Tips for building a partscaster!!!!!!


Gold Supporting Member
Hey guys, any tips for building a partscaster? Im looking at a warmoth body, and a musickraft neck. When you buy parts like these is there some work going into making the neck fit? What would you guys recommend for bridge hardware? Also, is it hard to relic a guitar? Im considering having a guy paint it locally and doing a light relicing myself. Is it mostly sandaper to get down to the wood? Any info would be great!!!! Thanks!


Check out my build thread for pics of a Warmoth body and a Musikraft neck fit. I'd say they were a match made in heaven - very tight press fit, but no filing or sanding required to mate them, and the pre-drilled body and neck holes mated perfectly. I did not do anything to either mating surface, just press the neck into the pocket and bolt it up.


I didn't put mine together. I took it to my local luthier to do that. He ensured that the neck and body mated so that they were properly aligned in the three axes. He also fret dressed and did a tiny amount of leveling of the frets. In all for him to assemble it and fully set it up cost me $600. It cost me $1400 in parts and when I came to sell it recently via consignment at my guitar store the owner said it is worth $500 or less, simply because it doesn't have a F logo on the headstock.

Having said that I think it sounds and plays as good as and better than many Am Deluxes I played.

For the bridge I went Calllaham, but doing it again I would go six post Gotoh with steel block. Suhr uses them and I think their arm mechanism is better than a Callaham. I have one in another guitar and I think they are better.

Relicing I can't help you, but I've seen a couple of YT videos. People use different objects to chip, scratch and remove paint to simulate different kinds of wear. There are also techniques to age the chrome on the trem and tuners.

Hope you enjoy the guitar!


If you have a well known and respected partscaster builder nearby you may consider having them do the finish and assembly work. There is a guy near me who did just this for me. I gathered all the parts and paid him to put it together. Caught him when he had some downtime and since I'd gathered all the parts (including paint in my particular case) all he had to do was fit it in to his schedule. He chose not to put his name on the guitar because it wasn't entirely built in his usual style. The name on the headstock (or lack thereof) was not an issue as far as I was concerned because I was very happy with the finished product. Just my experience and the cost was very reasonable.


Silver Supporting Member
Good hardware makes a difference!!
If you're going to the trouble and expense of Warmoth and Musikraft, don't skimp on the hardware. Gotoh, Callaham and Hoagland Bros. are great resources.

Ron Kirn

You may want to visit the Tele Forum and the Home Depot room… lotta partscasters coming together over there…. and. .

You have mail..

ron Kirn


I too have done a Warmoth body and Musikraft neck build. Came together great. If you are doing a relic, consider getting your hardware from Gregg Rodgers ( -- he uses genuine Fender parts and does a nice aging job on them.

Some good advice I was given: do a mock-up with your parts to be sure everything fits, go slow on the assembly, wax up your screws before driving them, re-tighten the neck bolts AFTER stringing.

As far as relicing goes, I'm not much help because I was going for the "old-but-well-cared-for" look. Reranch has some tinted clear laquer which really helps with this -- you can use it on the color coat itself and the plastic parts. Here's my build -- the neck stain is way more consistent now that it's had time to settle in:
If I were going to do a partscaster I would probably start with an off-the-rack guitar like a Squier Classic Vibe or a one of the 2012 Fender AVRI models that are discounted and just swap the parts I wanted customized, such as the neck. Every time I've considered doing a partscaster a la carte the total price for the parts was so high that I abandoned my plans.


All of my partscasters started with a part I already knew I liked. For example if I found a neck that I liked but I didn't like the body I would swap bodies, or somehow trade for a body that I liked and end up with a complete guitar that I liked.


Strat and Tele partscaster are easy to put together yourself if you have any common building skills and know how to wire and setup a guitar properly! They can also be done for very resonable amounts of money if you know what you are looking for. There are tons of good bodies and necks out there from lots of builders that can be had at great prices other then the big name ones. I have put five together between the cost of 500 to about 800 that play and sound better then anything I have bought in the stores. The only Strats and Tele's I own any more are the ones I put together myself. The resale on parts guitars is terrible no matter what parts you use in them, but if you are building for keeps who cares.


