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Thread: Red Ensign Stratocaster Build Diary

  1. #1
    Member CascadiaGuitarGeek's Avatar
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    Red Ensign Stratocaster Build Diary

    So while I wait for my PBG FV-1G kit to arrive I figure I should start a build diary for a project that is already underway. I once had an idea for a strat based on Eric Clapton specs that had the Layla artwork on the body and figured I would order a body to try and experiment how to actually reproduce the album cover on. So I ordered an XGP strat body from Guitarfetish to get started on. Unfortunately when it arrived it turned out that they sent me a body routed for a Floyd Rose trem rather than a traditional Fender style.

    With my original plan foiled, I eventually got some inspiration to do a strat based on the old unofficial Canadian flag, the Red Ensign. I played around with some ideas and settled on a red body with Canada coat of arms design, Union Jack pickguard, gold hardware and (of course) a maple neck. This Frankenstein image was pretty much my concept.
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    So I then ordered a British Flag Relic pickguard from WD and found some aged knobs and pickup covers. I decided to try a light-medium relic on it, partially to reflect that it is an old obsolete flag now, and partially to cover any ugliness in my coat of arms graphic (more on that later).
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    That's it for the first post. I'll add more later on the body graphics, painting, neck and electronics.

  2. #2
    GAStronomist DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    I reckon that'll look cool once it's all finished, are you going to put a locking nut on it as well as the Floyd bridge?, or are you going to go with a traditional Strat nut?

  3. #3
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    cool project Cascadia, should look very cool !
    I look forward to following your build diary !
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

  4. #4
    Member CascadiaGuitarGeek's Avatar
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    I'll switch to the neck to answer the good Dr.'s question. After dealing with a crappy neck on my previous Les Paul kit build, I decided to order a Warmoth neck for this project. I found a good one in their in stock section that fit the bill: maple, Floyd Rose nut shelf, vintage tint nitro satin finish, gold fret wire to match the hardware.

    The gold Floyd Rose trem I bought came with the nut, so I was ready to go when the neck arrived. It was a top mount nut so I pre-drilled the mounting holes and fastened it on.
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    Next step was to install the tuners. I really liked the locking tuners from Guitarfetish that I used on my spalted maple tele project so I went with those again. They have staggered height posts and claim to not need string trees, so I'll try that and see if I have any problems.
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    Unless I decide to add a logo, the neck is ready to go. I just need to finish painting the body, which was rudely interrupted by winter. I need to find a good indoor painting location so I can do finishing year-round.
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  5. #5
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    sexy looking neck Cascadia, love the gold frets, locking nut and tuners. Never heard of staggered tuner post heights, I'll be interested to see if they don't need string trees
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

  6. #6
    GAStronomist FrankenWashie's Avatar
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    Nice. I like the mock up and the relic plan seems a good one, that's a beautiful neck, look forward to seeing how this goes!
    FrankenLab
    Hand crafting guitars, because Death Rays are expensive.


  7. #7
    GAStronomist DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wokkaboy View Post
    sexy looking neck Cascadia, love the gold frets, locking nut and tuners. Never heard of staggered tuner post heights, I'll be interested to see if they don't need string trees

    I've got a set of six gold Sperzel Locking-tuners on the neck for my Gold Strat, they have staggered-height posts on them, and yes, they do eliminate the need for string trees, the heights of the posts are staggered so that the low E and A string tuners have the highest posts, the D and G string tuners have posts with heights lower than the low E and A tuners, and the tuners for the B and high E-strings have posts with the lowest heights, this ensures a proper break-angle over the nut without the need for string trees, this goes some way to eliminating tuning stability problems due to friction in the nut slots, and also helps the B and high E-strings to ring cleanly without sitar-buzzing.

  8. #8
    GAStronomist DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CascadiaGuitarGeek View Post
    I'll switch to the neck to answer the good Dr.'s question. After dealing with a crappy neck on my previous Les Paul kit build, I decided to order a Warmoth neck for this project. I found a good one in their in stock section that fit the bill: maple, Floyd Rose nut shelf, vintage tint nitro satin finish, gold fret wire to match the hardware.

    The gold Floyd Rose trem I bought came with the nut, so I was ready to go when the neck arrived. It was a top mount nut so I pre-drilled the mounting holes and fastened it on.
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    Next step was to install the tuners. I really liked the locking tuners from Guitarfetish that I used on my spalted maple tele project so I went with those again. They have staggered height posts and claim to not need string trees, so I'll try that and see if I have any problems.
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    Unless I decide to add a logo, the neck is ready to go. I just need to finish painting the body, which was rudely interrupted by winter. I need to find a good indoor painting location so I can do finishing year-round.
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    Have you figured out what pickups you'll put in the guitar?, if not, you could consider a set of three Kent Armstrong Dual Blades, they are Humbucking pickups that are single-coil sized, I've got two installed in my Hot Rod Strat and they actually sound pretty good, considering that they only cost me about Au$55.00 each, but the really cool thing about them is that you get the Single-Coil sound without the hum.

    You can order the Kent Armstrong Dual Blades online from Realtone Music, they offer them in White and Black.


    Feel free to check out my HotRod Strat build thread.
    Last edited by DrNomis_44; 25-01-2017 at 12:34 PM.

  9. #9
    GAStronomist wokkaboy's Avatar
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    cheers Doc, thanks for that. Might try those staggered tuners next 6 in line build I do !
    Current Builds and status
    scratch end grain pine tele - first clear coat on !
    JBA-4 - assembled - final tweaks
    Telemonster double scale tele - finish tobacco burst on body and sand neck

    Completed builds
    scratch oak.rose gum Jazzmaster - assembled needs setup
    MK-2 Mosrite - assembled - play in
    Ash tele with Baritone neck - neck pup wiring tweaks and play in

  10. #10
    GAStronomist DrNomis_44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wokkaboy View Post
    cheers Doc, thanks for that. Might try those staggered tuners next 6 in line build I do !

    No worries mate, definitely give them a go in one of your builds.


    Which reminds me, I'll do some more work on finishing-off the body of the Gold Strat this year, but I need to wait till our weather dries up beforehand, the last few days have been a bit wet, at least the last few coats of gold paint have had a decent amount of time to dry, I'll do some wet sanding to smooth out the last coat of gold paint before I start applying more coats.
    Last edited by DrNomis_44; 25-01-2017 at 12:31 PM.

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