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#1February 27th, 2009 · 07:27 PM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
Strat Restore ... Interested in it ?
I am doing a Strat restore upgrade.. I have a lotus strat ,, The body is EDIT: mohagany and is fine. I will be restoring and upgrading the guitar. I am taking pics of the step by step procedure.  If any one is interested I will post the pics here. in this thread.. It will include the full shielding pics ect.  I am on a tight budget so it will show how you can build a very nice playing and sounding strat , for way less $$$$ than buying  that fancy one in the store.

 parts purchased so far................................2008 EDIT: mistake Fender mexican standard deluxe neck 91/2 radius  stock jumbo frets.
    the cost on the neck was  including shipping  .................$150.00 ( I would of went with Warmoth but the neck I wanted was twice as much).

 Noiseless "Hots" pups .... with upgraded switches and EDIT 500k changed from 250k tone pots.. and caps 0.22uf       $119.00

 new graphtech 8000 saddles  $40.00  EDIT: not using the graphtechs going with originals -40.00
Trem block upgrade to steel. $0.00 (had one)

EDIT: sold old tuners and bought new ones cost about sell 30.00

Aluminum foil  $1.50

Total Cost $310.50  EDIT:  NEW COST IS  $270.00 + 30.00 for better tuners.  so new cost is $300.00
 Total Cost $300.00
American Standard Strat  (the one I wanted to buy)  $999.99  discount $835.00 Yikes still too high.

American Standard Strat... alder body , cheaper trem, cheaper saddles, Alnico V pups (very nice sounding but noisy, and same sound from noiseless, plus a little hotter pups). single coils use 250k tone pots (I'll be using 500k with the humbucker stacks(noiseless).


If everything works out right I will end up with a very nice playing and great sounding "strat" .






pics of the almost stripped down (parts only) guitar and
pics of the homemade but very effective guitar shielding.
guitar will also have upgraded wiring with a single point ground source and no ground loops (unlike stock fenders)
Edit:guitar is in holding pattern till the neck and pups arrive. should be here Monday.

Here are some links that might help
http://www.mightymite.com/index.html
http://www.strat-talk.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/760-lets-build-one.html
http://www.guitarnuts.com/wiring/shielding/shield3.php
#2February 27th, 2009 · 08:13 PM
172 threads / 45 songs
1,913 posts
Canada
woah sweet man! im totally interested!!!
Im gonna check out that site...ive always wanted to build my custom guitar.
#3February 27th, 2009 · 08:23 PM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
For the shielding , I just used the old aluminum foil and contact cement. It takes a bit more work than the copper tape, but it works fine and is LOTs Cheaper.. all you need to do is seal the body cavities completely with foil leaving a small thin edge for the pick guard to sit on. The back of the pic guard needs to be shielded to.. I do all of it (back of pick guard) cause it is easier for me and the way I shield out to the body it gives better contact throughout the body cavity .
#4February 27th, 2009 · 08:59 PM
24 threads
166 posts
United States of America
ok... i was thinking of doing this myself....

make sure to remember helpful hints man!!
#5February 28th, 2009 · 05:00 AM
369 threads / 187 songs
3,321 posts
United Kingdom
Wow Goat, I didn't know you were a craftsman too, superb stuff, looks like your an expert.

Would be way cool if you could video it and put up on youtube.

One of my first Guitars which I still have is a left-handed less paul copy, I would love to someday restore it to
Gibson standard, do you think that is possible?

Cheers

Denis
#6February 28th, 2009 · 10:50 AM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
yes it is possible,  is it is neck thru guitar or bolt on neck, most Les Paul guitars are neck thru or glued on.  If it need a new neck ,s that is a lot more work. Still doable but more work and a little more cost.  It all depends on what you want to do to it.  I wouldn't have replaced the neck on the lotus but the frets are gone, It is a nice maple neck, one day I will tackle the job of replacing the frets on it..
#7February 28th, 2009 · 01:27 PM
369 threads / 187 songs
3,321 posts
United Kingdom
toastedgoat wrote…
yes it is possible,  is it is neck thru guitar or bolt on neck, most Les Paul guitars are neck thru or glued on.  If it need a new neck ,s that is a lot more work. Still doable but more work and a little more cost.  It all depends on what you want to do to it.  I wouldn't have replaced the neck on the lotus but the frets are gone, It is a nice maple neck, one day I will tackle the job of replacing the frets on it..

The neck seems OK, I think it's a bolt on, I'll have to check.

I'm no expert, but I suppose put some quality pick ups and a quality bridge set, the aim being to get the best quality sound, they would obviously need to be left handed? currently they are gold, which must of been sprayed on as it's coming off in some places.

