various pictures to try and get a little closer. It's tough to nail where the forearm and gut cut meet.

Eric, was it a super flamey special neck? I have no taste. Perhaps that's why mine is coming. One PC plain maple. Good and boring, like me.

Peegoo
Contributing Member
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Planet Peegoo

Rhythm & Lewd Guitarist
Jun 4th, 2019 05:45 AM   Edit   Profile  

Looks don't matter!


[ahem] well, that's what my mama always told me when all the kids teased me about being a sasquatch. It would've been okay if they just stopped at "giant." But they always added "goober" to the description :o)

Git own that git-tawr, Hoss!

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 4th, 2019 02:36 PM   Edit   Profile  

LOL!

They crossed the line goober!!!


Tweaking the gut cut some more. It's pretty close. Very hard to get the way I want. OCD is now taking over. I am in sanding hell.

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 4th, 2019 08:58 PM   Edit   Profile  

Some good close ups here of the body contours of a 56. Of course they were all different but this is a good example I think.

1956 Pics

Achase4u
Contributing Member
********

U.S. - Virginia

Jun 15th, 2019 11:02 PM   Edit   Profile  

Sanding sealer complete. Sanded it flat. Mixed white pigment into thinner, then into lacquer. About half a teaspoon to a qt of lacquer.

I test shot it on a bum neck I have here to see how it built up. I went very thin with the pigment as this is my first trans that I am spraying. I wanted to creep up on the opacity instead of blowing past the level I wanted.

I shot the edges first, and the perimeter of the top from the inside out in order to get the classic halo look of some blonde Fenders. They routinely did this on guitars, sometimes to cover bad grain patterns from joins with other wood. They were commonly in horn and edge areas.

I then shot the whole body with a coat. As long as I hit the whole body each coat, the ratio of opacity between the edges and faces will remain(the halo).

One mistake I made was with the filler. Dan Erlewines finishing book calls for natural filler. I have discovered that the word "natural"is very ambiguous in the filler world. I have some oil based filler here that is "natural". In this case, that means "no tint". Unfortunately it dried white. That's not what you want. I have another water based filler here that is also called natural. It's very brown and dries tan like maple or so.

You want something that will be at least the color of the grain, better yet darker because of the shadow cast in the pores.

So I will go petty opaque here to hide that. It's not really noticeable once you get a lot of pigment on.




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FDP Forum / Guitar Mods, Repairs, and Projects / The 2019 poor mans 1956 Stratocaster project has begun.




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