Hank Marvin Inspired, Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Setup, and the VML “Easy-Mute” tremolo arm.

Setup time. A "Classic Vintage" tremolo arm would finish off the 50's retro look of this Fender "Classic 50's" Stratocaster perfectly - but there's an opportunity to follow the Hank Marvin inspired stylings even more. Hank, himself, pioneered the development of the "Easy-Mute" tremolo arm, and I'm delighted to find they're still in production, here in the UK. Just the job. And once it's sorted - I can setup the guitar.

Jimmy Page “Dragoncaster”. Making my definitive “production” scratchplate.

Putting the 50's "Hank Marvin" Strat together has given me a bit of confidence, which is a good thing these days. There's plenty to get on with, and this lockdown thing means I have extra time to do it all. I've got to balance what I can achieve with my current visual handicap, against the need to get technical and design elements just right. In some cases - it's all about technique. Hang on a minute...

Hank Marvin Inspired, Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Bareknuckle “Apache” pickups, and a 50’s wiring mod.

I'd originally intended to fit out the 50's Stratocaster with Bareknuckle, "Apache" single coils, and had sourced them before I got the inspiration to make the Hank Marvin connection. The pickups seem to be a little bit overwound from the norm - so I'm going to hook them up using a wiring modification which should hopefully bring out a little more of their celebrated character.

Hank Marvin Inspired, Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Replacing the neck.

The Dakota red Stratocaster body looks like it'll take the Hank Marvin styling well enough. The body came to me without it's original neck, so I'll need to source a replacement. I've already fitted gold hardware to an all maple Mexican Fender neck for the, (now repurposed), Gold leafed Strat body I was working on. It's not quite the all-vintage specification I envisaged - but it'll do a job.

Hank Marvin Inspired, Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Copper shielding.

The Dakota red body is ready to go. No point letting things hang. Fortunately, I've got most of the bits I'll need, already in hand. Supplies have been getting a bit harder to source, with the current restrictions - so where some things are in short supply, I'll just have to eke them out. The copper shielding foil is just one example - but this is no time to let standards drop. Sometimes, working through a problem can provide useful lessons in economy.

Sometimes… Where we end up, isn’t quite where we originally thought we were going.

With projects moving slowly - if at all - what with the global Covid-19 situation, and my continuing eye probems, it's perhaps not surprising that I get to look at, and remake, plans I've already thought were settled. Decisions which I'd thought were sorted, start to unravel, and other possibilities come to mind. I've been wondering about the finish on that gold Strat for a while now. And then I recently saw a Hank Marvin documentary...

Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Body repairs in quarantine.

So... the global epidemic caught me right in the middle of my cataract treatment. I've now got one repaired eye, and another still badly blurred. With all non-essential surgery cancelled, and with an extended period in Covid-19 lockdown leaving hours to fill, I'm left looking for things to do whilst still not having great vision. But I just can't sit here, doing nothing...