Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Hacking a Strat

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mrpants, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I like the shape you did on this. I would've used the cut offs to fill the trem area under the bridge though to keep the body tone instead of plywood, but that's me.

    I would go with a solid color.

    Good luck to you and your build, I'll keep watching.
     

  2. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    The cutoffs were relatively small actually. The fill is done with solid poplar, to match the body wood.
    Solid color is pretty much a given. There are just too many variables, down even to old pickguard screw holes... I don't mind it looking a little less than perfect, but between residual sealer forming blotches, patchwork, and the fact that I'm actually not overly keen on bursts to begin with, it's more than I want to deal with.
     
    kkphoto, John Nicholas and Zepfan like this.

  3. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    67
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    Agree on solid color (colour). Now the thing is which color you'll choose...
     
    radiocaster likes this.

  4. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic Ad Free + Supporter

    706
    Jun 17, 2008
    omaha
    I vote for DPP!!!
     
    Barncaster likes this.

  5. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Forgive my ignorance. What does this mean?
     

  6. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic Ad Free + Supporter

    706
    Jun 17, 2008
    omaha
    kkphoto likes this.

  7. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Ah. I see. I was thinking something more like this 6C264E3A-B6E3-44B3-AE8C-26586668A83B-16530-00000EFEA33B4FD5.jpeg
    Or this, maybe sanding sealer on the back/sides and leave the top textured? DAB97938-2204-4057-9256-4A994303E844-16530-00000EFE560E4227.jpeg
     

  8. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Here's a suggestion.... Duplicolor Barcelona Red Metallic... you can get it at Autozone.

    Looks like this...

    IMG_1090.JPG

    There is a few coats of Miniwax clear Gloss lacquer over the top.

    P.S. Do not sand the paint before clear!! It messes up the look of the metallic.
     
    Barncaster likes this.

  9. acrylicsuperman

    acrylicsuperman Tele-Holic

    599
    Nov 17, 2010
    Arizona

    I greatly second this color. I think it would look epic with the body shape.
     

  10. betocool

    betocool TDPRI Member

    67
    Jan 11, 2016
    South of Perth, WA
    So what is that color? I used "Ice blue" on my last build... but it's not quite the same...
    IMG_6445.JPG
     

  11. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    That's Gibson's "Pelham Blue"
     
    betocool likes this.

  12. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    So anyway. Back burner for finish and pickup decisions... on to the remaining "nitty gritty."
    Next step is to deal with these frets. IMG_7385.JPG
    Hard to photograph fret wear. I feel like it's a little worse than it looks in the picture, but not really too bad yet. Still plenty of life so I'll be trying my first level and crown job.
    I am still waiting on some supplies but I've already used a slotted straight edge to make sure that the board is straight with no bow.
    Stay tuned.
     

  13. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Finally getting some work time today.
    With the aid of several YouTube videos and some consulting of forums and groups, I felt confident enough to take on my first level, crown, and polish today.
    Step one. Workspace. IMG_7408.JPG
    Slotted straight edge to make sure the neck is level. Wouldn't want to level the frets relative to a bowed surface!
    IMG_7409.JPG
    Then taping off the board... tedious.
    IMG_7410.JPG
    Mark the tops of the frets with a sharpie. This gives you a visual when sanding/filing of any low spots that may remain. IMG_7411.JPG
    Sanding. I used a t-beam with some adhesive 120 grit wrapped around it. The beam was like $5 on Amazon. I could probably have used a slightly longer straight edge, but I was very careful to apply even pressure along the surface and to do full strokes down the whole neck. IMG_7412.JPG
    After a few passes, the divots and an errant low fret reveal themselves nicely. Goal is then to sand evenly until these marks disappear. IMG_7413.JPG IMG_7414.JPG
    Then mark the fret tops again with a sharpie and use either a profiled crowning file or a flat file if you are more confident in your ability to make a consistent profile 21-24 times in a row. At this point you want to file down the sides of the now flattened tops until the point where just a thin sharpie line remains in the center. Careful not to go too far or you'll end up with a low fret and have to start all over! IMG_7416.JPG IMG_7417.JPG IMG_7418.JPG
    Then to smooth it all out, wrap a little piece of sandpaper around your finger and rub fairly aggressively up and down the neck, removing any filings or rough spots and smoothing out your profiling. I did a progression from 220/320/400. This is just a quick rub down. Obviously you don't want to be taking much of anything off the frets. IMG_7419.JPG
    Then final polishing with a buffing wheel on a dremel. IMG_7420.JPG
    Remove the tape, clean up the board, and bam! Good as new! IMG_7422.JPG
    Obviously it's going to be a while before I get this on a guitar with strings to do a full test, but everything looks good with a straight edge and a fret rocker so I'm calling it success. And even after purchasing a few initial supplies, huge savings over taking it in to the shop!
     
    kkphoto, esetter, n__B and 1 other person like this.

  14. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Great job!! Really looking good!
     

  15. RogerC

    RogerC Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 30, 2011
    Oklamerica
    120 grit is REALLY aggressive for fret work. I would've started with 180 or so. Also, your beam seems to be a bit shorter than what I like. I want it to span at least 11 frets (I mill a fall-away from 15-21). If you're not doing a fall-away, you want the beam to span as many frets as possible.

    Also, you need to be a bit more patient when crowning. Your lines aren't consistent at all. You've got 2 frets with very fat lines left (they should be much thinner), and 1 fret where the line has been removed completely from the middle. This is a job you don't want to rush.

    After I crown, I go back with 320 grit to remove file marks and then move to 600 and 1000. Then I polish.
     
    fenderchamp likes this.

  16. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Yeah, like I said the beam could've been a little longer. Based on laying a straight-edge on the board and holding in front of a light I think it turned out ok. I'm very meticulous.
    The pic of the crowning is "in progress." My file may have left something to be desired (I might prefer a flat file for future jobs for better visibility/control), but there was a very small margin between a thin line and the line being just barely gone. I tried to go as evenly as possible and in the end took a fret rocker to each set of 3 frets on the treble side, in the middle, and on the bass side. There weren't any perceivable issues.
    Good to know about the reference points for polish sanding. I didn't go as fine, but the feel and appearance is up to my standards.
    Thanks for the input. As I say, I'm no pro. Just my first attempt. Always open to learn a better process!
     

  17. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    65
    Feb 3, 2017
    Foat Wuth, Texas
    "ARTITUDE"......love that! Don't know if that was a typo, or you coining a new word....but that is BRILLIANT. Made my day!!!!!
     

  18. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    I neglected a few pictures in the documentation, but I placed the holes for the tuner pins so I could string up the e's and locate the bridge position. Nice thing about this bridge is the saddles have some lateral adjustment so there's a little wiggle room in locating the strings relative to the edge of the neck. IMG_7423.JPG
     

  19. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    84
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Couldn't resist a little mock up. Next step is probably procuring paint and pickguard materials.
    (Note, yes a couple of saddles are removed on the bridge for installation purposes.)
    IMG_7424.JPG
     
    fenderchamp and John Nicholas like this.

  20. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    I really like how this is turning out!

    Echoes of the Strat but unique in it's own right.
     
    mrpants likes this.

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