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The StratoParts guitar from Hell!

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by AxemanVR, Nov 8, 2017.

  1. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    I should have pretty much everything I need (I hope)!

    I do want to thank @fattboyzz for his generous donation (he pitched in on the Squier Tele body I just ordered).

    I'm not in dire need of any help but I do really appreciate all the support I'm getting (either morally or otherwise) and that's what's making this project so easy to do (I have to admit it didn't seem too fun at first).

    Thanks everyone!

    '
     
    Mansonienne and fattboyzz like this.

  2. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    Well... still waiting for the body to show up (scheduled to be delivered tomorrow via FedEx), in the meantime I decided to "relic" the pickguard, since it just plain looked too "nice" for this guitar, so...

    IMG_4668.JPG

    Now it has that dingy "lived a somewhat rough life" look that people pay big money to possess.

    Damn, this kid's going to end up with a free "Custom Shop" level guitar by the time I'm done!

    '
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017

  3. electroplasmolog

    electroplasmolog Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    54
    86
    Sep 18, 2017
    GB
    I can just imagine the kid saying 'thanks for the guitar, the pickguard was a bit dirty so I gave it a good clean with a brillo pad'
     
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  4. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    The extra holes in the neck heel have been filled...

    IMG_4683.JPG

    Note the "authentic" Fender neck screws I am now employing:

    IMG_4690.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2017
    Mansonienne and Chont like this.

  5. mduganjr

    mduganjr Strat-Talker

    Age:
    36
    139
    Nov 16, 2016
    Covington, Louisiana
    Thx for the updates. Going to be exciting to see the finished product!
     
    AxemanVR likes this.

  6. DIYrocker

    DIYrocker Senior Stratmaster

    Dec 16, 2013
    Pennsylvania
    Looks like you're getting it in shape :thumb:
     

  7. LBXPDX

    LBXPDX Strat-Talker

    107
    Mar 18, 2015
    Portland
    The body I believe is from a mid 90’s Chinese Squier. It should be full thickness and alder.
     
    AxemanVR likes this.

  8. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    It does seem like it has the full thickness, but it's also a "Bullet" model, which I am now discovering had several different dimensions depending on when and where it was made...

    IMG_4758.JPG

    In the case of this particular body there were two critical dimensions that posed potential problems; the neck pocket and the pickguard...

    The neck pocket was off a bit. This picture shows the extra material that got in the way of allowing the neck to fully seat in the pocket:

    IMG_4763.JPG

    I had to route out this portion of the pocket to square it off. Afterwards it fit perfect:

    IMG_4765.JPG

    The pickguard problem was not going to be quite so easy to fix...

    Here you can see how the pickguard (the one I was planning on using) does not fit very well, especially at the control plate:

    IMG_4747.JPG

    It may be difficult to tell, but practically everything else is slightly misaligned too.

    Obviously "standard" sized Fender pickguards ain't gonna work... time for a "Plan B" I guess, which involves either wasting more time (and money) trying to find the correct one or making one myself... well, I decided that making my own might be the best bet right now, so...

    I made a template out of a piece of paper:

    IMG_4750.JPG
    IMG_4752.JPG
    IMG_4754.JPG

    Then I transferred this over to a heavier cardboard material:

    IMG_4755.JPG

    I'll outline my progress later once I get the material for completing the pickguard project...

    '
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017

  9. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    While I'm working out the details on how I'm going to make the pickguard I decided to focus on some of the "easier" stuff... starting with the pickups...

    Since I already have the "Duncan Designed" humbucker for the bridge position, now all I needed was something for the neck position, so I pulled out my box-o-misfit-pickups:

    IMG_4740.JPG

    I went through a phase where I was trying every Fender noiseless pickup ever made, including a Vintage Noiseless, an N3 and a Samarian Cobalt.

    I went with the Vintage Noiseless:

    IMG_4756.JPG

    I also decided to mount it to the body instead of the pickguard since I think it will be easier when fitting the pickguard and swapping it as well (more on this later)...

    The next thing I needed to do was to mount the bridge, since the body was set up for the modern style three screw bridge but the bridge I'm using has the mounting holes in a different spot.

    Then I had to open up the bridge pickup cavity for the humbucker, so more routing was in order, but now that's done at least:

    IMG_4767.JPG
    IMG_4768.JPG

    Notice how I also "aged" the bridge a bit.

    Anyway, here's a quick mockup which will give you an idea of how it'll look:

    IMG_4769.JPG
    '
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    Mansonienne and Scottz like this.

  10. Believer7713

    Believer7713 Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    43
    Dec 27, 2016
    US
    How about a sheet of pickguard material. Ill send it to you free for this project.
    1510818842536.jpg
     
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  11. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    I really REALLY appreciate your offer, but I already have a plan in the works...

    I've decided to do something like this:

    IMG_4784.JPG

    This is my 1996 Fender Standard Tele with a clear plexiglass pickguard.

    Underneath it is a picture taken from an actual album cover (the Beatles "Blue Ablum" to be more precise).

