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NND - What to Do with This New Neck

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by mapleglo, Dec 13, 2019.

What to do with the new Elite neck

  1. Build a new body

    3 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. Install in existing hardtail build

    4 vote(s)
    25.0%
  3. Install in Fishman Strat

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Just buy an Elite body and be done with it

    7 vote(s)
    43.8%
  5. Some other option I have not listed

    2 vote(s)
    12.5%
  1. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    So an on-line parts seller had this Elite Stratocaster neck on special.

    neck-tuners.jpg

    I really have come to love my Elite Strat and Tele, so I decided that it might be worth getting this neck and a set of locking tuners. My initial plan for this would be to build a body. I think I'd like to do a hardtail, and I don't think that Fender, or anyone else for that matter, offers a hardtail body with the curved neck heel and notched neck pocket. So that leaves just doing a custom body build.

    I suppose if an Elite Strat or Tele body came up at some sort of great deal, I might change my mind.

    Two other alternatives are also possible. I could do a neck swap with this custom hardtail build I did a while ago:

    strat no controls.jpg

    I'd just have to notch out the truss rod adjustment area. The Elite neck also features a contoured neck heel, so I'd have to decide If I wanted to make that adjustment as well.

    Or I could do a neck swap with this Strat:

    fishman strat.jpg

    Again, I'd have to notch out the area for the truss rood adjust. I also just installed a Fishman Powerbridge on this one. If I did this one, I could put this neck on the hardtail, which currently has an MIM neck. Again, I'd have to decide if I wanted to contour the neck heel.

    I'm tending toward a new body build, with the hardtail mod in 2nd place.

    Not sure when I'd start this project, regardless of which way I go.
     
  2. integra evan

    integra evan Strat-O-Master

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    MJT might be able to build you a body that would work, contour heel included.
    I know that neck gas the extra hole for the standard 4 bolt too.
    Got the same neck in ebony, probably from the same place you did. Ended up returning it because I didnt feel like getting a body to work for it haha.
     
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  3. Groovey

    Groovey Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The first choice made my heart skip. The WOW feeling.

    But as a modifier of strats and such, I often take the path of least resistance. What will make the build come together? Readily?

    Either way you won't go wrong. Great find!
     
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  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    So I ended up ordering this body:

    body copy.jpg

    It should be easy enough to modify the neck heel to fit the contour, and the truss rod adjustment wheel cavity just requires a cut between the bottom of the neck pocket and pickup rout. Since I'm feeling pretty lazy, I'll probably just finish the body with tung oil or similar, unless i get a burst of energy.

    I haven't decided what pickups or hardware to use just yet.
     
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  5. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    OK, so the body I ordered arrived.

    body1.jpg

    body2.jpg

    Overall, it looks good, and for under $100, it seems lie a good deal. Nice grain, alder wood, and it looks easy enough to modify for the neck heel curve and the truss rod adjustment cavity. Only one slight issue:

    body defect.jpg

    When they drilled the jack cavity, they were a little too aggressive, and actually went through to the other side. I figure I'll seal the grain with epoxy, and that will seal that little hole. There is also no ground wire channel from the bridge area, but that will be easy enough to fix.
     
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  6. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    So I made some markings,

    markedcurve.jpg

    started up the spindle sander, and got to work.

    cut.jpg

    Tested the neck for fit.

    testfit.jpg

    And it looks good. I can start final sanding on the body, and start finishing. During that time, I need to decide what bridge and pickups I'll be buying, and a few bits of hardware, like the output jack and string trees. I have an Elite Moto white pickguard which I'll probably use, though I also have a black one which is also a possibility. For the finish, I'm thinking clear, though white is possible.

    On another Strat, I swapped out the bridge for a Piezo bridge, and I'm liking the way that sounds. So I may go with an LR Baggs X-bridge along with the standard magnetic pickups. We'll see,
     
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  7. Miotch

    Miotch Senior Stratmaster

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    Pretty nice for the price. And it looks like a one-piece !! I'm assuming you got the hole plugged up nicely.

