My Christmas project this year was to build a couple of Strats. My nephew is a great guy and a terrific machinist. He has done so many machining projects for me over the years. He mentioned at our summer family reunion that he wanted to get his daughters started on guitar.
I thought about all the different things I could build for his girls. I decided that I wanted to take a shot at just some straight forward Strats. One black, one white. It was a good learning experience for me to try and duplicate the original Stratocaster design. It made me really understand Leo Fender's genius all over again. It really is a remarkable design. To imagine that this design is basically 50 years old and is still the most sought after, most played, most imitated guitar ever. It's hard to think of a great player who hasn't used a Strat in his career. George Harrison, Eric Clapton, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jimi Hendrix, Robin Trower, Buddy Holly. Everyone. Strats are just great.
One got all black hardware with a black pearloid pickguard, and the other is chrome with white. The paint is nitro lacquer.
The bodies are alder. The necks are maple with rosewood fretboards. These are the first necks of this type that I've built. Both have 2-way Hot Rod truss rods. I'm really happy with how they turned out.
Both finishes had their challenges. Black is always tough. It shows every flaw. My son, Joe buffed the black one out. He's amazing. The white one was tough in its way too. Clear coat on top of white shows every tiny speck.