Gold strat build - now complete!

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    A bit more work on the build yesterday - got the 6 pivot screws for the trem fitted, a bit trickier than I'd imagined to get them in the right spot, but I think I've got it right.



    Pilot holes drilled:


    Check positioning (ok would have been a bugger to do much about it if it was wrong, but checked anyhow :D )


    Holes drilled out to final diameter (actually done in two more stages, but this is the result):


    Just to get them working right, I put in the 6 screws without fitting the bridge - bit of soap on the threads, and did my best to keep them spot on vertical as they went in:



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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Also changed the block on the Wilkinson trem unit - I bought the cheapest version with a zinc block, knowing I had a spare rolled steel one, with nice chromed finish, that I got from Vanson Guitars a while back. Actually, the zinc block still seems quite substantial, with a fair bit of weight to it - probably not too bad at all. But the rolled steel unit is noticeably heavier all the same (and does look better).

    As puchased with zinc block:


    Ready to swap:


    Rolled steel block fitted:


    FWIW I've done an Eric Johnson thing I read him mention once - i.e. used my levelling beam to sand on the base of the bridge unit and top of the trem block to ensure they are dead flat and make maximum contact. Without doing this, I could see gaps if I held the unit up to a window - after, no gaps, and you couldn't get a fag paper in there. It makes sense to me anyhow - I know some of Mr Johnson's ideas are a bit out there, but I think this is reasonable.

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    My setup for getting the neck alignment spot on - a couple of plain strings fitted and used as guides:


    Using a phillips screwdriver that just fits snugly to mark through the drilling positions on the neck heel:


    That was yesterday anyhow, hope of some interest - more to come and cheers! :)
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Life is getting in the way at the moment - was hoping to get a lot further yesterday, but only managed to get the holes in the neck heel drilled and check the neck fit to the body. Still, it was nice to have the neck and body assembled briefly - it suddenly feels like you have an actual guitar (albeit one needing work to finish) rather than a collection of parts.

    Method for holding the neck still for drilling:


    Pilot holes drilled - these were then enlarged to correct diameter, but somehow forgot to photograph that.


    Neck attached to body yay!

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    More stuff done in the last few days...

    Holes for trem claw drilled, and trem unit properly fitted - it's decked to the body for now, but I'm planning to set it floating.

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    edited July 16
    Holes drilled and pickguard, backplate and jack socket plate fitted - getting the pickguard in the right spot actually a bit tricky, as it has to look right aesthetically, but also things like a neat fit around the bridge and pickup alignment to take into account. Some filing of the pickguard around the neck pocket cutaway was required.


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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    More drilling of holes in the right places, this time for the machine heads:




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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Without boring you with the details, the frets have had a level, crown and polish. They were already installed very consistently on the Allparts neck I'm using - as good as I've ever seen, so very little leveling work needed. On the other hand, the fret ends were left very rough indeed, so a bit of careful filing required to get these nice and smooth under the fingers.



    One mistake I made was trying to use Colron Danish Oil to finish the neck - this imparts a somewhat peachy red tint to maple, as seen below, and I realised the next day that it looked terrible against the yellow/lime-ish gold of the body. Fortunately... very fortunately in fact, I was able to sand the finish right back, which removed the colouring effect, and start again using Tru Oil, which has given more of a subtle yellow/amber kind of tint, which does look fine against the gold body. This is still in progress, but I'll post a pic of the result when done. Lucky that the initial application of Danish Oil did not ruin things permanently and that it didn't prevent the Tru Oil going on properly. Anyhow, the near-disaster shown below, in the interests of honesty:



    Colron danish oil - just say no!
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    In other news, just out of interest, I ordered a set of pickups from a chap in Croatia yesterday - the vintage spec from E-dis pickups. Had been looking at these for a while, and I just have a hunch, and kind of had to do it basically. He's shipping them out to me tomorrow with tracking number, and seems a top bloke to deal with - £75 the set, posted. So I have a spare set of Vanson pickups that I probably shouldn't have bought, oh well.

