New Project. Recycled “Bitsacaster”

So, I discover that the Covid crisis now means that I might have to wait for up to a year before I can get my cataracts finally sorted. It's times like these that you need a new project to distract. What's that over there?... Oh look... a whole pile of bits and pieces. Surely I can do something with those...

Gold leafed Hardtail Stratocaster. Prepping the body for gilding

Although I plan to take a few shortcuts in gilding this new Hardtail body - I'll still need to prepare the surface carefully to get a decent result. I'm finding it increasingly difficult to focus on fine detail - so I'll be drawing on technique - and letting my touch help guide me.

Natural Ash Stratocaster – Another setup.

I try to make improvements to the playing "feel", every time I set the guitar up. In fact - every time I change strings - there's a chance to tweak things a little. I've already set the Ash Strat up a few times now. This time - the new body has meant there's a better geometry at the neck pocket, and I can do away with the shim that was there previously. That provides an opportunity to really give things a good shake out.

New Project. Gold-leafed Hardtail Stratocaster.

My last experiments with Gold leaf on a Stratocaster body, sort of went off track a bit. In truth - the real Gold didn't really achieve the look I was after, and the project ended up mutating into something else entirely. I still can't help myself though - and recently, I've been wondering if I could achieve more of the look I was originally after, by using fake gold leaf. This time applied a little bit more randomly. Let's see...

Natural Ash Stratocaster – Refit and rebuild

Swapping out the body of my Ash Stratocaster seemed like one of those tasks which needn't take too long. However - after a finishing process which took a couple of weeks from start to finish - I'm beginning to realise how much I missed it. And there's still a way to go...

But it's beginning to look like it might well be worth the wait...

Natural Ash Stratocaster – Body finishing

The new body for my Ash Stratocaster is a lovely piece of timber. I've specially selected it from a choice of blanks, and it's been supplied to me already well sanded to, what looks like, at least 400 grit. This is a quality body, and it deserves the best quality finish I can manage. One which will protect the wood, and also show the real character off to best effect.

David Gilmour, Fender “Black Strat”. Final Specification.

I've been side-tracked with the bass cabinet project recently. And all the time - the Black Strat project has been sitting there, waiting for strings and a setup. I've been itching to get round to it - but I wanted to make sure I had enough spare time to do a proper job. Finally - today's the day.

Olympic White “’62” Jaguar. Time for a small, cosmetic restyle…

That's the way it goes sometimes. Guitars get rotated around, and sometimes you don't play a particular favourite for ages. I recently started a few modifications on my Ash Stratocaster and, looking around for an alternative to hand, I took my White Jag out of its' case for the first time in ages. I get to have a good long look at an old favourite with "new eyes", and the benefit of a good few months working on other projects.

The Ash Stratocaster – More modifications and upgrades

My Ash Strat is now a couple of years old. As I've built other projects, I've learned a lot - and I'm constantly looking for ways to refine and upgrade previous builds. This being my first real build - I've always been pretty happy with the way it evolved but, compared with some of the Fender bodies I've worked with, the two piece Ash body just feels wrong somehow, and I'm constantly reminded of the small compromises I had to make to bring the guitar together. Time for another upgrade.

“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.