How to Build a Stratocaster Style Guitar

"The Hard Way"


By John Fisher

The day had come when I with a few words promised my 11 year old son that I would build him a guitar. I figured that I wanted to build him something that was ideal for him so he could learn more about playing guitar. I would custom design something that I thought would give him the best possible opportunity to learn and express himself on the guitar. I thought of the millions of guitars that have been bought by parents for their children in hopes for them to learn something constructive, but because of lack of knowledge of the choice of the instrument, and the very frequent bad set up of even some of the fairly good instruments out of a music store, the student becomes discouraged and the investment inevitably becomes stored in the closet and forgotten.

A Parent, Child Lesson

So "I" had it all figured out what guitar would be best for my son . ( Sort of an electric acoustic type thingy) That's where I ran into a brick wall. We spent several evenings looking through guitar catalogues trying to decide what guitar "I" wanted him to have. The generation gap began to widen as I was set on what I thought he should have, and he was set on what he wanted to have. My "father to son communications" were failing fast. I was sure I knew what was best for him. Then the wise words of my wife rang out clearly in my ears: "Why not let him have what he wants if it won't hurt him." This might sound like a trivial affair but my technical intellect and pride was threatened. After coming to grips with this new concept I decided to swallow my pride and give it a shot. So I announced to my son (with a gulp) that I was sorry about the whole thing and I would build him whatever kind of guitar he wanted. You do not realize how nervous that declaration made me feel as I didn't have any idea what I was in store for.

He instantly lit up and the generation gap began to grow narrower. After looking again through a few more catalogues he was bent on me building him a black Strat. This to me went a bit against my grain as I wanted to make something a little more original but I thought "What the heck" that should be an interesting challenge anyway. I'm glad it wasn't a "Flying V" or a "Gretch Country Gentlemen".

So the project of making a Black Strat was settled.

I started to realize that I even had a few Strat parts that I had in my junk box that were given to me a while back.

So here is goes!


The famed naturalist, Luther Burbank, kept a guest book in which he invited all callers to write their names, their addresses, & their chief interests in life. When Edison autographed Burbank's book, he wrote in the column headed "interested in"--with no hesitation whatever--the word "everything" & followed it with an exclamation point.


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