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Let's do a Sharp dressed Strat.....

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Ronkirn, Jul 1, 2008.

  1. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    For those wondering why go to al the trouble of removing all the funk if I was going to shim…. Well…why not??

    Now I insert the neck, place the pickguard in position, then place the tremolo in the correct position. Measuring from the 12 fret, locate the first bridge 12 ¾, and that’ the location of the tremolo. Since the neck and PG are in place, I give it a good look to be certain everything looks correctly positioned. I use a 4 foot ruler to indicate the position of the strings and make any adjustments as necessary.

    Then mark the location of the posts for the Tremolo, here the Wilkinson VS100.

    [​IMG]

    Once the location is marked, over to the drill press.

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    the studs are driven into the body, to keep from buggering up anything, I run in a stainless bolt into the threads, then I can bang away all day without harming anything..

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    then a few whacks… and it’s in.

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  2. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now, holding the tremolo in position, I flip the body…

    [​IMG]

    and place the trem cover in place, outlining 2 sides with tape… we’re moving quickly here because the tape’s adhesive and lacquer do not get along.

    [​IMG]

    Remove the cover to see if I guessed straight. . .

    [​IMG]

    I did not, so I realign the tape to the trem rout.

    [​IMG]


    Ron Kirn
     
  3. Arlo

    Arlo Friend of Leo's

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    Amazing work Ron!
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Nowwwww I replace the trem cover and outline the thing with the tape,

    [​IMG]

    Actually before I did this.. I took my tremolo cover template and routed a test in a piece of scrap whatever was close enough to grab… that way everything is ready to roll as soon as possible..

    [​IMG]

    To see how I did this, you may want to reference this thread…

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/stratocaster-discussion-forum/104487-ok-so-i-promised-here-ya.html

    On this one the stuff just fell into place, on the build in the thread above, I had to make soma accommodation to irregular sixes.. It happens..

    OK back to the main show…. Now I align the template to the taped outline, it is not critical, there is more than enough “wiggle room”. Ya just want it close and straight.

    [​IMG]

    Not I take the router and give the inside edge a little bite, to check depth… lookin’ good. So I give ‘er a complete buzz….

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  5. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Before removing the template, check to be certain it fits correctly… good to go..

    [​IMG]

    and here’s what she looks like now..

    [​IMG]

    Now, since I’m on a roll, I move on to the neck plate… I rout a test in the scrap….

    [​IMG]

    then drop the plate in to be certain it fits, note, I leave about .003 all the way around on this and the other recessed parts to give the body a bit of room to breathe, or move with contraction and expansion. I can pout ‘em in there with .000 clearance, but if the body contracts any, CRACK, the lacquer is brittle and will not give. If anyone whines about how sloppy .003 is.. c’mon, getoutta here…

    [​IMG]

    Again, this bugger fit perfectly on the first try, either I’m getting good, or I need new glasses…

    Ron Kirn
     
  6. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now I place the neck plate in position, noting the screw holes, getting it as precise As I can.

    [​IMG]

    Then locate the template over the plate, leaving the inside margin equidistant and clamp it in position… on yes a side note… lacquer is brittle, so when you clamp the templates, do it with only enough pressure to secure the template, if you go torque crazy here, you will be refinishing the whole body.

    [​IMG]

    Now I take the router and give the body a poke, to check depth..

    [​IMG]

    Rockin’ so. . . . buzz time again…

    [​IMG]

    Drop the plate in the hole to be certain it fits,, if it didn’t, see the link to the thread above….


    Ron Kirn
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    [​IMG]

    Done,. . . so to speak…
     
  8. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Here she is complete with router fuzz,

    [​IMG]

    and after the number has been stamped…

    [​IMG]

    So two down, one to go…..

    The Jack plate presents a different collection of problems, the main one, no 2 are alike, and they are not semetrical, so what tha heck… let’s roll….

    First, do a test… checking the depth of cut, then the over all shape…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    I have sat the piece in up side down, to get a preliminary assessment, it fit, but that dosent mean a thing when flipped over… so you must cut out the inside of the test to allow the jack and plate to fit to see if it is indeed a good cut, since it was… (I have never had a situation where all 3 worked out perfectly on the fist cut on the same guitar must be good karma for ya Dave)

    Ron Kirn
     
  9. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Place the plate on the guitar body in the approximate location,

    [​IMG]

    Then place the template over it, aligning it with the plate then clamp the template…

    [​IMG]

    Be certain to use router but, that is small enough to accommodate the small radius of the point on the jack plate.

