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

My First Build: Warmoth Strat

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by Hyliandeity, Jun 12, 2018.

  1. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    Hello everyone, I am really excited to be starting my first guitar build, a Warmoth strat! I would like to eventually make my own bodies and do everything from scratch, but I figured I should start with good, premade parts first so I don't get too ahead of myself. Here are some specs:

    Roasted Maple Neck, 22 stainless steel frets, graphtech nuts, GFS Locking tuners

    Alder Surf Green Body, Wilkinson VS100 tremelo, Eric Clapton Midboost, Jeff Beck Hot Noiseless Pickups

    Anyway, all my parts have come in and I'm very excited. I do have a few questions, though...

    1. What is the generally accepted order on doing things? I was going to get the neck completely set, wire the pickguard, get the hardware on the body, then attach the neck and body, string it, and set it up. Sound reasonable?

    2. What is the best way to drill into the roasted maple neck for the tuner guide holes? I have access to a drill press, so I was going to use that, but I have read horror stories of cracking roasted maple with improper drilling or screw sizes.

    3. What is the best way to drill the strap peg holes on an S-shape body? I was going to use a hand drill for the pickguard holes, as they seem easy enough, but my dad said a hand drill would probably slip fairly easily on the bass side horn. Again, I have access to a drill press. Thoughts?

    4. This is my first guitar that does not have a set bridge. Tips? I would like to get a half step up and a step down, ideally, but I am also okay with just having some more subtly vibrato

    5. And of course, pictures! Can't forget those!

    https://imgur.com/gallery/BZjj1TZ

    I welcome any comments, suggestions, encouragement, etc.
     
    double_a likes this.

  2. newuser1

    newuser1 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    47
    278
    Mar 1, 2017
    Toronto
    Granted I've built only poplar, basswood, and pine bodies so far (soft woods), I never pre-drill the holes for the smalls screws (pickguard, jack plate, tuners, and strap locks) - I just screw them by hand :)
     

  3. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Ballard
    The components sound "first rate" (I love my warmoth boat-neck, even w/o stainless frets) - have you considered assembling some crappy ones first, so any "learning opportunities" are on lower-stakes parts.

    Other than that - go.
    Peace - Deeve
     

  4. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    Ive done screws by hand before for my electrosocket jack in my tele, but I've read that for roasted maple this can crack the wood really easily. The neck is the only part I'm really worried about


    I considered it, but I dont want to have cheap components haha. I dont have the space to have tons and tons of guitars lying around (this will be the fifth, behind my Epi LP Special II, MiM Tele, Gibson LP Studio, and Yamaha Acoustic). I know this is a learning experience, and I know I won't get it all right the first time, I just want to maximize what I can do right. Ive done other projects (adding locking tuners, changing to an electrosocket, rewiring pickups, building pedals) so I'm not new to guitar work in general, but I'm definitely new to assembly.

    I ordered a modern C neck, but I almost wish I ordered boatneck. My Les Paul has a thick neck and I love it, but I liked the picture of the grain pattern on this one a lot, and the C neck on my Tele hasnt bothered me either
     

  5. stringsthings

    stringsthings TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Nov 23, 2016
    Indiana US
    A hand drill will be fine for the tuner holes and the strap pin holes. Just tape off the bit so you don't drill
    to deep. And support the body well when drilling the strap pin holes.

    Tip for the strap pin drilling. Start with a small diameter bit compared to the screws. That way you can always
    enlarge the hole if it's too small. And use a bit of soap on the screws when you install them. You want a nice tight fit
    for these pins.

    The tuner pins are not real critical since the tuners are also supported by the main fasteners.
     

  6. rogb

    rogb Tele-Holic

    789
    Jan 3, 2012
    London, England
    Lovely looking caster!
    If ever buy another neck it will be roasted with 22 stainless. It's the way forward.
    I speed read your post and thought you had to drill the tuner holes. Yikes that is
    no fun!
    I would mark them carefully making sure 3 or 4 times they are perfectly aligned.
    Like has been said tape off a tiny dril bit say 1.5 mm and drill half the length of the screw. Soap those threads.
    I bust one once and I don't recommend it.
    Good luck that is going to be a cool guitar. Play the heck out of it
     

  7. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Love the body color, and great grain on the neck.
    Take plenty of time positioning and then precisely marking the holes for the tuners and the pickguard. Then check them again. And... I absolutely recommend using a drill press for all of those. In addition to keeping the hole straight, the press allows you to drill precisely where you marked, with no “bit walking”. And it’s just easier, IMO.
    I’m just finishing up a warmoth tele build, and I’m totally impressed with the fit and finish quality of warmoth parts. I also got a roasted maple neck, originally intending to leave it unfinished, but then decided to finish it with shellac, which was a great experience and turned out really well, enhancing the grain.
     

  8. guitarbuilder

    guitarbuilder Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

    Mar 30, 2003
    Ontario County
    If the tuner holes aren't drilled for you, a drill press table set up with a fence and waste board should help you keep the holes in line and from breaking through the other side. I make dents with a center punch before hand so the point or pilot of the drill can be lined up more accurately.

    An electric hand drill can be used for the strap button holes. Mine has a level built in to help. Screws come with what is called a major and minor diameter. The minor diameter is what you want to drill your pilot holes with. A tape flag will help in the depth area, but on strap buttons and with the size of the drill you'll be using, it kind of takes care of itself. Just drill straight.

    You can use a bit of wax on the screws if the wood is really a dense hardwood. A good screwdriver will help in getting the screws in.

    Looking at the pix now...it seems all the holes are drilled. I guess the above is after the fact.... good luck with the assembly of it and have fun.
     

