Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Warmoth.com darrenriley.com Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

Budget Hardtail

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Believer7713, Nov 7, 2017.

  1. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    So a while back I got this Squier SE Strat for $30 just for the sole reason to have a mod base. Plus it was 30 bucks!
    1510105787839.jpg
    1510105797141.jpg
    I decided that I need to clear out some stuff so I am doing this mod/build to give to a very good friend whose been GASing for a hard tail Strat for a while as a gift.
    To start since he likes fatter necks with heavier strings I took the neck off of another SE that I had from another build and put it on after putting a set of 2 pin Squier tuners from my Showmaster Scorpion on it since I used the original tuners to repair another guitar. I didn't use the current tuners because I already filled, drilled and installed these earlier. I made the neck swap because the one that on on it in the pics is really thin and the one I'm putting on it is fatter.
    Then I pulled the bridge and related hardware so I could fill the hole.
    1510106035118.jpg
    1510106044432.jpg
    1510106052512.jpg
    I got this block from Hipshot which they make for doing just this mod. Cost me $18
    1510106195888.jpg
    1510106201173.jpg
    Turns out it's a pretty decent fit but will require some slight alterations and filling to be perfect. But it will work.
    1510106283069.jpg
    1510106288470.jpg
    The plan will be to make the guitar still look like a normal Strat with a trem by using the original bridge plate and screwing it down to the body and the filler block. Then I will drill the holes through the block and install a set of flush mount ferruls in the back tho make it a string-thru-body and cover it with a back trem cover when complete making a true sleeper.
    I will dig through and find a set of alnico P'ups that I have buried in a drawer to give it a sweeter voice.
    I'll post more pics as I progress. This is the first time I taken a trem out of a guitar. I normally am changing or upgrading them.
     
    circles, skypeace and john lavelle like this.

  2. Kosh

    Kosh Strat-Talker

    256
    Jan 11, 2016
    Wisconsin
    Good luck. I hope it turns out the way you hoped.
     
    john lavelle and Believer7713 like this.

  3. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    I have one like that but done all half assed as opposed to your nice work. I just made a block for the opening in the trem route that fills the part right under the trem. It fills the hole nicely but I did not bother with filling the rest of the cavity. I too used a trem bridge and just screwed it down. It worked fine but I don't see it as being earth shaking or anything. :D

    Good luck, hope you like it.
     
    Believer7713 likes this.

  4. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    Thanks guys. I'm hoping it turns out well too. But then again, I hope all my work does
    Here are a couple pics of the block after its been fitted. I had to sand out the trem hole on the top with a Dremel tool. My first plan was to make this a reversible mod but then when I decided to do it for somebody else I changed my mind; it will be permanent now.
    1510152251932.jpg
    1510152266042.jpg
     

  5. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    Here are some pics of the neck I am using on this one. The shame here is that I really like the way this one looks both front and back but I just don't like how it feels compared to the one that came off of it (pics in the OP). The grains on it are just gorgeous.
    1510155869670.jpg
    1510155875686.jpg
    1510155881035.jpg
    The headstock with the tuners replaced.
    1510155889700.jpg
    1510155894304.jpg
     
    QMTstrat likes this.

  6. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    I made a little progress today. The plan was to make this a string through body Hardtail so I had to do some drilling. First I installed just the bridge plate as if I were making it a floater then put the block into the back. This gave me the template to drill for the mounting screws. Then I took the entire thing back out and screwed the plate to the block using it as a template to drill the through holes. After removing the plate again I drilled the back side of the through holes out to fit the ferruls and installed them into the block. A little black finger nail polish hides the wood from showing through any holes on the bridge plate. And the non trem cover to hide the block and keep with the original look.
    1510397576351.jpg
    1510397604606.jpg
    1510397633489.jpg
    1510397639804.jpg
    1510397648686.jpg
     
    circles likes this.

  7. jaybones

    jaybones Most Honored Senior Member

    Nice work.

    But why'd you put the rear plate back on? You'd still have to take it off to change the strings. I would have thought the way you filled the cavity you'd have done it flush with the body, maybe used some black fingernail polish so it wasn't so noticeable and have the string ferrules in the open?
     

  8. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    Thank you,
    The block doesn't completely fill the back cavity leaving some gaps. I plan on filling it in today and altering the cover to make the ferruls accessible. If it were going to be for me, I probably wouldn't worry about it too much but it's for a friend that likes having the cover to help reduce rash so I decided to make this one look like his others.
     
    owenmoney and john lavelle like this.

