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Parts Caster

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by Claybrewsbeer, Nov 8, 2019.

  1. Claybrewsbeer

    Claybrewsbeer New Member!

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    Ok so I know I may get killed for this. I am wanting to build a parts caster with a Koa body. I was thinking of ordering a cheap chinese body and using all american hardware and neck. I want to put an American standard neck, duncan pickups, and fender hardware on it (bridge, tuning keys, pots etc). I was thinking of ordering the body from warmouth but the cost is starting to get out of hand that way. Any suggestions, warnings, or advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
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  2. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Warmoth makes great stuff. If you look for a body already made, chances are you will pay less. Be very careful buying chinese guitar parts.
     
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  3. Buzzgrowl

    Buzzgrowl Strat-Talker

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    Are you 100% set on koa? Lots of bodies available at the stratosphere shop...
     
  4. Robby Fowler

    Robby Fowler Strat-Talk Member

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    I’m
    some luthiers (cough cough, me) could probably build an American handmade guitar for less than a parts caster
     
  5. heltershelton

    heltershelton BANNED Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Also, an American standard neck, brand new, is overpriced for what it is. IN MY OPINION.
    even used they can be pricey.
    I would go warmoth all the way.
    Unless you just gotta have it say "phinder" on the headstock.
    I like custom waterslides.
    1532095509609.jpg
     
  6. Smokey3

    Smokey3 Strat-Talker

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    The Koa wood is really nice looking, I just saw it on the new Epi LP and it is great.
     
  7. Seymour Duncan

    Seymour Duncan Senior Stratmaster

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    Be aware that cheap koa might not actually be koa at all. It is expensive because it is rare. It might be cheaper through a reputable source if you just get a veneer over a less expensive/less rare wood.
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

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    .

    What's the purpose of building a guitar around the Koa? Looks, weight, or mystical tonal property experimentation?

    If the last item on the list, you won't know if it's the wood or any of the other parts that make the great or poor end result. Do you have another guitar you know for a long time and can just swap in a new body?

    If just chasing looks, the suggestion above about using a veneer or cap is a good one.

    Many of the Reverend guitars are using Koa and you'd get a whole working guitar that way.

    .
     
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  9. Ruscio

    Ruscio Strat-O-Master

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    Welcome to S-T! There are good comments here already, but I'd add one cautionary note that there's no telling whether the neck pocket will be the right size for your neck, so you might have to do a little work to make it fit. That's less of a concern if you buy bodies + necks that are made from reputable manufacturers to a compatible standard. Good luck with the build!
     
  10. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Strat-O-Master

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    Koa is a very expensive wood these days especially a solid body like said above is usually used a s a veneer these days , I doubt you will find a cheap Chinese genuine koa body , that's before you start working out measurements to see if the American stuff will fit , it usually doesn't, sounds like an expensive and unnecessary build . For the price of the genuine neck and parts and build hrs there must be something more suited for you. Unless of course you are trying to build a cheap version of the fender rarity series perhaps.

    https://shop.fender.com/en-GB/elect...koa-top-stratocaster/0176503821.html?rl=en_US
     
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  11. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Strat-O-Master

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    [​IMG]
    Or do you want it like this in which case fair play but good luck and I hope you haven't got champagne taste with lemonade pockets.
     
  12. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    Your cost is going to be "out of hand" whether you buy the body from Warmoth or China.
    The US parts and electronics are going to make up the majority of the cost.
    I have two guitars that I built from parts. One using a "cheap" body (still good quality Alder) with custom paint ($350 total) and MiM Fender neck ($250). That one, I have probably about the same into it than had I just bought an American Professional Telecaster.
    The other started life as a Stratosphere 2019 Flying-V husk. It is a genuine Gibson body/neck. The husk was $700. I have about $200 more into it than had I just bought it from Sam Ash (but I have gold hardware instead of chrome).

    Unless you already have a box of parts that you are going to use, you are not going to be able to put together a quality build for less than you can buy a new model. We simply can not compete with a factory that runs mass-production when we are doing one-off builds and paying retail for parts.
    Build a Partscaster because you want to, or build a Partscaster to burn off spare parts.
    Don't build a Partscaster to save money, because you won't.


