Christmas 1998:  Like all 15 year old lower-upper-middle class white males who don’t care for sports, I needed an electric guitar.  I tried many low end starter guitars and settled on the Fender MIM sunburst Stratocaster. It not only played well (how would I know, I only started playing?!) but it was an actual “Fender.” Hacking my way through Black Sabbath, Jimi Hendrix, and Metallica, I rocked it with this gem of a $250 guitar. I hope these posts will help you understand the possibilities and limits of guitar modifications.


Under the advise of an actual guitar player, I took my guitar to a guitar tech to do a proper setup.  three major changes:

1) The tremolo really made tuning stability impossible. I rarely used it, so the tech put in extra springs to pull it down flat to the body

holding down the tremelo

2a) Adjusting the action. Generally, it was lowered and contoured to the neck radius.

2b) INTONATION! I wasn’t a good player and understood very little about guitar physics, but I could tell that I somehow sounded better with good INTONATION!

3) The truss rod needed a tweak to level it out; less fret buzzing on the mid frets, symptom of a bowed neck.

I’ve since learned a few more licks and tips to make a guitar better. Every guitar needs to be setup properly, so try fiddling with these things before going nuts.


Posted: 06.8.2013 by doomthings in Design, Workshop
Tags: , , , , , ,

Finally! Let us begin with the neck.

Just making sure stuff fits!

So, yeah… I’ve been seriously delinquent on keeping this updated.  Life happened and progress slowed down, although progress was, in fact, made.  We do have a list of casualties though:

  •  Broken neck plate screw. [Solution: Use three screws and glue the neck in place]
  • Split wood somewhere (Yeah, I’m lazy and don’t want to get off the couch to look at it).  [Solution:  It should be OK with everything else in place – it’s a hairline crack]
  • Hole too wide for the tailpiece. [Solution: Woodfiller]

Soooo, there are a few issues, but despite these things, we still think it will turn out OK.  Basically, as long as it looks cool and I’m able to play Metallica on it, I’m happy.  So this post is seriously boring, but the next one will be better.  It will be about paint!  WOOT!

The Gang’s All Here

Posted: 02.8.2013 by doomthings in General, Workshop

All the pieces came!  Now we just wait for a few tools we ordered.  And then…  IT BEGINS!

All the things!

All the things!

We buy things!

Posted: 01.27.2013 by doomthings in General

Things be purchased!  Although we used Amazon because it’s waaaay cheaper than going through the sites we found what we needed on, it’ll take up to a month for anything to get here.  Ugh!  That’s probably a good thing though.  We can step away from it for a while and come back fresh at the end of February.

And now we wait…

The design is almost complete, I just need to finalize the hardware so we can get the first wave of stuff.

To Buy Now:

  • Tailpiece (chrome)
  • Bridge (chrome)
  • Tuners (3×3 Grover-style)
  • Truss Rod Cover (V-style black)
  • Pickguard (Flying V-style, white, although we may use it to make our own transparent one)
  • Jackplug (Circle, chrome)
  • 3 volume/tone knobs (chrome, no decoration)
  • Pickup Rings (chrome or solid red)
  • Strap Locks (Schaller type locking style, chrome)
  • Neck Plate (Square, chrome)

To Buy Later:

  • Humbucker Pickups & Covers (Flat-Plate, chrome)
  • Pickup Toggle Switch (chrome)
  • Electronics

What’s Next:  Making the neck fit into the body.


Watching: Samurai Champloo