Oh no, here we go again! The Charvel project

So around this time last year I embarked on the Strat build project, an attempt to build a great quality strat on a budget. It was largely a success, and it is currently my favourite guitar to play. I decided to go for it again, but this time with a much more ambitious project.

I’ve loved the Charvel Pro Mods since they came out on the market several years back. I thought about buying one, but since the Strat build project I’ve decided that stainless steel frets really work nicely for me. I like the idea of them wearing far less easily, and the tone works for me as well. I also really wanted a red flame maple top guitar, and a top-mount Floyd Rose, so the newer Pro Mod bodies weren’t quite what I wanted either. I wanted to stay away from the recessed bridge route.

With the Strat build project I bought a guitar body that was already painted, a production MIM Stratocaster body. This time I’m going to finish the guitar myself, or at least do some of it myself. I plan to practice dying and clear coating some test pieces of flame maple. If the clear coating just doesn’t work for me I’ll engage the services of a spray painter to complete the clear coat work.

I’ve ordered the guitar body and neck from Musikraft, a Charvel style, with the flame maple top and alder body, and a maple 1 piece neck with a thin D profile. Specs are below:

Charvel Strat Body

  • Wood Type: Alder
  • Thin Laminate Top: Select Grade 3A Flame
  • Neck Pocket: Angled 2-1/4″
  • Neck Pickup: Strat Single Coil
  • Mid Pickup: None
  • Bridge Pickup: Humbucker
  • Bridge: Top-mount Floyd Rose
  • Control Cavity: Rear Rout Charvel Style
  • Jack: 7/8″ Side
  • Arm Contour: Charvel 80’s Style
  • Tummy Contour: Charvel 80’s Style
  • Controls: Vol, 3  way switch

Charvel Strat (1 PC) neck

  • Number Frets: 22 fret
  • Scale Length: 25.5 Standard Fender
  • Shaft Wood: Rock Maple
  • Nut Width: 1-11/16 (42.85mm)
  • Heel Width: Custom Fender 2-1/4 (57.15mm)
  • Truss Rod: Dual Acting Adjust @ Head (Thru Walnut Plug)
  • FB Radius: Compound 10 to 16 +$25
  • Fret Wire: Medium Jumbo 7150 Stainless Steel +$25
  • Tuner Holes: 10 MM Standard (Sperzel/Gotoh/Schaller)
  • Top Dots: Black Synthetic Dots
  • 12th Dots: Narrow post ’64
  • Side Dots: Black 2mm
  • Back Profile: Thin D .75 X .81
  • Nut Style: Floyd Rose Shelf w/ rear mounting holes
  • FB Edges: Semi Rolled
  • Finish: Thin Lacquer Sealer

This is a really ambitious project for me, and I’m really nervous about getting the finish right already! I was planning on buying a Charvel Pro Mod body from eBay and just putting it all together, but my wife really wanted me to have a go at finishing it the way I wanted it. Hopefully it all works out nicely, and I have an awesome looking and sounding guitar at the end of the project.

Wish me luck, I think I’m going to need it!

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