  9. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    Hey everyone, thanks for the tips. No more pictures yet, as I decided to order a few more parts before I really get moving. I ordered stainless steel screws for the tuners because I was reading more scary stories about the screw heads twisting off and being left with a broken screw in the hardwood. I also ordered a jazzmaster dpst slide switch. I am going to use the switch to wire the midboost circuit as a true bypass option. I am thinking about pop utting the switch between the neck and middle pickups. I believe it is short, but I think it will get in the way less there than in between the bridge and middle pickups
     

  10. stringsthings

    stringsthings TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Nov 23, 2016
    Indiana US
    This would happen when people used the wrong screwdriver, or tightened the screws too tight. The old screw heads would strip and then break off when more force was applied.
    As long as you use the right size screwdriver and drill some pilot holes, you'll be good to go. And they don't have to be in super tight.
     
    magic smoke likes this.

  11. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    Update time, this time with pictures imbedded in the post!

    First, I wanted to put a bypass switch in to turn the midboost off. I considered a push pull, but I didn't want the knob sticking up when I turned it on to use the midboost, and didn't want the up position to be wired to bypass the boost either, so I settled for a jazzmaster style dpdt slide switch between the neck and middle pickups. I measured the hole for the switch, drilled out a bit on each end, then used an exacto-knife saw blade thing curtesy of my late grandfather. He had a tool for everything. Also, shout out to my dad for helping me find some of the tools I needed for the project, and happy belated fathers day to any other dads out there! Anyway, after the switch fit, I drilled the screw holes and filed the switch hole until it worked. It doesn't look perfect, but I'm not too concerned. It works.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the switch fitting in nicely:

    [​IMG]

    Next, I had to get shielding done. I bought a roll of copper tape to accomplish this task, and I learned that I hate copper tape. The tape I bought does not have conductive adhesive, so I had to fold it over to join pieces. It also cuts up your hands quite a bit, which was mildly infuriating. It isn't pretty, but here is what it looks like:

    [​IMG]

    I also shielded the back of the pickguard, although I forgot pictures of that. I may snap some later for completeness.

    Next, I installed the battery box. I opted to not predrill the screw holes because the wood was pretty thin and it worked out fine on the alder body. This will come in handy. The electronics are a tight fit and replacing a battery without pulling the whole pickguard up will be really nice.

    [​IMG]


    The battery slides right in:

    [​IMG]

    Here is the wilkinson trem I am using. I have never owned a guitar with a trem before, so it should be fun to set up. I was a bit worried when I saw the block was matte black, but the inside where the screws connect are conductive to the saddles and trem arm according to my handy multimeter, so it will ground the strings from the trem block

    [​IMG]

    I have the electronics all soldered up, and they fit in the cavity! I will show more detailed pictures of that later, along with a description of my wiring:

    [​IMG]

    I think next on the list is drilling the tuner guideholes. It's still a scary thought to me. I think I am going to use a drill press. My grandpa would be really happy knowing all his tools are still getting good use. Any tips are welcome!
     
    Tonetele likes this.

  12. heltershelton

    heltershelton Tele-Holic

    716
    Sep 14, 2016
    not houston
    rub all your screws across a candle or a bar of soap before you screw them in.
     

  13. Deeve

    Deeve Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Dec 7, 2009
    Ballard
    Wax or soap in those screw threads. Yes.

    BTW - great looking shield-job.
     

  14. stringsthings

    stringsthings TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Nov 23, 2016
    Indiana US
    Coming along nicely.

    If you've got a dremel, you can make that pickguard cut a bit neater with sanding tools, but that's a minor thing.
    Shielding job is just fine; no one sees it anyways.
     

  15. Tonetele

    Tonetele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2009
    South Australia
    Yes, wax or soap on the screws to aid in placement.
     

  16. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    No more pictures quite yet, but I got the rest of the wiring together, and have painters tape holding the pickguard jack on. I had to try to get sound through with another guitar, I couldn't help myself. I have a few quick questions:

    1. Do you need to ground the pickups anywhere other than their ground lead? I am getting a buzzing noise when I touch the poles that goes away when i touch other metal. That sounds like a grounding issue of some sort

    2. Are you supposed to shield the jack cavity? I couldnt get the jack in without the hot wire grounding out. I wound up putting electrical tape where it was touching, but I don't think that that is a permanent solution.
     

  17. stringsthings

    stringsthings TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Nov 23, 2016
    Indiana US
    Single coils (even noiseless ) are just prone to buzzing. If it goes away when you're touching the bridge/strings, I wouldn't worry about it too much.
    You can double check that your bridge is grounded, the pots are grounded, and the cavities are grounded. I wouldn't worry about the jack cavity.

    If the noise really bothers you, you could try shielded cable for all the signal wires. It's a PITA and it may not make things better.
     

  18. Hyliandeity

    Hyliandeity TDPRI Member

    27
    May 4, 2014
    Boston
    When you said you wouldnt worry about the jack cavity, do you mean you woukdnt worry about shielding it? The bridge isnt on yet haha, its just the electronics on the body
     

  19. stringsthings

    stringsthings TDPRI Member

    Age:
    58
    24
    Nov 23, 2016
    Indiana US
    Right on the jack cavity. I wouldn't worry about shielding it.

    Once you put the bridge on and string it up, they'll be grounded ( don't forget to connect the wire ).
    So while you're playing, the buzz should go away.

    Since you don't have the bridge/strings on, it's natural to be getting a buzz when it's just the pickups connected.
    It also matters what kind of wiring your house has. Different types of light bulbs also make a difference.
    And being near tv sets or transformers can increase the buzz. RF noise is extremely tough to get rid of 100%.
     

IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.