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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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    The Switch screws are, but the pup screws aren't.. I used to but more wanted the round head, if ya want it, its not a biggie.

    Ron Kirn
     
  2. Mark-00255

    Mark-00255 Tele-Holic

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    Much appreciated, Ron! The detail, skill and quality you display in these threads is inspiring.
     
  3. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Tele-Afflicted

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    You are a talented man Mr Kirn, and your threads are super.

    Could you elaborate on this a little bit? (in layman terms...ahem) :

    "I use an isolated ground through an audio grade capacitor. This dramatically reduces the hum and preserves the classic Strat sound.."
     
  4. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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  5. Walter Broes

    Walter Broes Tele-Afflicted

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    thanks!!
     
  6. ROADMAN

    ROADMAN Poster Extraordinaire

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    another absolute beauty Ron.....:cool:

    have you ever built one of these pieces of art, plugged it in and just could
    not let it go....come on tell the truth you have twenty guitars under the bed
    don't..:lol: cha
     
  7. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    I can't... I find one I really, really wanna keep and someone shows up and makes me an insane offer.... since I'm insane too..... :D

    Ron
     
  8. dougk

    dougk Tele-Holic

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    Ron if you had a daughter I'd marry her just so I could hang out in your shop all day. :D

    Awesome work like always, 'specially for a "learn by pictures" person like myself.
     
  9. j_hunter_hkr

    j_hunter_hkr Tele-Meister

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    Great thread Ron and a gorgeous guitar. That countersinking is just... oh lawd!
     
  10. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    The setup is what makes or breaks the guitar, to begin simply string ‘er up..

    [​IMG]

    then tune the guitar to pitch, and note the position of the tremolo… here too high..

    [​IMG]

    The Wilkinson Tremolo has a setscrew in the bottom of the post, used to lock it securely, improving transmission of the string vibrations into the body, you must loosen them then lower the posts until the bridge looks about right. I check the back “lines” to be certain the body of the tremolo is parallel to the guitar’s surface.

    [​IMG]

    Now I check the strings height around the 20th fret to see that there is clearance to work with.

    Ron Kirn
     
  11. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    To adjust the saddle height on the Wilk, you must release the locking screw on each saddle.

    [​IMG]

    Then I can begin adjusting the string height. I generally set 1 and 6 by eye, leaving about 1/16 inch clearance at the 20th fret. Then adjust the remaining 4 in a gradual arc to follow the necks radius.

    [​IMG]

    Oh,. I forgot, here I’m locking the tremolo stud’s setscrews in the bottom of the stud.

    [​IMG]

    At this point and with the strings tuned to pitch, I’ll fret the 3rd string at the 1st and 20th fret, then check around the 8th fret. There should be something like .010 inch. That’s about the thickness of a business card, indicating a very slight bow in the neck.

    At this point I’ll sit the guitar aside for a day. Just to let it get used to the tension, the neck will want to bend a tad more, and the tremolo springs haven’t fully acclimated to the force of resistance to the string’s pull. Everything will take time to fully acclimate.

    I might note here. Many make the mistake of stretching the strings by pulling on them to stabilize tuning. This is not a particularly good technique. It is far better and more permanent to tune the string about a step sharp, and let it sit for an hour, then bring it down below the correct note, then tune up to the correct pitch. You will find that the guitar remains in tune much longer this way.

    When a string is manufactured, the metallurgy is designed to allow the string’s voice to optimize at a specific tension, for 10’s usually between something like 15 to 20 pounds. If you stretch the string beyond that range, you damage it, the metal can never return to optimum parameters. A tuned string is about 1 ½ inches longer than when you unpackaged it.

    Have you ever tuned up, stretched those buggers out, retuned only to find a dead string or two.. betcha though you just has a bad set didn’t ya?

    So assuming it’s the next day. . . . back to the setup…

    Ron Kirn
     
  12. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now that the springs are used to their new life under constant tension, I adjust ‘em to get the tremolo approximately level with the surface of the guitar.

    [​IMG]

    You don’t go over board, because as you tighten the spring claw, it pulls the strings to a higher pitch, when you retune, lowering the pitch, and the tension, the tremolo with assume a new position, hopefully the correct one. It is a simple balancing act, the tension of the strings pulling against the tension exerted by the springs.

    [​IMG]

    Once the tremolo is correct, we move to the other end…

    [​IMG]

    If you recall, as I was doing the assembly, I pre-slotted the nut with an approximate depth of slot, I now finish that aspect..

