Gilmour Tribute Strat

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Brian Johnston, Jun 16, 2013.


  1. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Time for a new project. I have a '79 American Fender Strat that went through a bit of a Frankenstein transformation over the years, and so this has been handed over to Casper Guitar Technologies to be made 'new' again, and routed to include a vibrato arm.

    This is not a 'tribute' in the sense of re-creating the Black Strat. Rather, it will be a 'concept' tribute Strat with:

    Black metallic fleck paint
    Custom pickups designed by Brian Porter (he did an incredible job with the Hendrix Strat tribute I had designed a few years back)
    Perloid styled knobs and black (via QParts)
    Nebulus pickguard (Gilmour's playing and sound is about as spacey as it gets, and so this tribute will reflect his 'out of this world' psychedelia)

    So far, here are some body photos with the original paint stripped down:

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  2. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Photos of the QParts Knobs and Strap Locks to be included in the project:

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  3. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    A photo of the intended pickguard:

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  4. byrdparis

    byrdparis Member

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  5. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    From Stephen Casper:

    Just to add a bit of detail to this project from a builders point of view.
    This body arrived in we'll say poor shape. Finish cracked, chipped, dyed.
    There were several pick guard screws burred and broken off flush with the surface of the body and a very wicked humbucker "route" in the bridge position.

    I quickly evaluated the body for usefulness and reported back to Brian the body would work for what he was attempting to do. The rest will be up to me.
    To strip the old finish, I used a combination of Low VOC Stripper, steel-wool and 60 grit sand paper.

    There is really no easy way to remove the old finish. The wood needs to remain intact so a grinder is not an option :lol:

    I dug out the screws and over drilled the holes with a drill press and pressed / glued in dowel replacement pieces to give the new body a bit of new wood for the pick-guard screws to bite into. Besides, the screw buried on the upper horn will have to be removed and repaired or the new pick-guard will not have a spot for a screw. In addition, the holes need to be repaired since the new pick-guard may not have the exact same hole pattern and could possibly have mounting / alignment issues when we get to the assembly phase of the project.

    Next to establish a center line and begin the tremolo route layout later today.
     
  6. TheoDog

    TheoDog Supporting Member

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    IIRC, the actual Black Strat was black paint over a sunburst... Could have left out the stripping phase, I suppose.

    If you are into a big time tribute, I might also recommend considering a pick guard with the DSOTM art... Or another album cover. I like the space concept, however.
     
  7. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    In fact, I was going for the DSOTM pickguard and couldn't find the darn thing, no matter where I searched on the net. When I saw the Nebulus pickguard, I thought that was very interesting.

    +++++++++++++++++++

    Brian Porter sent me info and a photo of the pickups:

    "Basically a hybrid strat set. My 50's pickup in the neck. 60's in the middle, and Modern overwound in the bridge."

    [​IMG]
     
  8. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    * Masking off the area to protect the wood and a habit-
    [​IMG]
    * This is done to not only to protect the wood, but to allow me to be able to see the center line once
    we have it established-
    * Center-Line
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    * By laying out the body on a board with graph markings allows me to use a drafting square to establish the center-line. There are several hints as to the rough location of this elusive line- 1- Strap Button. 2-Center between the pickup edge routs. 3-Centering holes created by the Fender manufacturing process.
    * Routing Template Placement
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    * By using the center-line and the known distance for the bridge placement, I am able to place the tremolo route properly by using 2-side foam tape-
    * Route the Body – The point of no return…
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    * Let’s route this puppy!
    * Went pretty smooth-
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    So the body has been routed and I’m ready to begin the sealing process to prep the body for the finish-
     
  9. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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  10. TheoDog

    TheoDog Supporting Member

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    haven's seen much info on the neck... :munch
     
  11. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    I only sent the body down to be refinished. Solid maple, including fretboard. This guitar has the lowest action I've ever felt, which is why I never got rid of it. Plays like butter.
     
  12. Guitarnotsoguru

    Guitarnotsoguru Ultimate Plutonium Member

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    I was curious about the neck as well......What I can't understand is how David uses a Vintage Radius and Frets and does the crazy bends like he does
     
  13. mudster

    mudster High Prairie Wrangler Silver Supporting Member

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    where are you getting that pickguard? I'd like to look and see what else they offer.
     
  14. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    The pickguard is courtesy of www.GreasyGroove.com

    I'm also including the 'toppers,' which are quality stickers that you apply to the pickups (not as cheesy as it sounds) that continue the pattern of the pickguard. In essence, you don't see the pickups, but rather the full pattern of the pickguard.

    This company also has a lot of other items, including trem covers.
     
  15. TheoDog

    TheoDog Supporting Member

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    I think the Black Strat has had several necks and is currently a 9.5" radius.
    I think his #001 Strat is a vintage radius... That is to say "original" and also does not have the short trem.
     
  16. burningyen

    burningyen Gold Supporting Member

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    The Black Strat currently sports a 7.25" radius.
     
  17. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    I'm not sure what this neck's radius is (how do you figure it out)? There's a 2883 on the heel of the neck, signed off by Robert Cyr. A '79 American Strat. Perhaps someone out there knows.
     
  18. burningyen

    burningyen Gold Supporting Member

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    A '79 would have a 7.25" radius.
     
  19. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    Cool... thanks. It's a super nice neck... very comfortable in the hands and easy on the fingers.
     
  20. Brian Johnston

    Brian Johnston Member

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    The pickguard (notice the pickup covers to match the pickguard), pickups and knobs are all in. This will be brought into a custom paint shop to select the right type of black metallic fleck paint (possibly one with gold flecks or something to coordinate with the various colors in the pickguard):
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