Building the Body

The building of the Strat body in chronological order. To enlarge the photo to full size, click on it

01 - Strat  - 6 planks - DSCN1002The two boards, each made up from 3 planks of tong and grooved ‘parquet’ Merbau flooring.

 

 

 

02 - Strat  - Fender Drawing -DSCN1003The ‘Fender Stratocaster’ drawing found on the web

 

 

 

 

03 - Strat  - Drawing on board -DSCN1005Creating the body template – gluing the body outline on MDF.

 

 

 

 

04 - Strat  - Mould & blank - DSCN1007

Board and template. Routed the template very carefully by hand and then sanded for final Strat shape.

 

 

 

 

05 - Strat  - Boards Jigsawed -DSCN1009Taped the two boards together with double sided tape (marvelous invention) and then cut the outline with a jig saw.

 

 

06 - Strat  - Routing one board - DSCN1020Ready for routing the top board.

 

 

 

 

 

07 - Strat  - Floorboard underside - DSCN1021Double sided tape and a couple of screws to hold the template in place.

 

 

 

 

08 - Strat  - One board routed second to go - DSCN1024Top board routed, bottom board next.

 

 

 

 

 

09 - Strat  - Making Inside Template 1 - DSCN1025Making the routing template for the cavities under the pick guard. The Bosch router has a small guide that allows routing to follow the contour of an opening. The offset I needed was about 4mm.

 

 

10 - Strat  - Making Inside Template 2 - DSCN1026Pick guard cavity template routed.

 

 

 

 

11 - Strat  - Test Route Inside - DSCN1029Test rout before attempting the real thing… Worked well.

 

 

 

 

12 - Strat  - Real Route Inside 1 - DSCN1030Now the real thing! You see the small circular guide around the router bit.

 

 

 

 

13 - Strat  - Real Route Inside 2 - DSCN1032First route of about 6mm done, routing in stages to final depth.

 

 

 

 

14 - Strat  - Final Route Inside 1 - DSCN1034Second route…

 

 

 

 

 

15 - Strat  - Final Route Inside 2 - DSCN1035Top and bottom boards together. Back not routed yet.

 

 

 

 

 

16 - Strat  - Preparing the two halves 1 - DSCN1036Time to glue them together but first all the ‘cuts’ you see in the bottom of the floor boards will need to be filled so they are not so obvious when looking at the sides…

 

 

 

17 - Strat  - Preparing the two halves 2 - DSCN1037Here is how I fill them with small cuts of the same timber.

 

 

 

 

18 - Strat  - Gluing the halves together - DSCN1038All done and now clamping the two halves together.

 

 

 

 

19 - Strat  - Routing the edges 1 - DSCN1045Routing the edges.

 

 

 

 

 

20 - Strat  - Routing the edges 2 - DSCN1046Close up of the routing bit.

 

 

 

 

 

 

21 - Strat  - Routing the edges 3 - DSCN1047Edge routing done, no mistakes, all looking good.

 

 

 

 

 

22 - Strat  - Back cutout 1 - DSCN1048Marking the body cut (where it rests on your ribs). This should reduce the weight a little. Obviously the back has been routed.

 

 

 

23 - Strat  - Back cutout 2 -DSCN1053Using a spoke shave to remove the wood.

 

 

 

 

 

24 - Strat  - Back cutout 3 -DSCN1055Done… Sanding will smooth it out.

 

 

 

 

25 - Strat  - Front cutout - DSCN1049Removing the body cut (where your upper arm rests on). Original flooring varnish now very visible.

 

 

 

 

26 - Strat  - Floorboard Varnisg Removed 1 - DSCN1058All original flooring varnish removed with orbital sander using 80 grit.

 

 

 

 

27 - Strat  - Floorboard Varnisg Removed 2 - DSCN1059Same for the back.

 

 

 

 

28 - Strat  - FInitials and Year - DSCN1060Engraving my initials and the year. Now it is ready for varnishing.

 

 

 

 

29 - Strat  - Body Finished 1 - DSCN1062Back has received about 4 coats of water based varnish. Each coat rubbed in gently with a very damp soft cloth. This will give it a beautiful, even finish. The results with this method are much better than application with a brush.

 

30 - Strat  - Body Finished 2 - DSCN1063Same for the front. About 10 coats will be applied in total.

 

 

 

 

A few more coats of varnish and the body will finished.

.31 - Strat  - Body Finished 3 - DSCN107032 - Strat  - Body Finished 4 - DSCN1071

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Just checking the neck pocket with a Squire neck to see how it fits. Looks good.

33 - Strat  - Body Finished with Squire Neck - DSCN1068

Next up, the making of the neck.
Photo Gallery of Building the Neck

32 - Strat  - Body Finished 4 - DSCN1071

 

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