Join Strat-Talk Today

From a scratch built '62 to a '54

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Olly White, Feb 15, 2020 at 2:46 AM.

  1. Olly White

    Olly White Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Location:
    Perth
    Some parts of this have been posted here and over at TDPRI at various times in various threads, but...... a while back I bought a light one pice swamp ash blank from the US and made it into a vintage spec strat body (except for the cutaway neck pocket) which I sprayed white as the first step in a dream Hendrix Woodstock strat build. After building several reverse & normal big headstock necks and then a couple of pre-CBS style necks, stripping and repainting the body, blocking and re-routing the neck pocket to straighten up it's slight lean I finally settled on the '62 look, at quite some distance from Woodstock. Here are some of the steps and guises since October 2018:

    IMG_9780.jpg

    IMG_9875.jpg

    Untitled-1.jpg

    The pickups went from Fender OV 65's to Fatpups Little Wings '67's despite the guitar going back in time to the early 60's.....finally settled on this iteration with roasted maple neck:

    62-frontback.jpg

    The paint was basically the undercoat and in the end I put off finishing it properly as the guitar played and sounded so good.......but still something was not quite right! The neck pocket was close to 57mm and the narrow spaced Babicz bridge meant plenty of real estate between E strings and fretboard edge which slowly began to bother me more and more, not so much from a playing POV but aesthetically. So decided to bite the bullet and rework the neck pocket to 55.6mm which, of course, meant building a new neck, and as I'd been gassing for some A3 pickups for a while....bugger it, start over and convert her into a '54! Besides the one-piece swampy body virtually demanded it....

    IMG_1770.jpg

    IMG_1773.jpg

    IMG_1785.jpg

    IMG_1788.jpg
    IMG_1806.jpg

    The pickups are Q's non-RWRP 1954 A3 set; wiring is Gilmour 7 way with bridge tone control; neck is a fat-bastard, 9.5 with med jumbo Evo frets...the narrower neck allows for some extra girth without losing playability, at least compared to the previous neck. The guitar weighs in at 7.08 lb. All in all, couldn't be happier! Well, I will be happier when I find someone to spray it tobacco burst for me. And if I could play a bit better......

    '54-strato.jpg
     
    CFFF, fergyuk and Guy Named Sue like this.
  2. Olly White

    Olly White Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Location:
    Perth
    The attempt to have it resemble a '54 included a walnut plug (in the 2 piece neck) and Fender '54 accessory plastics on a 1 ply pickguard:

    walnut-plug.jpg

    knobs.jpg

    The side dots are definitely non-54, being 3mm aluminium knitting needles. Always sanding through thin side dots at the final building stage led to the use of knitting needles which can be sunk deeper into the neck, plus the shiny aluminium showed up miles better at most angles against the darkish roast.

    hand.jpg
     
  3. Olly White

    Olly White Strat-Talk Member

    Messages:
    49
    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2014
    Location:
    Perth
    The walnut plug pic shows the deeper headstock that results when using a thicker neck/fretboard blank than the traditional 25mm - I think this one ended up 28mm or so...it definitely means a steeper string break angle over the nut (which still requires final sanding) and a transition at the back of the headstock that isn't as elegant, but does it also mean better sustain?...a stiffer action? Dunno, but the sustain here is very good and the action unobtrusive so it worked out ok in this instance.
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020 at 5:00 AM
    Guy Named Sue likes this.
  4. Guy Named Sue

    Guy Named Sue All roads lead to Stratocaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    22,601
    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    Location:
    Terra Incognita
    Beautiful and great job. You're not gonna finish the body?
     
  5. StratMike10

    StratMike10 Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    59
    Messages:
    9,571
    Joined:
    Apr 8, 2010
    Location:
    Florida
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.