Join Strat-Talk Today

Stratocaster Body Build

Discussion in 'DIY Strat Forum' started by mapleglo, Oct 29, 2015.

  1. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    I found this forum in my search for Strat parts, based on a body I'm building from ash, so it's only natural that I post my progress here. I started collecting ash from the lumber store I frequent, usually when they were running sales. I've built a few basses, and I wanted to start on a guitar. A Strat is my first choice.

    So here's the three pieces I ended up with clamped up.

    [​IMG]

    Out of the clamps, sanded, with a center line drawn.

    [​IMG]

    I printed out a template, scotch taped it together, and then taped it to the ash board, matching up the center lines.

    [​IMG]

    Started cutting it with the jig saw.

    [​IMG]

    Rough cutting complete.

    [​IMG]

    Just in time for most of the arrival of the parts.

    [​IMG]

    Specs include a hard tail, the cheapest loaded pick guard I could find, to be upgraded when the bank account recovers, and a MIM maple/maple neck. The Squier neck in the picture is just for rough placement purposes. I'll leave the ash body natural, with a gloss finish.

    I hope to find some time this weekend to start routing the body. Updates as they happen.
     
  2. The Strat Dude

    The Strat Dude Sticker bushes and Posy rules! Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    12,287
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2014
    Location:
    At the-hole-in-the-wall
    Thats awesome dude, very exiting
     
  3. LordOfPudding

    LordOfPudding Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Location:
    California
    Cool! Can't wait to see how this progresses!
     
  4. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    Thanks! I'm looking forward to it as well. The loaded maple MIM neck should arrive next week. It shipped today.
     
  5. fumbler

    fumbler PhD-Stratology

    Age:
    54
    Messages:
    5,652
    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2009
    Location:
    New Joisey!
    I love a scratch-build thread.

    You are an awesome individual and I will enjoy watching your progress.
     
  6. hornpiper

    hornpiper Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,780
    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2014
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    That's very cool "DUDETTE", (I had to say it right for yours and everybody else's sake!). Looking forward to seeing the progress on the Strat. I admire the skill, I think I might be all thumbs on something like that!
     
  7. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    Thanks for the all the interest and comments (and correction :). I did a little more work this morning. I started by making a routing template for the output jack plate.

    [​IMG]

    Then using my drill press and forester bits, removed as much wood in the area of the jack as I could.

    [​IMG]

    That should be enough.

    [​IMG]

    Then I clamped the template and body to my workbench, and set up the router. I've gained a healthy respect for routers over the years. They like everything clamped firmly into place, and like to move slowly and carefully when they're in use. I don't argue :p

    [​IMG]

    After the initial pass with the router, I removed the template and switched to the shorter router bit, and just used the first routing pass as the template. Hole is routed.

    [​IMG]

    Jack seems to fit.

    [​IMG]

    After finishing the jack area, I removed everything from the pick guard, and traced its rough location onto the body.

    [​IMG]

    Now I'm deciding about the rout under the pick guard. The body is a bit heavy, so I'm thinking of doing a "swimming pool" rout for the pickup and control area, removing a good amount of wood for weight, and allowing a swap for larger pickups - perhaps hum buckers - without having to re-rout the area. I think I'll have another cup of coffee while I make a decision.

    Or work a bit more on my other project in process - my pedal board.

    [​IMG]
     
  8. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    It occurred to me that I should probably rout the neck cavity before working more on the body. The neck I ordered won't be here until next week, so I'm hoping that the Squier neck is the same, and I started making a template.

    [​IMG]
     
  9. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    A little more work done today. Started on the neck pocket.

    [​IMG]

    And routed.

    [​IMG]

    Then I started removing wood from the pickguard area.

    [​IMG]

    Then I routed it with a template I made earlier.

    [​IMG]

    And finished off the control area using another template.

    [​IMG]

    Then I routed the round over around the whole body.

    [​IMG]

    And everything seems to fit.

    [​IMG]

    The neck should be here this week, so once that arrives, I can mount that, and then the bridge, and start wiring everything up for a test. There's always plenty of sanding to do, so I'll start on that tomorrow.
     
  10. Bodean

    Bodean Just A Simple Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    30,482
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Looking good so far. Are you going to contour the body?
     
  11. LordOfPudding

    LordOfPudding Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    151
    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2015
    Location:
    California
    Thanks for doing this build thread...very informative! Looks great!
     
  12. nungesser

    nungesser When I became of age my momma sat me down Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    7,226
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2014
    Location:
    Ireland
    great having you here and really dig all the photos, you are very accomplished at the woodwork, impressive,
     
  13. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    Thanks for all the comments and interest!

    Yes, I'll do a belly cut and a forearm cut. I'll break out the belt sander for that, but after cleaning up all the routing shavings and dust, I thought I'd wait and let my sinuses clear for a day or so. I did a little more sanding, but have a bit ahead of me.
     
  14. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    A little more work done today as I started on the contouring. First the belly cut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Then the forearm cut.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I didn't make the cuts as deep as they might be on a production Strat. Some may notice that my body is a bit shallower, by about a half inch. Saving weight, and I like guitar bodies a bit thinner than Fender typically makes them. Maybe from years of playing Rickenbackers.

    [​IMG]

    The neck should be here Thursday night according to the UPS site, so I may actually have this playing by the weekend. Though there is still a bit of sanding yet to do. Maybe next weekend then.
     
  15. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    It may not look very different, but it feels a lot smoother. Sanded down to 220 grit.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  16. Bodean

    Bodean Just A Simple Man Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    52
    Messages:
    30,482
    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2014
    Location:
    South Carolina
    Super nice.
     
  17. surf's up

    surf's up Strat-Talker

    Messages:
    134
    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2013
    Location:
    RI
    You killed it! Very nice job, flawless lay-up. What's your finish choice?
     
  18. mapleglo

    mapleglo Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    677
    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2015
    Location:
    phoenix
    Thanks! I'm planning on a clear gloss finish.
     
  19. sumran

    sumran Fan of Leo

    Messages:
    3,742
    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2010
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    Very well done. I especially like the figuring of the grain on the short horn. Shame it will get covered by the pickguard.
     
  20. stratman in va

    stratman in va Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Age:
    50
    Messages:
    8,833
    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2012
    Location:
    Virginia
    This is turning out great! I want to do a build from scratch now.

    Thanks for posting.

    The ash will look wonderful for this Strat.
     
    Dalendl likes this.
  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.