Cheers

Denis
#8February 28th, 2009 · 06:07 PM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
I had on old Gibson ES 345 it had gold hardware on it that wore off.. I am not sure if there is any gold hardware out there that doesn't eventually have the gold come off of it.

So now I have hit my first snag, The noiseless pickups are just a fraction to big for the pick guard holes....
solution 1). modern,.... use dremmel tool to lengthen holes (I have no dremmel tools) or 2). Small rat tail file (which I do have. 3).  Go buy another pick guard... since I am trying to not spend anymore money I will opt out for  #2.

EDIT: picks added of filing the pickguard






regarding pickguards..... I found out that Guitar Center and Musicians Friend have pick guards that are fine for $6.99 .. I still filed mine down, but it is pretty scratched up (before I started filing on it), I may go get one of these.

p.s. I don't own a video camera or I would video it.  So pics it is.
#9March 1st, 2009 · 03:56 AM
369 threads / 187 songs
3,321 posts
United Kingdom
I'm not so concerned that the gold hardware has come off, just weather replacing the pick ups would improve
the sound quality. got porbs with my car at the moment, engine management light, it's been to the garage three times, it's still not fixed and I've spent 700.00, plus It's my wife's birthday next month and guess what, getting her a second hand car about three years old, plus business is down like most places.  I'm managing OK just, but have to be wise and not spend money unnecessarily. 

At the end of the day I own a US '78 Strat which meets all my needs, so if I did change anything on the Les paul copy it would be a bonus.

Go easy with that file!!

Look forward to seeing/hearing what you do on your Strat

Cheers

Denis
#10March 1st, 2009 · 09:36 AM
89 threads / 11 songs
858 posts
United States of America
Hey TG! I have always been interested in doing the Eddie Van Halen thing and building my own guitar from varied components....right now, however, I'm thinking of taking my own Epiphone Les Paul copy and throwing in some really nice electronics (I'm looking at some of Wagner's hand-wound pickups, to get that "old-school" sound...some better pots and a better switch....anyway, one can dream, can't one?)
#11March 1st, 2009 · 11:14 AM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
battlecat wrote…
Hey TG! I have always been interested in doing the Eddie Van Halen thing and building my own guitar from varied components....right now, however, I'm thinking of taking my own Epiphone Les Paul copy and throwing in some really nice electronics (I'm looking at some of Wagner's hand-wound pickups, to get that "old-school" sound...some better pots and a better switch....anyway, one can dream, can't one?)

 I would say go for it. changing a few things on a guitar can really make the difference.  When you get the right combination of electronics and neck/string set up, it can make the guitar just come alive, the notes just want to jump out at you. The guitar becomes so easy to play.

 I had a cheap squire strat once that I put texas specials in and really did a good fret job on it.  It became a great sounding and playing guitar., better than the american standard I had at the time. I like trying to take cheaper guitars and doing the upgrades needed to get a fine players guitar out of it.
#12March 1st, 2009 · 10:01 PM
172 threads / 45 songs
1,913 posts
Canada
When attaching the neck to the body...do you have to do anything special to make sure its perfectly centered or how does that whole process work?

im not so sure i understand some other things...but ill ask later
#13March 2nd, 2009 · 04:41 PM
148 threads / 27 songs
1,895 posts
United States of America
TheKunadiun wrote…
When attaching the neck to the body...do you have to do anything special to make sure its perfectly centered or how does that whole process work?

im not so sure i understand some other things...but ill ask later

www.guitarbuildingtemplates.com

When cutting from blanks (raw wood) most guitar makers (not using CNC machines) use layout templates with the routing alignments set up already. The templates have the neck pocket already in it. The back template also has the holes in it for the neck screws........

 and on that note.

  The new neck arrived today and another snag,  the neck pocket on the lotus wasn't routed out correctly at the factory. So I am going over to my friend Dennis The Drummer and he is going to route the correct dimensions out for the neck pocket.  2 1/2" width X  3" length X 5/8" deep.  I measured mine and it is correct except for some extra wood left in the middle on the length route.  I just need to cut out 1/16" about 1" wide.  While I am at it I will double check the depth at 5/8 inches.






ok neck pocket depth was fine we removed the wood left in the pocket, the neck fit perfectly after that.

Pics of the neck mounted on the guitar body




Tomorrow I will do the wiring and mount the pick guard and input jack.
#14March 2nd, 2009 · 10:15 PM
89 threads / 11 songs
858 posts
United States of America
I'm loving this guitar-build thing, TG! Keep it coming!
#15March 2nd, 2009 · 10:54 PM
126 threads / 42 songs
2,802 posts
Puerto Rico
Wow man awesome!!!!!
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