Showing posts from April, 2018

HSS strat set up and review

Finally I had the guitar finished but not set up. I had a quick playing test and most of the fret issues had gone - my initial test had shown that on the E and B above fret 14 it was hit and miss whether you got the right note and that was all gone.  There was some buzzing but all notes sounded.  However bending the top E choked out - a common Strat complaint but one I wasn't expecting.  When I bought the neck off eBay it was specified as having a 9.5" radius.  I thought I maybe needed another go at levelling the frets. Anyway I put it aside for 24 hours to let it all settle at tension anyway. Next day I checked the relief which without any adjustment had gone from being dead flat without tension to being a little over Fender factory spec for a 9.5 and closer to a 7.25.  I decided to leave that as that was close enough for now - I was expecting to return to that but read on for the mystery surprise. The nut slots were all high - not uniformly some much higher tha

HSS Strat Completed

The build is completed. When I last updated you on here the scratchplate was cut out in terms of the shape.  So the next job was to cut out the pickup holes, control mounting holes and the screw holes. So... I drilled into the corner of the pickup holes and then with a coping saw cut those out.  Found various sized appropriate drills for the holes.  Cutting out the pickup holes was a bit tricky but ok in the end with a bit of judicious help from appropriate files.  One of the trickiest bits was to get the switch hole.  For a typical Strat 5 way switch it is a long thin line.  Digging in my tool chest which I so luckily inherited from my Dad in 1984.  It has tools that date back to when he started as an apprentice shipwright in the dockyard in 1942.  I always wonder what Dad is thinking looking down on my hamfisted efforts (ab)using his tools in the process.  Anyway buried in there were some round file blades to be fitted into a saw. They looked about the right width.  I found a fre

HSS Project progress

Enjoying the holiday at the moment.  The meniere's disease has almost totally behaved itself the last two days so I got some more progress made on the HSS build. First - I said that the standard scratchplate I bought didn't fit so I'm making one from scratch using the standard one as a bit of a template.  I thought therefore about some from of jig to help when cutting it out.  I'm a Youtube addict for certain guitar channels, one being Crimson Guitars and the other Susan Gardener's.   Both of these have shown use of the Crimson Guitars Jewellers / Inlay Cutting Bench Jig .  Now I could just have bought one, but it's £20 for essentially a couple of bits of wood.  No doubt expertly made and finished by Ben and the team at Crimson but I rifled through some old bits of wood in the shed and in an hour or so had made one of my own. Yes more rough and ready than the Crimson one but it does the job.  And so to that job... I spent a good hour and a half figurin

New project.. and some history

The History Back in the mid 70s a young lad convinced his mum to order a Columbus Strat copy from one of the catalogues that she ran.  Do you remember them?  My Mum used to be an agent for Empire Stores and another.  I'm pretty sure the guitar came from Empire.  It was pictured laying close to a Saxon black Les Paul custom copy which at, I think, £89 was out of my price range.  The Columbus Strat though was £75 and I sacrificed most of my weekly pocket money for a year to pay for it. That was my first electric guitar.  My second guitar of all.  Anyway - wind on a couple of years or so - 1978/79.  I wanted a more raunchy sound from the bridge pickup so I headed to London with my big brother one day.  In a shop (I think Rose Morris) I saw an Ibanez Super 70 humbucker in a cabinet and I could afford it - can't remember the price.  I told the assistant what I was going to do.   He was indignant I was thinking of putting a humbucker in a strat at all esp in the bridge position.