My project is to craft the body of a 1960’s style Fender Stratocaster electric guitar using American ash wood. I decided to make this because I’ve wanted to learn to play the guitar for a while and it was also a great opportunity to make use of iForge because it offers so many tools and methods for wood crafting. I have been asked many times why I haven’t used the CNC machine and it’s because there is greater satisfaction when handcrafting a piece or work and getting back to the basics – using chisels, files, jigsaws, pillar drills etc.
I found the original specification for the Stratocaster online and used it create a template for the all the routing and shaping of the wood. I then sourced all the other parts, such as the neck, from various websites. From then on, it has simply been a game of hard grafting and patience.
1) The first step was to glue the two large body blanks together using standard PVA glue and left overnight.
2) The printed template (to scale) was glued onto the top surface as a guide.
3) The cavities for pickups etc were routed using the pillar drill to remove the bulk of the wood and the edges were refined with a chisel.
4) The outline of the guitar was cut using a hand jigsaw – the bandsaws can’t deal with hardwood – and sanded to a smooth finish.
5) The neck cavity was routed carefully millimeter by millimeter to ensure proper alignment of the strings.
6) The iconic curves that define Stratocaster body were chiselled, filed and sanded down.
To be continued…
13th March 2019