So, my first guitar was a Mexican Strat. I modified a few things, messed up a few others and generally put it through the trenches throughout my teenage years. It was a solid guitar and served me well, but as I got a couple other guitars that suited my playing style better, it ended up sitting in a corner untouched. It needed work, lower frets grooved up, middle pickup not responsive, tuners installed crooked, intermittent output jack, various other forms of abuse and decay. It has a great neck though and it seemed a shame it was just sitting there, wasting away. At first I was just going to strip it and refinish it and clean up some of its issues. Took a heat gun and scraper to it. Then one day I saw this picture in an online builders group. I decided to try something similar. (Using a hand saw and a Shinto rasp) I continued to refine the shape and contours Cut a tentative pickguard template out of paper. Then there was the question of that pesky trem rout. I really prefer a hardtail. Haven't used a tremolo in over 20 years. And it seems silly to have one for no reason. So... I did some more saw and Dremel work. I decided to revamp the headstock too. Played with some printed strat outlines and a pencil to see how I could make something that didn't look like it was just a strat with the ball cut off... Then got out a coping saw and did this. Drilled and dowelled the misaligned tuner pin holes Sanded the finish off the rest of the neck too. And I've gotten to the point where I'm starting to shop hardware and think about finishes. I ordered a Schaller hardtail bridge for it which has arrived now and here's the project in its current state. Currently researching fret leveling/crowning and waiting on a few ordered supplies so I can fix up the neck. I'm still unsure of the finish. I've only ever done dye and oil, but the state of the body on this one means I need a solid color, so I'll probably attempt something with rattle cans. I'm honestly a little intimidated by that at the moment, but I've surprised myself along the way with this project at how well things seem to be falling in. Currently thinking to throw a pair of Novak gold foils in and maybe do like a dark blue with lighter blue racing stripes off-center on the bass side of the body. Get sort of a funky vibe going. I don't know for sure though. That last bit may all change yet. It's a slow paced project as I only get to work on it once a week or so, but I'll update as things progress. What do you all think so far?