  9. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    1510473073251.jpg
    I almost forgot to run a ground wire for the bridge so I had to take it apart again today and cut a channel in the block. Good thing I didn't glue it in place yet.
     

  10. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    So, I got to do some more work on it today after taking my wife on a date to Top Golf for some fun smashing golf balls.
    1510550829209.jpg
    When we got home I got started where I left off
    1510550868110.jpg
    First I put some color on the back side to mask the wood block
    1510550916247.jpg
    While the nail polish was drying i started with wiring the P'ups. And installed the new pickguard. The P'ups were extras from s trade I made earlier this year and are from guitarparts.com, are alnico and a little on the hot side but sound really
    1510551104727.jpg
    Then put the final cover over the back (keeping with the plan of making it look like a normal strat)
    1510550999487.jpg
    Added the saddles back to the bridge.
    1510551168050.jpg
    Then strings and setup.
    1510551273689.jpg
    1510552081449.jpg
    Now it's a Hardtail with a full thickness body that plays and sounds great.
    Like the title says, "Budget Hardtail" I set a budget of no more than $75.
    Guitar>>>>>>>>>>>>$30
    Hipshot block>>>>> $19
    Pickups (extras)>>>free
    Pickguard (extra)>>free
    Back cover (extra)>free
    Neutrik jack>>>>>>$1.20
    Knobs (extra)>>>>>free
    CTS pots>>>>>>>>>$12.50
    tuners (extras)>>>>free
    Total>>>>>>>>>>>>>$62.70
    The joy of making a good guitar for a friend.>>>>>>>>>>>>PRICELESS!
     
    QMTstrat and circles like this.

  11. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    76
    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    Well ya got me interested...
    But
    I guess I'll start by finding the basic unit.

    Could take a while

    People up here are unwilling to pay for anything
    And
    Think everything they have is left from the gold rush

    Then do something I've always wanted to try...
    Stabilize the cavity
    Then fit the bugger with a trapeze tail piece .
     

  12. diogoguitar

    diogoguitar Strat-O-Master

    871
    Feb 2, 2012
    Northwest US
    funny that even Squier a low cost brand) does the skunk stripe and Warmoth doesn't do it in some models, even if the customer begs for it
     

  13. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    I know what you mean. The sad thing about this one, though, is the neck that I took off didn't have the stripe but felt wonderful to me. The one I put on with the stripe and beautiful rosewood grain and flamed maple is tho thick and chunky for my taste. I really wish it were the other way around because that neck is beautiful.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017 at 2:27 AM

  14. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    So my friend that I made the guitar for came over today to help me with a recording project and I asked him to try it out. Keep in mind, John is a long time professional guitarist and also the worship pastor at my church. After playing it for about 5 minutes he was impressed and completely surprised when I told him that it was his. It turned out to be two things he did not have in his collection...an SSS configuration and a Hardtail. I'll be starting another project before long that will be really involved... After finishing the other big project which I will be posting abot soon hopefully.
     
    QMTstrat and skypeace like this.

  15. skypeace

    skypeace Sky Pilot Strat-Talk Supporter

    415
    Mar 10, 2017
    Connecticut

  16. MrPoppa2

    MrPoppa2 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    75
    Apr 5, 2011
    Sun City, Az.
    IMG_0234.JPG IMG_0038.JPG IMG_0043.JPG Hmmm? I have two SE's and one just like yours, the other one got a refinish...to blue, it has a set of MIM pickups,and all the other parts to re- produce a MIM Strat. My other one has a set of Tex/Mex pickups, they both sound great. I for one think an SE Strat is the all time best Strat for modding and they can be found often in Pawn Shops. ...........Poppa
     

    Attached Files:


  17. MrPoppa2

    MrPoppa2 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    75
    Apr 5, 2011
    Sun City, Az.
    View attachment 254927 My two SE's modded to the hilt. I think everyone should have an SE Strat, they are just real fun, and not a lot of money, pawn shops often have them for less than 100.00. ............Poppa
     

  18. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    They are a lot of fun, for sure. I will be looking for another one before long to make a Hardtail of my own.
    I really like the blue on yours, BTW. Very pretty axe.
     

  19. Dadocaster

    Dadocaster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Don't let the secret out: A lot of those inexpensive Squiers can be made into good players with a little effort. What's not to like about inexpensive projects that are fun and result in a fun guitar?
     
    Believer7713 likes this.

  20. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    Oooooohhhhhh, OK. I won't say s thing. It'll be our little secret.