Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups Warmoth.com

Hacking a Strat

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by mrpants, Oct 7, 2017.

  1. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    60
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Thanks man! It's impressive what an inch here and there can do to tweak a design. By the time I'm done with the color and pickups I'm hoping to have cultivated a nice clean funky vintage vibe. I'm very pleased with it so far.
     
    John Nicholas likes this.

  2. FerruleCat

    FerruleCat Tele-Meister

    236
    May 2, 2017
    Tulsa, OK
    I think that's the elusive Fender SG. The SG stands for "Strat's Gone." :lol:
     

  3. Teleposer

    Teleposer Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    352
    Sep 28, 2016
    UK
    I hacked a strat once. Japanese Fender. Good one. Stripped it. Painted it with car paint. But I did hack on a Kahler trem and mighty mite and a DiMarzio PAF so it wasn't all bad. Doh.

    I'm really reluctant to do anything to my guitars now apart from necessary setups.

    Not a go at you OP, that guitar seems quite nice. Just paying penances for my own stupid mistakes. I don't think I'll ever get over it (it's been decades now and I'm still gutted what I did to that guitar).

    Just don't hack a strat that is a bit of a rare one of a kind classic.

    I don't think I'll ever get over it...
     
    Dan R likes this.

  4. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    60
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    I hear ya man. This one itself was the recipient of some questionable efforts in my teen years. I did a hack job installing new tuners, something possessed me to glue the neck on with epoxy, I "accidentally on purpose" abused it a bit in pursuit of that beat up look, lost the trem and trem cover, replaced neck and middle pup with gold/silver lace sensors, but did a real shoddy job of the electrical work such that after a while the mid stopped working altogether, I put graphtech saddles on (a genuine upgrade that was impossible to screw up), switched the knobs out for chrome dome knobs from my Samick bass....
    At its heart, it's a solid skeleton. My research shows it's a 94 Mexican strat special. Solid 3 piece poplar with front/back veneers. The money required to make it "sellable" would have been silly to spend on it though, considering a max good condition value of a few hundred. This way it gets to live on. Stringing the 2 e's up and tuning to pitch today yielded an astonishingly resonant result as is. Excited to get it up and going.
     
    sergiomajluf likes this.

  5. sergiomajluf

    sergiomajluf Tele-Meister

    300
    Sep 26, 2015
    Santiago, Chile
    Love that bridge.... never understood that side screw though
     

  6. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    60
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    The side screw is slightly lopsided so when you tighten it down it squeezes the saddles tight up against each other and essentially locks everything down. Not sure how much effect it really has, but in theory would make a firmer connection between string and body and therefore increase sustain and resonance.
     

  7. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    What many people don't realize is many of those so-called pristine vintage instruments had been hacked up pretty good at one point or another during their long lives...

    Remember, back in the 1960's and 1970's they were just old guitars, that sold for less then new ones! Necks and bodies were swapped, nuts were removed, tuners were replaced, Floyd Rose trems were installed, pickup cavities were hacked to fit humbuckers and much, much worse...

    In retrospect there are many people who are kicking themselves for doing what they did to those instruments back in the day.

    One quick personal story, in the early 1980's I borrowed a mid 1970's Stratocaster hard tail from a friend. There was an issue with one of the tuners. So being a good guy, I brought it to the local music store to have the tuner replaced.

    Now back then it wasn't even all that important to make sure the tuners matched or anything, but I specifically asked if they could get an exact replacement. The guy assured me he would. He called a few days later and I went to pick up the guitar, they had swapped out all the tuners, drilling new holes in the headstock, leaving the old holes showing!!

    I was devastated, because it wasn't my guitar. I was afraid to call my friend about it. Turns out that he was very happy I had them replaced. You know what they replaced them with? The cheapest tuners imaginable.

    My illusion is that this is not the only "vintage" Strat this kind of thing happened to.

    Now with the OP, he had an inexpensive, mass produced in the Far East Stratocaster copy.... if he left it alone it would just be another one of millions out in the world.

    Instead he modified it to look unique and different. This is the perfect use of those cheap guitars. Personally in my eyes he improved the guitar immensely.
     

  8. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    These are used on bass guitars quite a bit. They are really solid.
     

