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Let's build an Eruption Frankenstrat

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by 1 21 gigawatts, Nov 11, 2020.

  1. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    I'm been kicking around the idea to do a white Frankenstrat build for a while, and Eddie's death last month spurred me to get it going. A lot of folks do the Frankie builds, but most do the red version. I prefer the white one, and Ed has said that he did too. Plus, the white one is a much easier (cheaper) build, since you don't need the correctly routed body or a Floyd Rose.

    Here is what I am starting with.
    3188708410420TNer.JPG.jpg
    A well used Fender Starcaster that I won on GW auctions. The Starcaster is a lot like the Squire SE. Cheap, but has a full thickness, solid wood body. The neck is maple with a big headstock and a 12" radius; almost perfect for a Frankie build. I say almost because this one has a skunk stripe. Is there a way to minimize the look of the stripe (wood bleach)?

    I still haven't decided between doing a replica using correct parts or just a tribute. My original plan was to do a tribute since I can just buy a single humbucker pickguard and use a Duncan Detonator from my parts bin, which would be a cleaner look than Eddie's hack job. On the other hand, a full replica wouldn't really be that much more expensive, and might be more fun to do.

    Other parts required will be a MIM vintage trem assembly, a brass block (if I do a replica), and a brass nut.

    Anyways, let me know which direction that you think that I should take. This project is going to take a while since I haven't received the guitar yet, but I wanted to start aquiring the parts. Figured that I would get you guys involved in the planning stages.
     
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  2. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    Go all the way...or as far as you can to make it exactly like his.
     
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  3. reddy2300

    reddy2300 Tele-Meister

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    I have an old black un-brand Strat at home. I'm thinking I'll pull all of the parts off and do the Red Frankie paint job and then put the parts back on. Not a "duplicate" of Frankie but more like a tribute.

    Either way you do it, everyone will know what you're trying to say. ;)
     
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  4. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    If I were to go red, I think that I would do a 5150 replica instead. I just can't go for the non-functional switch and front pickup. By that point, Ed was deliberately making Frankie ugly.

    Still going back and forth on the replica vs tribute. I'm planning to leave the pinstripes off, so it won't be an exact replica (although there are some photos of Frankie without pinstripes, just with a different pickguard).

    My other hesitation with the replica is that it is extra work to make it worse. The pickguard has to be hacked up, chipped, and the humbucker mounted directly to the body. You end up with less functionality (no pickup height adjustment), and with something that looks like you didn't know what you were doing.

    My current plan (will probably change a few more times) is to use correct parts minus the homemade pickguard. My thought is that if Eddie could have bought a pre-made single humbucker strat pickguard, he certainly would have. Also, I already have a Duncan Detonator to use for something, and it doesn't look like a standard humbucker.
     
    Last edited: Nov 14, 2020
  5. mexicanyella

    mexicanyella Friend of Leo's

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    I’d be inclined to base the trem decision more on how you play and use a trem yourself. Do you need a Floyd for the trem moves you do? If you’re not a big trem yanker already, maybe the simplicity and easier string changes of a Fender bridge would be more practical.

    This is just me, but “tribute” would be enough for me, rather than “replica,” and a Floyd’s extra range is wasted on me so I personally would opt for the Fender bridge given those two choices. But if you do big trem moves, that wouldn’t be practical for you.
     
  6. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    I already came to the same conclusion and editted out the idea of using a Floyd. I'm not a trem user; I just want to be able to do the occasional dive bomb. No point over complicating it- especially when it takes it further from the original intent.
     
  7. ping-ping-clicka

    ping-ping-clicka Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

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    I don't mean to be sacrilegious but.........:twisted: I have seen an interview someone either this smoking guitarist or that one, one of his guitars had a wilkinson trem instead of the Floyd Rose that worked as well , A.E. NEWMAN FULL JEANS.jpg but offered the advantage of not using the locking device at the headstock end of the neck.
    Just a thought.
     
  8. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    One step closer. I just turned my Duncan Detonator into a Duncan Distortion. The Detonator is just a Distortion with the hex bolt poles from the Invader. It is more metal than Hard Rock.

