Monday, 16 September 2013

Siena's Stratocaster - Shaping the Headstock

Time to shape the headstock on Siena's stratocaster. Thankfully, this task is made easy by our old friend the inter-web! Many of the Fender headstock shapes can be found here: This pdf file contains headstock templates at a 1:1 scale.

Alternately, if you are having trouble accessing pdfcast, templates can be found in a number of other places. Here are a couple of other pdf documents for Fender headstocks, both hosted by Google:

Google GuitarPlansCollection link 1
Google GuitarPlansCollection link 2
All you need to do is print out the page you need (make sure you use 1:1 scale) and off you go. I have decided to use the 50s stratocaster design as the basis for my headstock on this build.

The pdf template printed out without issue on my trusty laser printer, and I was away.

I traced the headstock template with pencil and then cut close to the line with my jigsaw. A bench sander then allowed me to remove the rest of the material and get as close to the line as I needed to. In the absence of a bobbin sander, for the very tight curve I resorted to 120 grit paper applied by hand. I'm pretty happy wth how it turned out. I may return to the tight curve with a bit more 180 grit paper to round it out some more if/when I get some spare time.

Incidentally, If you are building your own kit and need a headstock for a gibson style guitar, headstock designs are not as easy to come by. If you are willing to put in a little effort, however, there are resources at hand! If it's a Les Paul headstock design you are after, then the following pdf template may suffice:

If not, there are a large number of vector graphics guitar templates for all kinds of guitars available on These can be used to generate your own 1:1 pdf templates. To do this you need to use a vector graphics package (such as Inkscape). The instructions are given on the same page. Have fun!