  9. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    60
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Appreciate it. In all fairness, it was mass produced in the "near South" actually, and it was actually a Fender. But nonetheless... same general idea. Bottom line is this is shaping up to be an instrument I'll play regularly instead of one that'll sit in a bag in the corner. And for any guitar, that's the dream really.
     
    AAT65 and John Nicholas like this.

  10. John Nicholas

    John Nicholas Tele-Afflicted

    Jun 26, 2014
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Oppss, sorry about that, been talking to someone about Far East Stratocaster's

    I agree, if the modifications inspire you to play the guitar, it's a wonderful thing!
     

  11. mrpants

    mrpants TDPRI Member

    Age:
    36
    60
    May 16, 2017
    Chicago
    Some updates on aesthetics. I'm pretty well set on a color... just have to decide where to buy from and exactly how I'm going to go about the paint job. I don't really have equipment or a space, so I'm thinking rattle cans. Nitro? Acrylic? Not sure, need to do more research. This is the color inspiration. DAB97938-2204-4057-9256-4A994303E844-16530-00000EFE560E4227.jpeg
    Gibson Pelham Blue. I'm thinking I'll try leaving the front surface unsealed to achieve a grain texture look. Pickguard will be black/white/black 3 ply, like the SG in the picture.
    Pickups I'm in the process of talking myself into splurging for Novak "gold" foils. I'm pretty sure I'll end up there but it's not cheap. There are some options there but I'm thinking either this: 3AA48BF4-06CB-41A6-A6A8-FD9A0B4939E5-16530-00000F02F053C675.jpeg
    Or this: BB196245-C0A3-46F2-BAD7-16575F1AA2BA-21907-000012A46D4117D0.jpeg
    I can't decide if I prefer the contrast or not.
    I also found these knobs which I feel add a touch of funky vintage vibe: IMG_7440.jpg
    Another decision(s): headstock. First of all, I'm debating painting the front to match the body. Thoughts? Second, I'm trying to decide if I want to do a decal/logo. I feel like maybe it's a little unethical to claim it by branding it when it's mostly a Fender shell with some decorations. If I do put something on there, I either have to come up with a brand or a design that means something to me.
    Next execution step will be figuring out cutting the pickguard. I'm hopeful that I can get it done with a dremel and some patience. Not conventional maybe, but I'm just starting out with this building stuff so I'm not well tooled up yet. Slow and steady.
     

  12. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Knobs look good to me. Pickup cover: I would use the Black insert. Headstock color would depend on fret board color - Maple FB/Blue headstock - Rosewood or similar dark FB/ Black headstock.
     
    awasson likes this.

  13. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Pickguard color choice could lead to some changes in the above.
     

  14. Zepfan

    Zepfan Friend of Leo's

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Sorry, forgot to mention that Dupli-Color Perfect Match rattlecan acrylic paint works great. They are for car, so color may need to be manipulated to get the right shade. Their Light Blue Metallic(for GM) is close, so a dark color undercoat might get you what you want.
     
    John Nicholas likes this.

  15. esetter

    esetter Tele-Afflicted

    Sep 1, 2011
    MI
    LOL!
     

  16. ndeli55

    ndeli55 Tele-Holic

    Age:
    33
    941
    May 12, 2008
    oklahoma
    That looks a lot like Pelham blue, you could get that at reranch j believe. The white graining is grainfiller added after the final coats, sanded back and then cleared again. It's and awesome looking finish. Search "dog hair finished guitar" and get ready to swoon. If you use timber mate, be ginger with the first few coats of lacquer, it reactivates when wetted and will run into the finish. I've been considering adding some super glue to the mix to alleviate that malady, but I've yet to experiment.

    I saw your originally hacking and subsequent body shape and it made me thing mosrite SG and Pelham blue was the color I thought of. You've my approval this far
     

  17. fenderchamp

    fenderchamp Tele-Holic Ad Free + Supporter

    672
    Jun 17, 2008
    omaha
    I've had good luck with the reranch colors and following the directions on their website. You can usually find some clear lacquer at the hardware store too. You polished frets make me want to do some fretwork on my tele. "It's getting to the point".

    you mockup with the pickguard looks great. nice job so far!!!

    Reranch carrys pelham blue as well
     

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