    http://www.edispickups.com/single.html



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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    The neck finished very quickly with two coats of Tru Oil, smoothed back with 1200 grit after the first, generous coat, then a very thin coat, and the shine taken back with 0000 wire wool. Pretty simple to do, but I like it like this, feels nice and slick, and I'm sure will be great to use. So I'm done with this bit. :)


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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1885
    Looking really nice.  Just been through my first tele build/assemble I just didn't think about loads of things, having to fit a nut, drilling the neck screw holes, forgot to order string trees and pickguard screws.  Fitted the neck with a very slight gap making it hideous to set up.

    All finished now though.  One step I skipped as per your build was I bought a pre-finished allparts neck which added about £70 to the build but I could not have finished as well, especially in nitro.
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    munckee said:
    Looking really nice.  Just been through my first tele build/assemble I just didn't think about loads of things, having to fit a nut, drilling the neck screw holes, forgot to order string trees and pickguard screws.  Fitted the neck with a very slight gap making it hideous to set up.

    All finished now though.  One step I skipped as per your build was I bought a pre-finished allparts neck which added about £70 to the build but I could not have finished as well, especially in nitro.
    Cheers @munckee - agreed it's easy to forget details with a build, I've done most of those myself in the past. I wouldn't want to try doing a nitro finish myself either - part of the art of partscaster building is knowing one's limits I think. Allparts necks do seem excellent to me though, and well worth the money. :)
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  • munckeemunckee Frets: 1885
    Did you oil the fretboard, I used dr duck's ax wax all over the guitar when finished and to reduce the stickiness on the rear of the neck, I didn't specifically oil the board though.
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    I'll use a bit of almond oil (similar to lemon oil) sparingly on the rosewood fretboard when I get to the final assembly and setup - I normally apply a  bit of this to rosewood boards occasionally anyhow - it just stops the wood getting too dry and keeps it looking nice. The thin Tru Oil finish on the back and headstock seems pretty un-sticky anyhow, so I'll probably not bother doing anything else with that - but of course the proof of the pudding will be using the guitar in earnest, so who knows, and I'll bear the Dr Duck's Ax Wax in mind - not heard of that one before.
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  • ChalkyChalky Frets: 5835
    Excellent thread!
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1185
    Ive used many Allparts necks and am a fan, like you I know my limits and go with just two coats of Tru Oil,, sometimes Ill paint the headstock black or body colour first I think it feels great, Ive never felt the need to add wax and it's never sticky feeling....Liking this build a lot, great colour combination....
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Chalky said:
    Excellent thread!
    Thanks you @Chalky ;, appreciated :)

    paulnb57 said:
    Ive used many Allparts necks and am a fan, like you I know my limits and go with just two coats of Tru Oil,, sometimes Ill paint the headstock black or body colour first I think it feels great, Ive never felt the need to add wax and it's never sticky feeling....Liking this build a lot, great colour combination....
    Great minds I reckon! and cheers @paulnb57 ;
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    edited July 24
    Got some more stuff done...

    Copper shielding



    Wonky pickguard edge in front of trem:


    And made un-wonky with careful filing - a fussy job, but I think these things make a difference in the end:


    Was hoping I might just avoid it, but the neck absolutely needed a shim, so made one out of some spare ash veneer I had. Not a big deal anyhow:


    The nut is gradually getting done, still some shaping required and the slots taking to correct depth, but getting there...