Silver Supporting Member
Provided you take everything slow - SLOW - there's no reason you shouldn't be able to do it yourself if you're at least reasonably handy. The only other piece of advice I might offer is this: If weight matters, buy your body after it's been cut. As much fun as it might be spec out your own Warmoth body, you can't reliably spec weight, and a lot of their showcase bodies are way heavier than anything I'd buy.


Just built one myself and I've only been on planet guitar for just over a year.

Wanted a natural finish, 52 spec Tele and being in no financial position to buy one, thought I'd try to put one together myself..

Got £250 ($400) worth of parts (I'm pretty adept at scoring bargains on Ebay) and after a few weeks of learning the ways of the tru-oil and a couple of days of learning new skills (and some colourful language), I have a gorgeous guitar that I can't see myself ever parting with.

Seriously, 2 piece swamp ash body, handwound Mojo pickups, oil in paper cap, cloth-covered wiring, CTS pots etc, this thing sounds and plays like a dream. Took a bit of tweaking to get it right but it all came good in the end and now I can't put her down.

And, I have the satisfaction of knowing that she's unique and I gave birth to her (proud mum..)


3 successful builds.

-go slow and think every step out before you start
-I personally wouldn't relic it. I did a beautiful transparent white on my ash tele in nitro and then decided to relic it myself. I did a very tasteful light relic but now i decided I liked the original state better.
-if you are going to relic, make sure he uses nitro and not poly or w.h.y. And less relic is always better than more relicing.
-don't scrimp on hardware. I went Callaham on my builds except for the trem on the strat which was Hipshot.
-buy Erlewine's guitar service and maintenance book. Wealth of info.
-if you're going to cut your own nut, buy the correct tools from StewMac which would be the slot guage, nut files, and start the slots with an Exacto handle with a saw blade. Don't buy into using feeler gauges turned into nut files or welding tip cleaners, etc.
-Be prepared to do 3 or more nuts before you get it right. Therefore, buy extra blanks.
Not trying to derail this thread but it is related ;)

Can i fit a Japanese neck and hardware off my E series 62 reissue to say a Mjt body?


Familiarize yourself with staining or laquering a guitar.
Learn how to crown and level the frets on your instrument.
If you have no experience with soldering, get a gun and teach yourself how to.
Keep the wiring scheme simple if you have little to no soldering experience.
make sure you have the right tools for the job or you might regret it later.
accept the fact that this guitar will be of value to only you.

I recently put together a warmoth and encountered challenges with all of these things but the end result was rewarding and I would do it again.

read as many articles on the process as you can. Any information is helpful information. There are videos on relicing guitars on youtube. Check out billy penn.


Are you doing the fretwork yourself? Or are you having Musikraft install it for you?

I've always wanted to be able to do my own fretwork, but I could never save enough to get the tools (always went towards other gear). If you don't have the tools on hand to do the fretwork, then it might be easiest to take it to a luthier once you have hardware, paint, etc. installed and he/she can do a final set up and check for frets and a nut install.

Definitely don't skimp on hardware or electronics, been down that road a few times... Callaham and Killer Guitar Components are some nice places for strat style bridges, but there's a lot of other possibilites for bridge types and materials.

Relicing will come naturally as you play it. I've never had a guitar finished in nitrocellulose, but I hear it ages nicely! The cheap stuff at WalMart will scape up and get battered pretty nicely as long as you try. If I could go back I would have told myself to have a little more patience with the clear coat. Seriously spend some time on that section of painting; it's kind of a b**** to do, but a good clear coat can make your guitar look a more professional.

Resale value is going to suck, no bones about it. There's a lot of threads on different pickup makers, types, pots, caps, and the other good stuff. On a note, Bare Knuckle Pickups has some killer pots. They're a little bit more than the Hamer branded ones (probably the best I've had the privilege of using), but they're available in both long and short shaft, as well as 500K and 250K, where the Hamer pots are only available in 500k, short shaft. The EVH ones are nice if you want a faster feel to it.

Good luck on your build! Kinda makes me want to start another guitar sometime. It's definitely a memorable and awesome experience. Put some time into it and I'm sure you'll end up with a great instrument.

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