    Nice build so far.
     
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  8. Dreamdancer

    Dreamdancer Strat-O-Master

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    Put the neck in a drawer,covered with packing tape, suspended and dead straight(masking the truss rod access carefully)...and pour liquid glass around it to make the body.Instant guitar;).
     
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  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Except for the weight, that would be a cool body.

    Anyway, I haven't moved forward anymore on this because I need to decide if I'm using the LR Baggs X-bridge or not, and if I do, if I'll use the preamp mixer. Because if I do use the preamp, I'll want to do some additional routing under the pickguard for the battery and circuit board. I'm pretty settled on a Player Strat loaded pickguard for magnetic pickups. My Player Strat is one of the best sounding Strats I have, and the pickups are reasonably priced. If not, I'll go with noiseless, which are 3x the price.

    I spent some money last month on gear, and just paid off my card, so I'm hesitant to start buying more stuff just yet. I also may be able to get some of theses parts as presents for the holiday. And while I'm always impatient when it comes to new projects, I have a bunch of really nice guitars to keep me company while I wait. Also looking to start a speaker cab build for my Quilter, and that'll keep me busy.
     
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  10. rudos1

    rudos1 Senior Stratmaster

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    Nice job so far. I vote for clear finish!
     
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  11. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Thanks, yes, a clear finish is likely. The grain is surprisingly nice on this body, especially considering the cost. And as @Miotch points out, this looks like a one piece body. If it's a two piece (or more), I can't see the seam. Which is all the more reason to do a clear finish.
     
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  12. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Looks like most of the parts are in.

    newstrat parts.jpg

    I'm thinking I'll remove the tone controls for the magnetic pickups to make room for the X-Bridge controls. Then I'll have to decide where I'm going to put the battery. I'm thinking under the pickguard. I may just make this into a swimming pool rout which will make it easier to remove and re-install the pickguard after everything is together for the battery swap. I may make the rout a little wider than necessary, and put the battery at the treble side of the rout.
     
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  13. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Started working on the pickguard this morning.

    Mounted the parts.

    partsmounted.jpg

    And now I need to start wiring.

    startwiring.jpg

    To avoid wiring, I routed out some space for the battery. I may go deeper, but this is a good start.

    routed.jpg

    We have some kind of a New Years thing today, so I may have to start getting ready for that before I can move forward on this project. It also occurred to me that I still have to drill out the ferrule openings on the back of the body.
     
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  14. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    So working on this alder body reminds me why I never build out of alder. It's a soft wood compared to, say, maple or even walnut. So it cuts, routs, and sands easily, but it also kind of collapses under its own weight. I tried drilling out insets where the ferrules will go, and the result was not pretty. Stopped after the second try. I'm not sure if I'll try to fix it or just leave it as is. For now, I just filled the grain with West System epoxy, and I'll let that cure while I decide.
     
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  15. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Forgot to post the pic...

    grainfill.jpg

    I may just rout out a larger area and insert an aluminum block to act as ferules, or leave it as is. The ferules may just cover up most of that. We'll see. I'm not sure if the drill bit was dull, or the wood too weak.

    I'll also add that this body, while worth the $80.00 I paid for it has a few issues. There's that one area that they drilled through, and I also just noticed that the ferule holes in the back are too small for standard Fender ferules, and they are not centered with the string through holes on the top of the body. Had I known these issues prior to purchasing, I would have just built one. Live and learn.
     
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  16. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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  17. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    I'm going to try and make one, before I blow another $50 on a ferule block.

    ferule block1.jpg

    ferule block2.jpg

    I'll wait until I complete a template for routing out the insert area, so I can file the rounded corners to fit as close as possible. I prefer a silver color (aluminum) to brass anyway.
     
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  19. CigBurn

    CigBurn Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Color me impressed. :)
     
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  20. mapleglo

    mapleglo Senior Stratmaster

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    Gluing up the routing template for the ferrule block.

    feruleblock template.jpg
     
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