Midnight Woodworking

Woodworking

AJ’s custom Stratocaster – day 1

While I am working on the cabinet and starting to come down with a cold, I want to put a little time into another project for a fellow at work. He wanted to know if I could build him a modified Fender stratocaster guitar. I figured that I would at least try to find a piece of wood that would suit the project’s needs this weekend. He originally wanted mahogany, and for me to stick as close as I could to a classic 1959 model, but the more we talked, the more little tweaks he wanted. I spent some time this past week drawing up the new body. It will be narrower as well as a little more curvy than the original. We also decided to ditch the pick guard and mount the controls from the rear. I talked him into trying walnut, even though he wanted to use mahogany because it would be lighter. I figured that I had a pile of walnut, may as well try it. If it is too heavy, I can always make a second one and set the walnut one aside till I can afford parts to outfit it for one of my sons.

Which piece of walnut do I want?

Which piece of walnut do I want?

The first step is to pull a piece of wood from the wood rack. Normally, that would be a simple task, but I wanted to use the piece on the bottom. This piece is just wide enough to make the guitar out of just the one board.

Of course I need the piece on the bottom.

Of course I need the piece on the bottom.

This looks like a good grain pattern

This looks like a good grain pattern

I haven’t talked to Aj to see if he approves of my choice. I emailed a pic to him, but he is working today, so he is probably too busy. I decided to go with a piece that had some sap wood on the edges and a bit of swirl to the brown part. I decided which section I wanted and cut it a little long. When I run it through the planer, sometimes it snipes the edges.

Cutting the rough blank for the guitar body

Cutting the rough blank for the guitar body

Rough chunk, ready for planing

Rough chunk, ready for planing

As I was planing the board down. I noticed that there were a few worm holes in the top left section where the tall horn was going to be. I decided to adjust my original location down a bit. Once everything was planed, I layed out the inlay lines. I plan on seating five strips of maple in the face of the guitar.

Planed to thickness

Planed to thickness

After I layed out the inlay lines. Then I grabbed my router and bits. I realized that the 1/8″ bit was only 3/16″ long. I wanted to set the maple in at least an inch. I think I can make a jig and use my circular saw, but I have run out of energy for the day. Maybe tomorrow…

Laying out the inlay lines

Laying out the inlay lines

 

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This entry was posted on March 16, 2013 by in Guitar and tagged , , , , .

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