“Black Over Gold” Relic Stratocaster. “Ageing” some Fender OEM saddles.

Sometimes, even the smallest jobs can turn into little, self-contained, projects in their own right. Seems especially so in these Covid-19 days. I want to repurpose a used, Fender "Classic 50's" chrome tremolo bridge for use on the "Black Over Gold" Stratocaster. But first - those saddles look like they need a bit of attention. Time for a makeover.

Jimmy Page “Dragon” Telecaster. Finished Specification.

This build has taken ages - but I've eventually managed to achieve the quality of both finish and componentry, which I first set out to realise. It's well worth the wait, and the hours of process I spent, getting it as right as I could, haven't been wasted. And I have the additional pleasure of having put it all together myself.

“Black Over Gold” Relic Stratocaster. Scratchplate and covers.

I figure I could relic a scratchplate and "plastics" set myself - but then I stumbled across an advert for a reliced plate and covers set which happened to be just what I was looking for. Time for a makeover.

Jimmy Page “Dragoncaster”. Final Setup.

My "Dragoncaster" project has taken more than a year to get to the point where I can add the finishing touches, setup and finally get to hear those revered Don Mare pickups. I've had to solve a couple of technical problems along the way, but I'm really happy with the way the guitar has turned out. With every setup I do, I seem to get a little bit better at refining the playability of my builds. It's fair to say I have more than high hopes for this one.

“Black Over Gold” Relic Stratocaster. Relicing the body. (Messing up a perfectly good paint job).

I really enjoyed relicing the Strummercaster I built a while back, and have been wanting to do another, similar project, for a while. A lot of the technique seems to be intuitive but, for me, it's still all mainly experimental - so the results could go anywhere. That's an accepted part of the fun. However - with a notion of a plan, and an appreciation of the creative journey - I have an idea that I can take this plain, black painted Stratocaster body, and create a whole, new life history for it. I just don't know what it is... yet. Time for a makeover.

Hank Marvin Inspired, Fender “Classic ’50’s” Stratocaster. Finished Specification.

The Ash Stratocaster I built last year has become one of my "go-to" guitars. As one of my first builds - I'm especially fond of it. However, with a few key components left over from other projects, I've had the chance to upgrade the guitar into something really special.

A step too far? My Gold-leafed Stratocaster body gets a makeover.

Decision, (finally), made. It might seem an odd thing to do - but I think the gold-leafed Stratocaster project will ultimately look better as a relic. I think it's largely down to the satin acrylic lacquer I used. It just kills the "fire" of the gold leaf. And if you're in the market for an all-gold guitar, (and I really wasn't sure, myself), why would you put up with one where the bling looked a little - I don't know - tarnished? Time for a makeover.

Jimmy Page “Dragoncaster”. Wiring the “Dark Circuit”.

I don't know what kind of innards Jimmy's original Dragoncaster had. In building my "replica" I have to take a little bit for granted, here and there. I've put this build together to capture the look of Jimmy's original paint job. The pickguard is as close as I can get to the spirit of the original with materials I have readily to hand. The pickups are hand built to capture that distinctive sound. All I can do, is presume that the stock, Fender circuit wiring wasn't messed around with, from the original. Hang on a minute...

Jimmy Page “Dragoncaster”. Scratchplate, control plate, pickups.

Because of the close fitting inter-relation between the scratchplate, control plate, neck pickup and bridge - the final fixing of these elements is only possible after a bit of precision scribing to the as-built guitar body. A few slight modifications may be required before the screw hole positions can be finalised, and drilled out. Hang on a minute...

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.