Strat Style Guitar #1: Project Start

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Blog entry by DanMelander posted 08-01-2016 01:23 AM 1701 reads 0 times favorited 2 comments Add to Favorites Watch
no previous part Part 1 of Strat Style Guitar series Part 2: Finish Routing and Fitting the Parts »

I started taking guitar lessons last year. My instrument is a Classical Style Acoustic guitar. I chose a classical guitar because it has a 2” nut, which is perfect for my big fat fingers. After a while, I became interested in electric guitars also. Electric guitars have much smaller string spacing, which made it difficult for me to play. Big Lou Guitars makes a Strat Style electric guitar with a 1 7/8” nut, and they also sell necks with 1 7/8” and 2” nuts. I decided to buy a 2” nut neck from them, and to tackle the body my self to make an electric guitar that I could play.

Big Lou neck.

I purchased a one piece alder guitar body blank from Classic Tone Woods.

The routing templates came from Ron Kirn. If you are interested in building a guitar, Ron also has a great step by step tutorial.

The first step is to make working templates out of 3/4” MDF from the Ron Kirn master templates. Why? Because at some point, the router will ruin the working template. Better to ruin a working template than the master template!

I traced the template onto the alder blank, cut it out on the bandsaw, attached the working template and routed the basic shape and tremolo cavity.

Then I discovered my first “oops!”. I had processed the body blank through the Timesaver to 1.5” thick instead of 1.75”. Dang! I decided to forge ahead and make a thinner Strat. It turns out there are thinner Strats out there. At least is will be lighter :-/

2 comments so far

View SallyKelly's profile


1 post in 1789 days

#1 posted 09-07-2016 07:15 AM

wow! i didn’t know that how the guitars are made. i love playing guitar! thank you for sharing this out. if you want to add or interested to know more lesson playing guitar try to check this i just learned mine in this amazing site. :) :)see you there!

View GnarlyErik's profile


358 posts in 3296 days

#2 posted 01-08-2017 04:14 PM

I am impressed at your courage to tackle such a project – it is a lot to bite off!

I am currently building four small acoustic guitars from scratch myself. Two are in the final finishing stages, and I will post those as a project when completely done. My approach was to do as much research as I could, then using my research as a guide, design and build the instruments. The final product is an amalgamation of different designs, with an oval shaped sounding body smaller than usual since these are intended as learning guitars for young children. I know next to nothing about music, but love the art, grace and charm of the instruments themselves.

I’ve built the necks from scratch too and have included adjustable torsion rods. The nut to bridge distance on mine is 25” with the fretboard spacing to fit – and they have only 15 frets. These first four are 3-string guitars, but I plan do a 4-string and 6-string too as time allows and I learn more. I bought an assortment of bone for the nuts and bridges, and these first ones have wooden tuning pegs instead of geared tuners since I wanted a very traditional look. I may buy geared tuners for the next ones, we’ll see. So far the wooden pegs seem to work just fine, although the peg boxes are a little time consuming to build and making the tapered pins and holes to fit was a challenge. These are also equipped with piezo pickups so they can be hooked up to amps. I can’t tell you how much fun it has been to build these and I can’t wait each day to work on them. Of course, it has all taken far more time than I first anticipated.

Here’s a link to some of my earlier ‘Diddley-bows’ which inspired me to build my current guitars:

-- "Never let your dogma be run over by your karma!"

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