    [​IMG]

    now I take a little nip to check for depth…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Buzz time again….

    [​IMG]

    Then check to be certain things are in order…

    [​IMG]

    I figure if it’ll go in upside down, I can bang the heck out of it when right side up… NOT!

    Since the plate is a stamped piece of metal I need to relieve the edges of the rout to allow for it to seat correctly, Dremel time…

    [​IMG]

    and the results…..

    [​IMG]

    so, that’s 3 for 3…..Phew!!!

    Ron Kirn
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    SO, rumor has it that the Klingons are circling, so I guess we better throw up the shield…

    I start with raw copper sheeting, and cut it into the necessary parts….

    [​IMG]

    I use the body template to lay out the bottoms of the various routs..

    [​IMG]

    Then cut then into the shape needed..

    [​IMG]

    Then using a special tool, one that is a trade secret, so it’s even called by a fictitious name to keep it from being commonly known, this one is called a Craftsman Deep well ¾ inch socket… is that cool or what, who will ever figure that one out..

    I flatten all the copper by burnishing it.

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Oh yes, the letters on the copper, it’s a very technical system to identify which goes where, the N indicates, the neck position, and the M, the middle, and y’all thought I was a dummy…

    [​IMG]

    With it all burnished flat, I take an abrasive pad and buff the collection, why? Because I know sometime in the future, curiosity will get the better of the owner, and he will pop the lid… I want him to look in there and see, this ain’t no stinking off the rack guitar. Or, another thought, I don’t want to ever be in the same room with something I made and have to explain something goofy.

    Now, I place the parts….

    [​IMG]

    then apply adhesive to the back side of the walls. This holds it in place until it’s soldered.

    [​IMG]

    And all the other strips…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Working around the edges, I solder at about 1 inch intervals… be careful in the deep section, the back of the guitar and all the beautiful lacquer is only 1/8th inch away. Heat it too much and a mice blister raises it’s ugly head, and it’s back to refinishing..

    [​IMG]

    and completed…

    [​IMG]

    I’ll take a moment here to coat the fresh wood in the routed areas with lacquer. This gives it a fighting chance if anything wet hits the guitar, If left open, the water could soak into the grain, and cause the underlying wood to swell… not a good thing…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  14. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I’m down to the little stuff, drilling pilot holes, etc…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    When using a 22 fret neck on the Strat, the pickguard has to be in place prior to mounting the neck, fire up the old Weller…

    I run the ground wire through to the tremolo spring claw.. And attach the jack leads. The spiral winding produces about the same effect as suing a shielded wire, but the nice thins is it maintains the vintage appearance.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    The claw requires considerable heat, a soldering pencil will not do it, the Weller Gun is about 150 watts and it barely has enough heat to overcome the “heat sink” qualities of the claw.

    Ron Kirn
     
  15. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    With the pickguard in place I can mount the neck. I place it in the slot… that sounds logical… then take an awl and mark the location of the screws. I will press the awl in a skewed angle to mark the neck a bit long, or away from the body, Then drill the holes in that location. What that does is, as the screws are driven home, the force the neck down and into the pocket creating a very tight joint, which is paramount in a Strat due to the way the pressure from the strings pull the neck and body together.

    [​IMG]

    I shim ‘em all with maple…

    [​IMG]

    Run the screws in. . . and . . .

    [​IMG]

    here she is. Ready for strings…

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Nuthin left but to string ‘er up and d a little tweaking..

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    on to the setup….

    Ron Kirn
     
  17. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    It was perfect, and then he put 10-46s on there, oh no!

    :D

    Actually, I've been doing a few lately in EXL 110s myself. Man does does live by 11-49s alone.

    This thread is so mind bogglingly good! My apologies, Ron, I didn't get to the guy in Raceland these past few days, the girlfriend had me bound and tied.
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now, Now.. this is a Family environment..:lol:

    rk
     
  19. Vizcaster

    Vizcaster Poster Extraordinaire

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    Are you going to use a white volume knob and two black tone knobs?

    OK, here's the serious question: I notice you didn't countersink for the pickup or switch screws. Do any of the custom pickup makers use bugle head screws to mount their pickups or is the Fender Custom Shop the only one that recesses their screws in the vintage reissue guards?

    I'm sure anyone would spot this guitar's quality at a distance, but I have to compliment the detail of the recessed plates.
     
  20. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    after seeing this been build, and someone would ask me.(what will never happen)
    you can have a custom master build of fender ore one from ronkirn
    it would be ronkirn
    this is so unbelievable good work.
    and i am learning a lot of these topics.
     
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