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Changed my mind about the wiring circuit I'm using - I'm now going for this one, found on the GuitarNutz2 forum:



    ...which has meant drilling another hole in the scratchplate for a mini-toggle:


    - could have used a push-pull pot I know, but I just don't like the things. It's only a slight aesthetic compromise anyhow. :)
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  • DougDoug Frets: 116
    edited July 25
    Megii said:
    Changed my mind about the wiring circuit I'm using - I'm now going for this one, fou

    ...which has meant drilling another hole in the scratchplate for a mini-toggle:


    - could have used a push-pull pot I know, but I just don't like the things. It's only a slight aesthetic compromise anyhow.
    Bloody lovely!, I know you said you don't like the push-pull pots, but the Yamaha push-push pots are nice, easier to use, anyhow you're sorted with the mini toggle, stunning job
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Doug said:
    Megii said:
    Changed my mind about the wiring circuit I'm using - I'm now going for this one, fou

    ...which has meant drilling another hole in the scratchplate for a mini-toggle:


    - could have used a push-pull pot I know, but I just don't like the things. It's only a slight aesthetic compromise anyhow.
    Bloody lovely!, I know you said you don't like the push-pull pots, but the Yamaha push-push pots are nice, easier to use, anyhow you're sorted with the mini toggle, stunning job
    Cheers @Doug - and no harm in mentioning the Yam push-push pots - a long time ago I did have one fitted on another guitar, and it worked great, they're good I know. I've got the mini-toggle positioned so that I'll be able to engage it at the same time as switching the 5-way to the bridge position if I want to, which could be useful. Still have to do the actual soldering on the other side of the scratchplate - kind of on hold until the pickups arrive.
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 832
    Are you planning on rolling the fretboard edges? Or is it too late now?
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    edited July 26
    Branshen said:
    Are you planning on rolling the fretboard edges? Or is it too late now?
    Cheers, not too late no, and that idea had occurred to me - I think it's one of those things that's easy to overdo though, and I've been kind of holding off doing that until I have the guitar together and can see how the neck feels to play without the edges rolled. Which I can say is actually pretty good, as I got it assembled and set up (minus pickups and wiring) yesterday. Maybe some subtle edge rolling anyhow - do you have a preferred method @Branshen?
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  • BranshenBranshen Frets: 832
    I buy off the rack guitars and dare not attempt to roll the edges on them.

    But I've always been intrigued that high end guitars tout this as a feature. The idea seems simple enough! 
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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Branshen said:
    I buy off the rack guitars and dare not attempt to roll the edges on them.

    But I've always been intrigued that high end guitars tout this as a feature. The idea seems simple enough! 
    I've done it on some other builds in the past, just carefully running the edge of a craft knife along at a right angle to the fretboard edge - kind of using it a scraper I guess. Not done it on a rosewood fingerboard though, so I am a bit cautious about it. Also, to be honest, I don't find any problems with using the guitar as it is, and it seems perfectly comfortable to play. So no big rush about it anyhow.
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  • paulnb57paulnb57 Frets: 1185
    Ive done it as described above using a Stanley knife blade as a scraper, difficult to overdo it...
    Stranger from another planet welcome to our hole - Just strap on your guitar and we'll play some rock 'n' roll

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    paulnb57 said:
    Ive done it as described above using a Stanley knife blade as a scraper, difficult to overdo it...
    Fair enough - I guess I'll do a bit of subtle softening of the edges, but it's not a big thing for me, as the guitar already feels nice enough to use.

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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Got the nut slots cut to depth and final shaping of the nut done also, a couple of days ago. Have just been playing the guitar acoustically since - it's nice, with a good, lively acoustic tone.



    And great news, a package arrived from Croatia this morning - so looks like soldering is on for this weekend. :)




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  • MegiiMegii Frets: 880
    Just a few more pickup pics - got them fitted on the scratchplate, and soldering in earnest will begin (and hopefully end) tomorrow, when I'm focused and ready. Don't solder when tired is one lesson I've already learnt... Forgot to take a pic of the box, so bunged that in one of the shots, just fwiw - the pickups look to be very carefully made, and are nicely presented also - overall very good value for money (about £75 posted), and all these things do give a feeling of having made a wise purchase.



    I will at least draw up my wiring diagram to work from, this evening, so I'm ready to go with the soldering tomorrow. :)
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  • sawyersawyer Frets: 189
    I always seem to do soldering when slightly hammered :) Dutch courage ha. Slightly hammered as we speak! Nowt to solder though:)
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