Hi folks - Richard has given me the go-ahead to write a blog covering the process of me making a Stratocaster style guitar from parts. This will be the fourth time I have put a guitar together in this kind of way, so I feel I've built up some useful experience at this point. But I'd also say that all my builds have been successful, and I do think that anyone keen enough could do the same as me, without prior experience. There is more than one way to approach a build, this will just be mine, but I hope the blog will build up to provide a useful guide. This is just building a nice guitar from parts, so I'm not claiming to be any sort of luthier here, just a keen hobbyist. And discussion and contributions very welcome at any point! So, at the moment I am very much in the "foothills" of my journey up the guitar build mountain. A few days ago, on another forum, I happened to be browsing just as someone put up an advert selling several guitar bodies, one or which was this lovely 2-piece walnut strat body: ...for just £45! I find if you hang about on the web, bargains like this do sometimes appear. Anyway, I was unable to resist it - it is made by www.guitarbuild.co.uk who I have used previously, having bought directly from them for earlier projects. So I was fairly confident it would be good quality, and the walnut just looked so nice and different, that I had to give it a go. And this is basically as far as I've got in terms of buying the bits I need. As far as I can tell, this looks to be one of Guitarbuild's 1962 strat body replicas in shape - the contouring is just a bit stronger and more sweeping than on a later strat style body, also the pickup cavities are a little shallower (so some of the more modern pickup designs could be too tall to be a good fit). My previous strat build used the same body style, but made of swamp ash: I love this guitar, and it has very much a shimmery, classic strat kind of tone. So I'm thinking I might try to make this project more of a "fat strat" kind of tone - perhaps something I could use for jazz even, while remaining very much in the general strat tone kind of area. That consideration will have some influence on the pickups I fit, and possibly on how the guitar wiring scheme is designed, but as yet I am very undecided about the pickups. I am also still thinking about how the guitar will look. I found a piece of software online, that allows me to try different combinations. Having already asked opinion on this forum, a lot of people, including me, have liked this possibility: However, I am also quite taken with a black pickguard, to give a dark, sophisticated look to things: We will see which way I go, and since pickguards can be bought for not too much money, it would be not too expensive to change my mind at any point. And finally, I am thinking about the neck for the guitar. My own preference is to use a new neck, and it is a case of sourcing something of good quality (and not all necks you see advertised are), and at the right price (I don't want to go much above £100, and less if possible). At the moment, the strongest contender is a rosewood board neck from Northwest Guitars. A keen builder/seller of parts built guitars, on another forum, tells me these are really excellent quality, made in Korea. Looking at the pictures in the ad, the maple looks to be good quality close-grained stuff, and also the shaping/contouring around the headstock and heel seems very smooth and well done - some necks I see for sale just look a bit roughly done in this respect, and just a bit "cheap" to be honest. I want this to be a classy guitar when finished. Here's the link if anyone's interested: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Northwest-Guitars-Stratocaster-Neck-Fretboard/dp/B006I0O7AK/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1386005176&sr=8-3&keywords=strat+neck Another consideration with the neck is the fit of the tuning machines. I have not chosen these yet, but I know I will want to use a modern Schaller/Gotoh/Grover type style, which will need 10mm holes in the headstock, which these necks have. A true vintage patterned neck uses narrower holes - just a consideration to be aware of. Well, all this waffle is really just to get the blog up and running, so time to stop for now, cheers!