As I've gradually grown my collection of completed builds - I think this natural Ash Stratocaster is the one which has taught me the most. Consequently - just about every component has been swapped out, at least once, over the last couple of years. With the latest modifications however... I think it might finally be where I want it to be.
I try to make improvements to the playing "feel", every time I set the guitar up. In fact - every time I change strings - there's a chance to tweak things a little. I've already set the Ash Strat up a few times now. This time - the new body has meant there's a better geometry at the neck pocket, and I can do away with the shim that was there previously. That provides an opportunity to really give things a good shake out.
Swapping out the body of my Ash Stratocaster seemed like one of those tasks which needn't take too long. However - after a finishing process which took a couple of weeks from start to finish - I'm beginning to realise how much I missed it. And there's still a way to go... But it's beginning to look like it might well be worth the wait...
The new body for my Ash Stratocaster is a lovely piece of timber. I've specially selected it from a choice of blanks, and it's been supplied to me already well sanded to, what looks like, at least 400 grit. This is a quality body, and it deserves the best quality finish I can manage.
My Ash Strat is now a couple of years old. As I've built other projects, I've learned a lot - and I'm constantly looking for ways to refine and upgrade previous builds. This being my first real build - I've always been pretty happy with the way it evolved but, compared with some of the Fender bodies I've worked with, the two piece Ash body just feels wrong somehow, and I'm constantly reminded of the small compromises I had to make to bring the guitar together. Time for another upgrade.
The Ash Stratocaster I built last year has become one of my "go-to" guitars. As one of my first builds - I'm especially fond of it. However, with a few key components left over from other projects, I've had the chance to upgrade the guitar into something really special.
With all the modifications in place, I can now setup the guitar. The new setup is going to unstop the tremolo - but since that's something I'll also have to do for the Black Strat, I need to get acquainted with the theory and practice of properly floating a Stratocaster tremolo.
All the groundwork is now done and the guitar is ready for the new pickups and wiring. I just need to check on the scratchplate fit at the bridge first. UPDATE: Idiot wiring mistakes identified and rectified.
It starts as a relatively simple list of things to do. Neck off - new neck on. Scratchplate out - new scratchplate fitted. Thing is - there are always a few extra little bits that need picking up along the way.
I've had the Ash Strat finished for a year now. Part of my approach to guitar building is to develop my own instruments, and to learn how to build and modify them as I go. There are a few bits I want to revisit. Time to upgrade.