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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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...
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...
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.