Ready for assembly

Below I’ll show how to achieve a Candy Apple Red finish on a Stratocaster body. Candy Apple Red is based on the old custom car technique of spraying clear lacquer over a metallic base coat, and was Fenders only truly “custom” colour, all the others being repurposed car finishes. I have itemised the process …

Dressing fret ends with a diamond file

At this time of year when guitars tend to be bought as presents I get asked if it’s necessary to have it set up, or it’s suggested that as it’s a new guitar it shouldn’t need very much doing. Unless the buyer is extraordinarily fortunate, the answer is always “yes” and a new guitar …

Switchcraft coil tap switch (left) and modern donor (right)

In the mid-70s, some Gibson semi-acoustics such as the ES-335 and ES-347 were fitted with coil splitting switches, which shorted out one coil of each pickup to provide a single coil sound. I think this was a nod to fashion as thanks to disco and in particular Nile Rogers, the Fender Stratocaster sound was …

La Cabronita body

The La Cabronita is complete. Well, almost. I’m sending it back to Italy without a pickguard as the owner is undecided whether it should have one. Here are a few shots of the guitar for Daniele with different colour pickguards. The 3-ply one was supplied my Guitar Mill and I made the singly-ply ‘guards. …

Fit the string guide String the guitar. Place the string guide over the b and e strings and find a suitable place for its placement on the headstock. Drill a small pilot hole and then screw the string guide down.   Cut the nut slots You should lower the nut slots until there is …

Attaching the neck to the body At this point you can attach the neck to the body using the four large screws. Use the neck plate to act as a large washer for the screw heads. Tighten the screws firmly.   Fitting the tuners If you are using alternative tuners, like our Gotohs you …

Shaping the headstock Because the Telecaster headstock shape is a trademark of Fender Musical Instruments Corp. (FMIC) then all modern kits come with a blank or “paddle” headstock from which you can cut your own design. Any similarity to a Fender Telecaster headstock on this page is purely coincidental! The first job is to …

The Squier Vista Series Jagmaster is one of my favourite guitars. The Squier Vista series was made in Japan to very high standards and comprised around 4 models. If you are going to do this remember that rosewood dust can be an irritant so wear a dust mask when sanding and cutting it. This …