Getting the Strat/Tele ready for finish

I had lots of small tasks left to do today, to get everything ready for the Danish oil to go on tomorrow.

First off I slathered the neck in Nitromors paint remover, to get rid of the old finish.

While that was working I set about drilling pilot holes for all of the components and then sanding the body working up through the grades from 120 to 220. I then cleaned off the neck, allowed it to dry and sanded that smooth.

As on several of my previous builds this one is going to get a set/glued neck joint. I know it is far from traditional for a Fender-style guitar, but I really like being able to carve the heel into something more comfortable.

I apply the glue and lightly clamp it. Because this is a one time deal I pay particular attention to getting the alignment exact. I was too busy to take pictures but the approach I use is to attach the bridge and run cotton threads over the nut and down to the low and high E saddles to check everything lines up. Whilst the neck is lightly clamped I can make final adjustment and then, once I am happy, clamp it down tight.

Once the guitar neck is set aside I finish up on a couple of final jobs I wanted to do. As I was falling asleep last night I had the idea that perhaps I should stain the sapele, so I sanded down an offcut and applied test patches of aniline dyes. I quickly decided that I didn’t like any of them, so this one is going to remain a natural colour. One of my future projects is going to be an SG style guitar and I think that the orange on the left will go well with the gold hardware I have lined up for it.

I then tidied up the pickguard which I had roughly trimmed on the bandsaw yesterday. A combination of a cabinet scraper and 400 grit paper on a sanding block soon had the edge smooth and bevelled.

The first job tomorrow will be to carve the neck heel and then give it a final sanding all over before the first few coats of Danish Oil.

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