    V-Overall-1.jpg Tele-1.jpg
     
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  13. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Strat-O-Master

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    @CB91710 agree entirely with what you are saying . Nice v though man I don't know much about them but im guessing it's a 58 korina clone in essence. But your splatter caster hurts my eyes :confused:.
    But yes not to discourage the op in his build , unless he has very deep pockets and a Good skill base in guitar builds or assembly then this will spiral out of control . He has already stated that a warmouth body is a bit steep for him . The only time parts guitars are a cheaper alternative is if you can at the very least form your own bodies and know your stuff when finishing is concerned.

    So to address the op s concerns , I suggest planning the build before hand as if you were doing it for some one else, be meticulous and know what you want it to be in the end, know what you genuinely can or cant do.
    Warnings would be all parts are not equal so take care what you do buy ,neck pockets ,routes, finishing products. measure twice or more and draw a paper plan with the supplied measurements, see if it works and lines up.
    Advice, go out and play a load of guitars in a similar vain to see what you really like , my conservative estimate for this is already over £1200 gbp and that's assuming you know what your doing if you dont and need to employ some one well double that figure . And that puts you in to some serious territory for already built guitars.
    Food for thought I hope but if you do go ahead keep us informed and we will all help as required.
     
  14. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    The V is a 2019 Gibson body/neck, and except for the Duncan pickups, the configuration is pretty much identical to the current production V, but I opted for gold hardware instead of chrome, black pickguard instead of white, and keystone Grovers instead of kidney.
    Pickups and bridge/tail are things that many owners would swap out anyways. I went with the gold hardware and black PG to capture more of the '58 vibe.

    I wanted "over the top" on the Tele so I went all-out with the Gotoh engraved hardware. That's an S1 on the volume and 4-way, it has the Baja circuit. I have a matching Strat body and when I get the time and the weather cools off so I can spend some time with the drill press, I'll build out a twin. Cool thing is the Strat MiM 50's Lacquer neck has a deep-V profile while the Tele is rounded, so even though both will look similar, they will each have a different feel.


    As for OP's build, the real money saver (assuming you don't place a value on your time) is indeed fabricating the body and neck, and applying the finish.
    MiM Fender necks are around $250. US necks start at $500 and go up from there.

    DON'T BE FOOLED BY "LICENSED BY FENDER" comments and claims made on forums (and often by repair shops).
    That simply means that Warmoth and Allparts/Mighty-Mite pay a royalty fee to Fender to allow for the use of the Fender shaped headstock.
    These parts are not "authorized Fender replacement parts" and are not used by (honest) Fender repair facilities.

    That said, Warmoth parts are top-notch and I would not hesitate to use them (and in fact own a Warmoth Slimline Strat body for a future build).
    Allparts and Mighty-Mite? I don't know if those are US-made or imported.
     
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  15. henderman

    henderman Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    i love parts casters, you can get what you want, how you want it. you can sometimes get something great from very little.

    but as mentioned it can add up if you do not have a pile of parts already.
     
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  16. Stratwrangler

    Stratwrangler Strat-O-Master

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    @CB91710 nice builds there , and agree entirely that not all parts are equal or legit. The strat build sounds cool too. Id never played a v neck until fairly recently in London I got to play a real 56 strat and I loved it very comfy but very different,
     
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  17. Olly White

    Olly White Strat-Talk Member

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    Good luck with it! I made a tele with a top of koa's cousin, Australian blackwood, gorgeous but heavy....

    _DSC6564.jpg
     
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  18. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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  19. Mimbles_62

    Mimbles_62 Strat-Talk Member

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    An American standard neck is pretty expensive for what it is. You can buy decent pre-finished Strat necks for much less than an official fender one. You could probably have one made to order to your own spec too.
     
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  20. CB91710

    CB91710 This is a Custom Title Gold Member Strat-Talk Supporter

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    A truly made-to-order Warmoth that isn't actually a stocked configuration will cost you as much as a US Fender neck.
    Stock configuration will start at $157 unfinished with no nut
    MiM Fender necks (complete) are around $200-$250.
    Minimum for Warmoth is $260 with nut and finished, but they go up to almost $700 for what they currently have in stock.
     
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