It begins!!!! – The Strat build project


It’s finally time to add a Strat to my arsenal.

I’ve been wanting a Strat-style guitar for a while now. I wanted to have one to help me with reviewing stuff, and also for future DIY projects. Problem is, most Fenders don’t quite have the sort of specs I want in a guitar. I eventually decided that I may as well build my own, with the specifications of my own choosing.

Now I wanted to keep everything in a reasonable price range. I don’t have a lot of disposable income, and I’d need to sell off a few things that don’t get much use to help fund it. I did decide that at the very least that I wanted a Warmoth neck, as I wanted one of the highest quality in relation to cost necks that I could afford. Ididn’t want to go for any crazy tone woods, but the one splurge I wanted to go for was stainless steel frets.

With regards to the body I definitely want Alder, so if I can afford to I’ll go with a Warmoth body, painted white. If not I’ll see what the best option is for me buying off eBay or the like.

I originally planned on using a Floyd Rose type bridge, but thought about it, and decided to go with a standard six hole vintage Strat-style bridge. I have enough guitars equipped with Floyd Rose style bridges, and it’ll be fun to have something different (I hope).

Well today I ordered the Warmoth neck. There was a great deal on a one piece maple Vintage Modern neck, so I spec-ed the frets and nut and bought it. I would have liked going with the Warmoth Pro since it’s loaded with a double expanding  truss rod, which is a lot more stable than the standard single action truss rod. All my other guitars have a single action truss rod, and they’ve held up just fine over the years, so I figured I may as well save money here.

The specifications are as follows:

  • Stratocaster®,
  • 25-1/2 in. scale
  • 22 frets
  • Vintage Modern right handed
  • Standard thin neck shape
  • 1 piece maple/ maple fretboard
  • 10-16″ compound radius fretboard
  • SS6150 stainless steel frets,
  • 1 11/16″ nut width
  • GraphTech Black TUSQ XL nut
  • Gotoh/Grover (13/32″, 11/32″) Tuner Ream
  • Abalone face dots inlay

I opted to save some money and not go with a finish so I can do it myself. I’ve been really happy with the finish I used on my RG450 project, and it’s held up nicely for the last six months. I’ll use the same clear on the Strat neck.

The neck should hopefully arrive in the next couple of weeks, and with the weather warming up here in Australia I should be able to get the neck cleared and ready for when I can (finally) get the rest of the parts required for this build. Hopefully this will be sooner rather than later.

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