This guitar was built to fundraise for the Music Venue Trust’s #SaveOurVenues campaign, supporting grassroots music venues struggling and at risk of permanent closure amid the Corona virus pandemic. I wanted to do my bit to support the campaign, and so raffled off the guitar, raising over £1000 towards the campaign.
The guitar is a two-piece Ash body, Maple neck with dual-action truss rod and an Ebony fingerboard with dot inlays. It’s using 1:15 ratio modern-style tuners with solid brass gears. I was initially going to use a kit to keep the price down, but wasn’t happy with the quality so I had new parts machined on a CNC machine before doing all the finishing and building work by hand. Scale length is 25.5 inches over 22 frets.
The finishing oil was kindly donated by Crimson Guitars. Almost a full bottle was used. The guitar was hand-sanded to 320-grit before the penetrating oil was applied. I applied 3 thick coats, letting them soak until tacky and then wiped off the excess. Another 12 thin coats then followed to build up the finish, applied in fairly quick succession and buffed relentlessly. Fine grit sandpaper (1200, 1500, 2000 and 2500-grit) was used between the final few coats to smooth out the finish. I’ve used the Crimson oil on several Projects projects and it’s a great way to achieve a natural finish.
The bridge is the classic 6-saddle tremolo bridge with a screw-in Trem bar. The guitar was fitted with some simple ceramic magnet single-coil pickups with closed Chrome covers. I wanted to fit something extravagant but was on a tight budget. The pot and switch configuration is standard for a Strat; two tone, one volume and a five-way selector.
Due to the amount of interest and support received I later decided to upgrade the guitar to Wilkinson vintage series ceramic pickups and 250K pots. Classic wiring was retained and the style unchanged but the sound is vastly improved
The custom pick guard was produced by Gig.Ink. Tim kindly assisted in the design of the artwork and donated the plates to the project. Tim also produced the rear credits plate on which are listed all those who helped along the way as well as those who contributed suggestions, ideas and words of encouragement.