Documenting my first build- Ash Fiesta Red Strat, Roasted Maple/PF Neck


New member
Hi Everyone,

I've been skulking around the forum for a while, and recently, spurred on by all the incredible work I've seen others do here, I decided to take the plunge and build my first Warmoth (and first guitar in general). I have some pretty decent woodworking experience, and some experience (relative to my age) playing, collecting, and maintaining guitars, so I thought this would be a great way to marry two hobbies as a 24th birthday gift to myself. I certainly have a lot to learn, and I'm sure this journey will be equally humbling and rewarding. I want to at least attempt to make a poor man's stratamania-esque build thread for this, because his helped/inspired me a lot, and I think this is a great way to hold myself accountable throughout the process. Anyway, onto the good stuff:


Model: Stratocaster®
Orientation: Right handed
F-Holes: None
Scale: 25-1/2"
Wood: Swamp Ash
Rout: Top Rout
Pickup Rout: Strat®, Strat®, Strat®
Controls: None
Bridge: Wilkinson Tremolo
Stud Install: Use inserts from bridge on order
Jack Rout: Strat® Top Jack Rout
Neck Pocket: Strat® Shape
Mounting Holes: Standard 4 Bolt
Contours: / Tummy Cut / Forearm Contour
Battery Box: No Battery Box Rout
Top Finish: Fiesta Red
Back Finish: Fiesta Red
Finish Type: Gloss Finish


Style: Stratocaster®
Construction: Modern Construction
Orientation: Right Handed
Neck Wood: Roasted Flame Maple
Fingerboard Wood: Pau Ferro
Nut Width: 1-11/16"
Back Shape: Standard thin
Fret Size: SS6105 (Stainless)
Tuner Ream: Schaller (25/64")
Radius: 10-16" Compound
Scale: 25-1/2"
Fret #: 22
Mounting Holes: Standard 4 Bolt
Pre-Cut Installed String Nut: GraphTech White TUSQ XL - Standard Nut
Inlays: Cream Face Dots
Side Dots: White Side Dots
Finish: No Finish


Pre-wired Fralin (I know it's the easy way out- next build will be done the real way)
Pickguard Color: Parchment 3-Ply
Pickup Cover Color: Yellow (Aged-White)
Neck Pickup: Fralin Blues Special
Middle Pickup: Fralin Blues Special
Bridge Pickup: Fralin Blues Special w/ backplate

Pot Style & Value: 250K Split Shaft
Tone Pot 1: Master Tone
Tone Pot 2: Blender Pot
Tone Cap: .02mfd
Volume Pot: Bright Switch Push Pull Mod

Pickguard Color: Parchment 3-Ply
Pickup Cover Color: Yellow (Aged-White)
Plastic Knobs: Parchment (Aged White)

Gotoh Wilkinson Tremolo VS100, Chrome
Schaller M6 Locking Tuner, 6-In-Line Set, Left Side, Chrome

Everything arriving in boxes:

Just out of the box body:

Just out of the box neck:


Very quick dry fit to check the color combination (I like it):

Unfortunately, due to some luthier tools not arriving yet, and the wrong tuners being shipped (Warmoth handled this professionally in less than a minute over the phone- I'm sending out for replacement on Monday), the only task I could really get done tonight was burnishing the neck (thanks Cagey for the now ubiquitous thread that's helped countless people). I turned on the Yankees/Sox game and got to work:

600-2000grit paper:

1.75 hours of miserable Yankees baseball later:

The difference maybe isn't visually stunning, but wow, does it feel incredible. Picked up one of my American strats after this to see the difference, and it's indescribable. At this point, I know everyone here has burnished a neck or ten, so I'm not saying anything new, but long story short: it's as good as everyone says it is.

Ideally, I'd like to mount the tuners next and start on some fretwork, but that will have to wait due to aforementioned complications.

If anybody stuck through this, I both commend and thank you.

Rock and Roll Lives on,
Welcome to the forum. This will be a nice one to see go together. Very classic and with that burnished neck, oh, yeah.  :icon_thumright:
Welcome to the forum BrendanC... and thanks for the shout out which is appreciated.

A nice looking build so far. The classic Fiesta Red with the chosen neck looks good.

I would suggest you do your fretwork before fitting the tuners if you can as they are not then going to be in your way. Of course, that depends on your methodology overall and as I said it is just a suggestion.
Stratamania- Thanks for the reply and suggestion. Completely makes sense; however, I'm also waiting for my notched straight edge and fret rocker to arrive, so, unfortunately, I'm still left in the same place. Once I get those in, I will definitely take your advice and handle the fretwork first.

Rgand- Thanks! I'll try not to disappoint. Underrated benefit of burnishing roasted maple (or I'm sure any process that makes sawdust with it) is that afterward, your hands smell like it for hours.
OK. Sometimes we want to get stuff done but with guitars sometimes it pays to take your time, don't rush and enjoy the journey.
Nice work so far! I'm totally with you about the burnished roasted maple, its really something special!
Welcome sir, looks like a nice project!
stratamania said:
OK. Sometimes we want to get stuff done but with guitars sometimes it pays to take your time, don't rush and enjoy the journey.
Sage advice, especially with your first build. I know I was pretty eager to have at it my first time around. A couple of things would have been a lot easier, if I had taken these word to heart....

Good luck, post pics when available!
Great build. Love the color. I done several warmoths. They do a great job with the necks. I won't sand mine going forward. Also I consider the necks pretty much done as far as the fret work. I also have a fiesta red p-bass coming!