From Atlas Cedar to rocking ear bleeder
Because of the urgent need for satellite reception of a friend of mine my brother needed to cut down an Atlas Cedar tree. The wood from this tree was just lying around so my brother and I decided to build a guitar with it.
The first guitar I've got is a Fender Squier Strat (made in India). After opening up the back cavity I found out that its completely made of plywood so the plan was to use all the parts from the Squier (including the neck) and to create a new body to fit it all
My brother owns a chainsaw jig to cut planks from the tree trunks. I've set the jig to the thickness of the guitar (43 mm) and cut out a part big enough for the guitar body. Online I found the design for a 53' model Fender Stratocaster as full-size PDF. I've used this to cut out the basic shape of the guitar.
After cutting out the basic shape I decided that I didn't want it some colour + white parts but instead I want it the original wood colour and everything else black or chrome. It would also be nice if it had some better pickups than the original china-made crap that was in the Squier so I ordered a new black pickguard, pickups, volume/tone knobs and 5-way switch (the old one was crackling and noisy).
While milling the holes for all the parts in the body I made a measurement error for the bridge. The hole was too big and a centimeter off in position. After having the hole filled up with another part of wood I ordered a new bridge (black of course) that was top-loading. That means I don't need to create a new hole for the bridge, its completely mounted on top of the body and doesn't require springs in the back of the guitar.
After putting together the parts i soldered the electronics. I reused the old pots and output jack from the Squier guitar. To connect it all I needed to solder 6 grounding wires to the housing of the volume pot (I don't use the tone pots) I found out that I burned the old pot. Also the new 5-way switch was crackling worse than the original one from the Squier guitar. I've decided to order original Fender ones from a local webshop (for a whopping 2 euro more than the knock-offs I got from ebay) and used those. The official Fender one is actually a logarithmic pot instead of the cheap linear ones thus making volume control much more precise in the low volume range.
After building the guitar and using it for a while I decided I would like to know how it sounds with an actual a-grade pickup so I ordered a DiMarzio DP187BK Cruiser Bridge(a rail humbucker) and put that in the bridge position. I've also replaced the tone knobs with two switches. One switches the polarity of the middle pickup and the other one connects the neck pickup to the volume pot so I can enable all three pickups at the same time.
Now the only thing that's left is the output jack and the neck of the guitar. Here are some audio samples recorded through a Line 6 PodXT Live emulating a Fender Reverb Deluxe Blackface