    So I went out and bought a piece of 1/8" thick plexiglass from my local Ace Hardware store...

    IMG_4779.JPG

    ...traced the pickguard using the template I made earlier...

    IMG_4781.JPG

    ...then carefully cut it out using a scroll saw...

    IMG_4782.JPG

    ...and here's the rough cut pickguard ready for final finishing:

    IMG_4783.JPG

    It's not a professional job to be sure, but that's why I picked the clear plexiglass/album cover design since my mistakes won't be as noticeable.

    Anyway, now I just need to find an appropriate album cover to sacrifice for the greater good, so off to the local vintage vinyl record store to see what they got...

    I'm getting pretty excited now!

    '
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
    Believer7713 and rudos1 like this.

  12. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    So... now that most of the pieces to this puzzle are coming together there was one last thing that needed attention... the horribly mauled body!

    Here you can see the massive gouge on this guitar's once pristine top:

    IMG_4760.JPG

    Due to the sharp edges on the shattered pieces of the hard poly finish, I had no choice but to sand it down, so I decided to make that part of its "new look".

    The first picture shows the dull gray finish (in the upper right bout) after sanding. The other pictures portray the "epiphany" I had... to do something a little "different:

    IMG_4776.JPG IMG_4774.JPG IMG_4773.JPG
    IMG_4775.JPG IMG_4778.JPG

    What the heck... the thing already looked like crap right?

    I used a black "Sharpie" to make the patterns and colored the exposed wood using hi-lighter pens.

    I'll spray some "Satin" clear coat over it after it drys...


    '
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017
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  13. gilmourstrat

    gilmourstrat Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 16, 2012
    Europe
    Wow @AxemanVR! I see you're taking this work very close to your heart. I can see a lot of work involved and all of this to help out a kid. ;)

    Great stuff indeed Sir.
     
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  14. Cerb

    Cerb Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    37
    Jan 22, 2016
    Sweden
    The body looks really good!
     
    AxemanVR likes this.

  15. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    A disappointing turn of events... I cracked the plexiglass pickguard while drilling one of the screw holes, so I went out and got this stuff:

    IMG_4791.JPG

    It looks like ass, but so far seems to be holding:

    IMG_4789.JPG

    While I was out I stopped at the local vinyl store:

    IMG_4786.JPG

    I couldn't find any Metallica, but I did find this:

    IMG_4788.JPG

    Once I'm sure the glue will hold on the pickguard I'll trace the album cover and get it mounted to the guitar, then, hopefully, I should be able to wrap things up... finally!

    IMG_4792.JPG
     

  16. apm1991

    apm1991 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    26
    410
    Feb 14, 2017
    Arizona
    Good for you helping out... don't worry about people saying you are complaining... I understand the point you are trying to make and complaining wasn't it... You were just trying to show us this Frankenstein guitar gone wrong...

    At first glance I actually love that guitar! How did it play before you took it part?
     
    AxemanVR likes this.

  17. apm1991

    apm1991 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    26
    410
    Feb 14, 2017
    Arizona
    I like the neck as well
     

  18. apm1991

    apm1991 Strat-Talker

    Age:
    26
    410
    Feb 14, 2017
    Arizona
    If you wanna start a non-profit charity to spread music to children and public schools I'm all for it!!! I'm a broke guy but I can help with what I can.

    Last year I met these kids through my ex-gf's best friend.. The kids loved me and her son especially loved me playing guitar.. He immediately showed interest so I told my self I'm buying this kid a guitar for xmas (his mom can barely afford bills)

    I bought a $20 Johnson Steel string on craigslist.. complete POS, no strings, missing pegs, neck warped... I fixed it up so it can play ok, but still pretty bad (buzzes between 6-12 fret on most strings, yes I adjusted the truss-rod until the nut finally came out)... So I went out and bought another guitar, a $50 nylon, this one I made sure played nice.. It came with a case too, I put a bow on it and gave it to him and my God the joy on his face makes me tear up... The kid barely even knew me, we had met on maybe 5 occasions. He's 13 years old 6 foot tall and over 230 lbs and he just ran at me and hugged me....

    Sorry for the long story... I'm just sharing because it is SO unbelievably cool being able to make a kid so happy through music
     

  19. electroplasmolog

    electroplasmolog Strat-Talk Member

    Age:
    54
    86
    Sep 18, 2017
    GB
    Love the sharpie, I'm sending you all my guitars so you can do your magic.
     
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  20. AxemanVR

    AxemanVR Strat-O-Master

    705
    Feb 8, 2014
    Minnesota USA
    '
    Another last minute fixer-upper thing that still requires some attention, namely dealing with a couple stripped screw holes...

    The bottom strap button in particular must have been decapitated when this guitar was thrown off the top floor of a thirteen story building:

    IMG_4761.JPG

    ...so I used my tried and true "sawdust and wood glue" remedy to fix it:

    IMG_4794.JPG

    Now I'll wait a day then attach the appropriate strap-holding hardware...

    IMG_4795.JPG
     
    Last edited: Nov 16, 2017