    As luck would have it, I had two other humbuckers in my parts bin: an Epiphone and an Ibanez INF. The INF has smaller sized hex bolt pole pieces that fit the Detonator, and I was able to rob the slugs from the Epiphone. Now I basically have a Distortion which will be better suited in both tone and looks.
     
  9. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    The guitar still hasn't arrived; it's coming from OR and I am in FL, and FedEx seems to be using a covered wagon to transport it. Parts are coming together though. I've got the humbucker ready (see above post) and found a couple of correct eye hooks for the strap buttons. Ordered a Fender MIM trem assembly, a Bourns 500k pot, and a matte black pickguard.

    I went with the precut pickguard, so I can mount the humbucker correctly since it is F-spaced (no need to mount it crooked) and to retain the height adjustability. Sorry Eddie- I can't bring myself to mount it wrong just to be more "correct".

    I plan to use the body, neck, tuners, neck plate, jack, and string tree from the Starcaster. That leaves the brass nut (which I want to confirm size before ordering), stings, and paint. I figure that the total project will come in under $150. Not bad consideration the EVH one is $12,500.

    More to come...
     
    Last edited: Nov 17, 2020
  10. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Guitar arrived today.

    The Good: The body is full thickness and real wood- much lighter than my SE. Tuners seem to be serviceable- Schaller style, so correct for the build. Truss rod turns and adjusts relief as expected.

    The Bad: The neck has a slight twist close to the headstock- the heal of the headstock is 2mm lower than the tuner side when measured with the neck laying flat. It didn't play bad, so maybe it is usable.

    The Ugly: It is pre-reliced. The neck is filthy. The body has many dings and scratches. Considering the project, this isn't a bad thing- will make for a more convincing Frankie.

    I'll add some photos later.
     
  11. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Here is the official start of the project.
    20201120_190620.jpg

    And here is my attempt to fix the neck. It popped a couple of times, but it will lay straight while clamped.

    20201120_190936.jpg
     
  12. bluescaster72

    bluescaster72 Tele-Holic

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    I really think Eddie got it right with his first guitar as it was about function and having the right tool . He knew what he was after and made it . I don't do any of his stuff I am more into blues and classic rock . I respected Eddie but even if I learned his stuff I couldn't use it I feel in a musical way like he did . But I have toyed around with the idea for a single humbucker guitar with a combo volume tone and when I say combo I mean stacked in one knob I saw one before and thought what a great idea . Haven't done it yet , but one day !
     
  13. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Good news. Just clamping the neck to my workbench took a lot of the twist out. I'll keep it clamped like that when I'm not working on it.

    I smoothed the fret ends, removed the nut (what a PITA that was!), and sanded the neck. I'll perform a full fret job after the neck has straightened out as much as it wants to.

    I removed the Starcaster logo, but you can still see its ghost. Anyone have a good way to get ghosting off of the headstock? I sanded it quite a bit, but it doesn't seem to be diminishing.
     
  14. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    It is starting to look like something.:)

    20201122_172544.jpg

    20201122_172614.jpg

    The amazing thing is that besides for the 3 short pieces of tape and the squiggle, most of the stripes are done with 2 continuous pieces of tape. I almost didn't do the squiggle since I don't really like it, but I figured that I would regret it later.
     
    Last edited: Nov 22, 2020 at 5:52 PM
  15. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Painting has begun. Here is a quick photo of my DIY paint booth.
    20201123_103259.jpg
     
  16. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    Painting is done- maybe. I had some spots pull off when I removed the tape. The paint is also going to need to be wet sanded to get it smooth; it feels textured right now. I'll let it cure for a week, then wet sand and re-assess. It only took one can, so I can sand it back down and start over if need be.

    20201123_143058.jpg
     
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  17. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Now thats impressive!
     
  18. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    It's a Walmart pop up canopy, a drop cloth, and a roll of plastic sheeting held up by clamps. Cheap, roomy, and works great!
     
  19. Swampash&Tweed

    Swampash&Tweed Friend of Leo's

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    Most people I know just go for it in their garage in a corner. creating a dust free little booth for something that's not a 59' LP Historic is pretty cool. I'm sure even Eddie just did it on his back porch on top of some newspaper!
     
  20. 1 21 gigawatts

    1 21 gigawatts Tele-Meister

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    I was going to just paint it in the backyard like Eddie, but it was too windy.
     
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