Tuesday, 3 March 2015

Ash Stratocaster: Shaping the Headstock

Today I got stuck into the headstock for the Ash Stratocaster build. For a template I used my standard 50s Stratocaster shape that can be sourced from here: http://pdfcast.org/pdf/fender-headstocks (this pdf file contains headstock templates at a 1:1 scale). In my considered opinion Fender never managed to improve on their original headstock design.

The Fender 50s Stratocaster headstock template.
With the template printed out at 1:1 scale, I could get to work cutting the bugger out. This involved tracing around the template in pencil and then roughing the shape out with the jigsaw.

Once I had the rough shape cut out, it was a simple matter of taking the curves down to the line using a combination of sanding wheel (for the convex curves) and a flap wheel mounted in my drill press (for the concave curves). It's a very straightforward process with the correct tools. I changed the inside diameter of the tight concave curve a little so that it fit my smallest flap wheel and negated any fiddly work with the half-round file.

A good template, a jig saw and some sanding tools does the trick
After about 20 minutes the job was done. I now have a spanking new headstock ready for sanding. I'll start with 120 grit (to smooth the curves even further) and work my way down to 800 grit for a silky smooth action. That's gonna take a few hours so I better get started!