    [​IMG]

    I lift each string from the slot, give it a few swipes with the nut file, and reseat the string. I check each one leaving about 1/64th at the first fret under the first string and about 3/128ths under the 6th. Unplugged, I pluck each string, you will be able to hear if there is any fret buzz, or the dreaded “citar” sound.

    Ron Kirn
     
  13. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Now I recheck action in the vicinity of the 15th fret…raising or lowering each saddle respectively until I detect a bit of buzz. I then raise the saddle a full turn of the setscrew in the saddle, to give slightly more than enough clearance.

    [​IMG]

    Since I may have raised several strings, I will recheck the height at the first fret and re cut the slots as necessary, remember the correct height at the first fret is the same as the height at the second fret when the string is fretted at the first.

    [​IMG]

    For those that want very low (fast) action, every time you adjust something you must let the guitar acclimate to the new parameters to be certain something is not buzzing. Very low action requires clearances if thousandths of an inch, those that like higher action have a greater margin or error and can get away without such precision.

    Now on to the intonation….no photos, you know what picking a note, checking the tuner, and moving the saddle backward or forward looks like, but, I pluck E 1st, and tune dead on the money, then check the E at the 12th fret. If sharp or flat, I recheck the string open, then if flat I shorten the string by moving the saddle towards the neck, if sharp, I lengthen it by moving in the opposite direction.

    I repeat checking at the 19th fret…. Except the second, at the 20th. Again moving the saddle according to the note as indicated on the tuner, Umm., . . chromatic tuner.

    I’ll let is set a few hours, come back and recheck, make whatever final adjustments, and it’s done.

    Next the final details…

    Ron Kirn
     
  14. boris bubbanov

    boris bubbanov Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    Really nice posts, Ron.

    Yup, no doubt about overtensioning the strings. I had that explained to me as a youngin' by my dad's cousin, who was a professor of fracture mechanics at Brown University, and later at Washington University (St. Louis).
     
  15. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Great thread and excellent pics, thanks Ron!
     
  16. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    that's it..... that the words I was trying to think of.... :lol:

    Boy, you would think 'ol Boris had an education of something...;)

    rk
     
  17. jcw

    jcw Tele-Meister

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    Well you've just gone and debunked twenty years' worth of wisdom for me..

    :)
     
  18. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    Star date 07.08.03... this will be the final entry into the log, the Romlins have surrounded the Star base and are preparing to fire the **

    Oh, wait..... that's the wrong entry.....

    Well time to wrap it up... just a few little details and get 'er on the way half way around the planet...

    on thing that consistently bothers me is the junky little plastic knobs, it doesn’t matter if you bought a 300 dollar Squire or a 3000 dollar CS, the switch knob and tremolo handle, while slightly different in shape, are made with the same “molded mud” technology, leaving that seam from the mold the plastic was injected into. This is such a little thing, but…

    I take the switch knob, I do the tremolo handle the same way, but the Wilkinson doesn’t have one so you will have to imagine that part… I take the knob, and stick it on the end of a tool I made from a 16d nail….

    I chuck it in a drill and rotate it against pretty much the first piece of old sandpaper I can find….I do so until the casting lines are gone, them move up to a finer sandpaper…

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    now I step over to the buffing wheel and ummmmm…. Buff…..

    [​IMG]

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  19. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    And the results looks like someone actually gave a hoot about what the subtleties looked like.

    If any one has a 6000 buck Mastebuilt, how ‘bout checking the switch knob, I’m just curious….

    [​IMG]

    then ya stick it on….

    Now the nut is cut, but not finalized,

    [​IMG]

    So I remove it, I haven’t glued it yet, so it’s just a matter of loosening the strings. I then take it to the sanding disk and do the final shaping, Since everyone seems to have their personal preferences as to how deep the slot should be, do yer thing….

    [​IMG]

    Then I take a piece of very fine paper, her 500 grit and run the nut’s top edge along the sandpaper to remove the course sanding marks.

    [​IMG]

    Running it laterally, will leave a very smooth surface.

    Ron Kirn
     
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2008
  20. Ronkirn

    Ronkirn Doctor of Teleocity

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    [​IMG]

    Now over to the buffing wheel again,, and whoa!!.. tell me it aint so.,… we’re gonna be buffing again… whood uh thunk…

    [​IMG]

    This only takes a few seconds, and produces a bone nut that looks more like Ivory than a lot of Ivory nuts I’ve seen over the years.

    [​IMG]

    Now I assemble the nifty nut installation kit. .

    [​IMG]

    and taking the highly specialized “applicator” load it up with glue,

    Ron Kirn
     
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