Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups

Amplified Parts Lollar Pickups Guitar Pickups

Join Strat-Talk Today

Fender Stratocaster replica build: templates and draft body

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by lukido86, Jul 14, 2016.

  1. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Hello !

    I would like to share with you my project of Strat build. This is my first experience as an amateur luthier. I like DIY and wood working, I think that playing a personal handmade instrument is such amazing. I watched plenty of videos on Youtube, I read dozens of articles and here it is: it does not seem to be impossible :) !

    I also considered buying a kit with all parts having to be assembled, but I think that I will not, although it would be a great first approach.

    I found some specification sheets on Internet and printed them (1:1 scale, A0 format) :

    01_specs_thumb.jpg

    Then with tracing paper I reproduced the shapes I wanted on some MDF board. Then with a jigsaw and rasps, I realized these first templates (middle and right ones, contour reproduced with a router from left one) :

    02_templates1_thumb.jpg

    The main one for me is the most left with the full contour shape (#1). So with a router I reproduced it, this allowed me to have straight edges, because with rasps this is quite impossible..
    This #2 has been fixed with wood filler to have nice curves. Then I will reproduce #2 on the prepared board on the right of the picture, I hope to be satisfied at this point:

    03_templates2_thumb.jpg

    After that I will continue the other templates and be very careful concerning the neck and neck pocket adjustment.

    I also prepared a MDF body draft to test my templates. I don't want to ruin some good quality wood ! This is my first experience with a router so I want to get used to it.
    This is composed of 3 MDF layers of 1,6 cm glued together. So it is 3 mm thicker than the expected body size. As a draft I don't know if I will reduce it.
    And before routing the draft body I will certainly copy my templates to thicker MDF boards. Current ones are 0.6mm.

    04_body_thumb.jpg

    This is where I am today. I wish I could have more time to spend on this project, I'm so busy !!

    Any comment or tip appreciated !
    Have a nice day.
     
    Fendereedo and Guy Named Sue like this.
  2. Barrie Longdin

    Barrie Longdin Strat-Talker

    Age:
    46
    313
    Mar 18, 2016
    Southampton - UK
    Cool, I will be following this thread with interest. Good luck mate, post plenty of pictures :)
     
    lukido86 likes this.
  3. Simon Tan

    Simon Tan Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Apr 16, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Good luck! I've built 2 strats so far and it's been very rewarding!

    Did you cut the body with a jigsaw or a bandsaw?
     
  4. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    I only have a jigsaw so I took my time :)

    This is a pre-cut few mm from the target shape, I will use a handheld electric router and the template to accomplish the shape.

    But the prepared body on the picture is a draft in MDF. Maybe it would sound good but this is so heavy...
     
  5. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Strat-Talker

    255
    May 1, 2014
    Greece
    Consider also the solution(if you plan to make more than one guitar) to make acrylic templates.Before i made my two handmade strats i made 3 acrylic templates from a pdf file(two for the body one for the neck).I got them lazer cut in a store and the advantage to this is apart from the accuracy of the cut is that you can see through it and adjust it accordingly plus all the important lines(and of course the center line) look always perfect and well defined.
     
  6. Simon Tan

    Simon Tan Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    29
    71
    Apr 16, 2016
    Sydney, Australia
    Yes I reckon if you could get it laser cut on acrylic that would be the best. Then you use that as your master and make working templates out of plywood or mdf. It's not fun making templates from scratch!
     
  7. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Thanks!
    It's a good idea.
     
  8. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    It's definitely not fun, but it's more affordable. I will see if I'm not satisfied with my handmade templates I will find another solution. And even in case of problem I don't consider this as a loss of time, it lets me improving my skills :) I'm someone patient and persevering
     
    Nick Evans likes this.
  9. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Portland
    The spring cavity, tremolo top route and the jack.

    -I would recommend checking your specs before cutting any wood.

    ~JH
     
  10. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Hi, thanks!
    It is a general advice or do you suspect any problem according to the pictures ?
    Yes I often verify the template against the paper model.
     
  11. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Portland
    I am going to be honest, proportionally things dont look right.
    I even took your template picture and did a blueprint overlay in photoshop with semi transparency and things are not adding up. It was difficult as you took the your pictures at an angle but it still had some things that really didnt align.

    -The wire tunnels between pups is much thinner than normal.
    -The tremolo routing looks too narrow; almost like its just the block.
    -The jack routing is not shaped properly. Its too big.


    I didnt check the back but the spring cavity doest look right.

