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This was a project to create a woodstock strat that Jimi played in 69 but as a left hand version so it would look right played by a right handed guitarist. It started as an Affinity Squier lLF stratocaster, but all that was left of it by the end is the body.
Sandpaper 220, 320, 600, 1000, 1500, 2000, 3000
Nitro aerosols Arctic white, Amber clear, clear
Standard tools (screwdrivers, wrenches etc.)
One Affinity LH guitar body
Alnico pickups from a Highway 1 Fender
Schaller locking tuners
Fender LH neck
Copper shielding tape
After removing all the hardware off the wood, take the neck off the body by removing the 4 screws and the neckplate. Mask off the neck pocket with maskin or pinter's tape to protect it during the sanding and painting proces. There are several ways od stripping the paint, paint remover chemicals (not recomended as it doesn't work well with poly finishes),
using a hot air gun works fast but there is a chance od burning and excessive drying of wood, and good-ol-fashion sanding. Above you can see our team working hard on this body :-). After removin all the paint use wood filler to fill any holes or imperfections, prepping is everything. In this cace the strap button hole needs to be filled too as the guitar would be played righthanded. 2 coats of wood primer followed along with sanding the surface smooth. We opted for Reranch nitro aerosols for this paintjob. Antique white is the correct shade but we liked arctic white instead. After 2-3 coats of white, another 3-5 coats od nitro clear is needed.
For the left handed maple neck we opted for Reranch Amber nitro finish using several coats to emulate the aging the instrument would have endure since 1969 if it were real. We applied a Fender mirror image headstock decal along with a Jimi Hendrix signature water decal.
Above you can see 3 pictures of the body paintjob. The firts photo shows the body after spraying with arctic white and clear nitro coats. The second photo depicts the body after polishing with a paint polishing compound using microfiber cloth and a car paint polish by Mothers. The final picture shows applide copper shielding of the pickup and electronics cavities.
We scrapped the Squier electrotinc except for the 5 way swithc which was of good quality. We installed a set of Alnico pickups taken off a Fender highway one guitar in another project, and installed CTS pots all wired with coaxial cables thus eliminating as much noise as possible.
The next step was to replace the tuners with Schaller locking tuners. If you are wondering why, the Schaller locking tuners have a thumb screw on the bottom, that when tightened, locks the string in place. This makes a much easier job of string installation, and ads to tuning stability.
To do this job you'll need a drill, some small drill bits, a 10 millimeter wrench, a strait edge, and some patience.
After removing the old tuners, the first thing to do is place the tuners into the headstock tuner holes. You want to keep the tuners aligned with the strait edge, while finger tightening the tuner nuts. The reason for this is because there are two small alignment nubs that need to be drilled out for.
We've found that instead of trying to make some fancy template, it's much easier to just put the guitar tuners in place,and tighten them down gently. At the same time making sure that the tuners don't go out of align by using the strait edge.As you tighten the nuts, the alignment nubs wil make small indentations in the wood where you must drill.
Use a 1/16" bit in your drill. Then use some masking tape to mark the drill bit for depth. Don't try and wing it without the tape, the few extra second is worth not drilling through the front of the headstock.
Once the 1/16th inch pilot holes are drilled, use a 3/32" bit, but check the nubs width on your model because the nubs may vary in size a little. You want a nice, snug fit, so if your unsure, use a smaller bit. Remember the depth tape, and your patience. Once you've got the holes drilled try out a tuner for fit
Make sure the tuners fit all the way into the alignment holes, and lay flat on the back of the headstock. If you can't pull them in flat by tightening up the tuner nuts, then ream the hole a little with your drill. Never use a hammer or any hammering action to try to fit them or you risk cracking your headstock.
All repair and setup articles on this website are provided 'as is' without warranty of any kind.. The entire risk as to the results and the performance of the information is assumed by the user, and in no event shall Bluesmannus be liable for any consequential, incidental or direct damages suffered in the course of using the information on this site. If you are not sure you can do this you are safer leaving the process to a professional. - Bluesmannus Team