    Again this may be some weird camera prospective thing.

    Here is a commercially available strat template for visual comparison.

    [​IMG]

    ~JH
     
  12. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Hmm, I see, thanks.
    For the wire tunnel between pickups I can easily enlarge it that's not a big problem.
    For the other cavities I will try to check against a real instrument, as I do have an AM standard strat.
    Or even with another PDF, maybe either mine is wrong, or the related print is wrong.

    On your picture, is it me or the bottoms are flat ?

    Somewhere in my head is growing the idea of buying ready-to-use templates.. How long will I resist? If I let more trials going to the trash this is not affordable any more :)
     
  13. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Portland
    I found the problem.

    It has NOTHING to do with your work. It has everything to do with the blueprint you have. I found the exact blueprint you used and did overlay on photoshop with a correct example and its WAY off. Not only is the routing off but also the overall body shape and layout relationship.

    PM me your email and I will send you correct blueprints.

    ~JH
     
  14. Jonny Hotnuts

    Jonny Hotnuts Senior Stratmaster

    Nov 7, 2013
    Portland
    Here is an overlay shot. It not the easiest to see but the dotted line is the bad blue and the solid is correct.


    [​IMG]
     
  15. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Strat-Talker

    255
    May 1, 2014
    Greece
    Dude you ll be alright....i was exactly at your place a year ago and now i have two handbuilt strats of my own that i wouldnt change for the world.Templates are fine and all but just for your own sake make sure you have a precision ground ruler to...million check everything.....stay true to your center line at all costs and for your own sanity and the success of the build...buy a premade preradiused fingerboard(i cant stress that enough).If i made two strats without a router and powertools i dont think you ll have an issue since you seem more experienced in woodworking from the get go than i was.Good luck and take your time....cause when its done and done right...you wont be able to put the damn thing down i tell you;).
     
    lukido86 likes this.
  16. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Wow, thank you so much for taking the time to check and pointing this out ! I owe you one, I send you my email right now.
    This afternoon I looked a bit for the PDF file source on the Internet, but as I were at the office I could not go deep. Back home I could have sent you my PDF but you were damn quick :)
     
  17. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    There are some strat-heroes around here that's pretty sure :cool:
     
    Bob the builder likes this.
  18. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Hi all, some news about my build project.

    As Jonny Hotnuts kindly sent me his blueprint, I will go back to the template build step. I received the printed version, I ordered 2 copies: one I'll keep as a reference, and one I'll glue to the MDF board before cutting it. I don't want to use tracing paper again, this is definitely not convenient and there is a risk of making some mistakes.

    I'm busy at this moment so I really don't know when I will be able to start. I live in a house with plenty of things to do, and I also have a one year old baby. Plus my job... (I know I'm not alone in this case but..)

    But some days ago, I took the time to evaluate the cost of the project considering some specs I want (at this moment, it could change :) ). Here are some of them:
    • alder body
    • maple neck with rosewood fingerboard
    • 2 points AM standard vibrato bridge
    • Fender custom shop Fat 50 pickups
    • 3 ply white pickguard
    • fender american standard tuners
    • 5-way pickup selector
    • classical wiring I guess for the pots (am standard?)
    • satin finish on the back of the neck
    • daphne blue for the color of the body
    So I searched on several websites and I get to a total amount of about 700 euros (top margin with rough rounding) which gives $780 (change rate of today). This does not include the shipping, the MDF/plywood boards, the PDF print and the tools. I already have the main tools but I will certainly have to complete my bench gear.

    And I really don't know how much time I will spend on it and how often I will be available for it.

    Have a nice summer, although the middle of it is already reached :)

    See you soon.
     
  19. lukido86

    lukido86 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    34
    124
    Jul 12, 2016
    France
    Oh and the cost estimation does not take into account other stuff like the paint and finish.
     
  20. Aether_Works

    Aether_Works New Member!

    Age:
    61
    2
    Apr 1, 2017
    Ste-Adele, Quebec, Canada
    Hi all!
    Any progress on your project lukido?

    This thread got me interested since I am contemplating building myself a Start as well...
    It's always been on my todo list (to get a start)... when I realized I had this as leftover wood from a project I made... IMG_1371[1].JPG

    This is a beautiful walnut piece and has a strat body inside it!!!
    So I was thinking to make the body with it and simply order a neck from Warmoth... they seem to have awesome necks!

    So Jonny, I would love to have those blueprints for the body if you'd be so kind! I can message you my email as well :)