My Proposed First Build (Solicitation for Thoughts and Opinions)


Senior Member
Here's what I'm thinking about:

  • Mahogany rear-routed Strat body
  • Figured walnut top and maple pinstripe
  • Warmoth Pro maple/ebony neck (maybe AA birdseye) w/ figured walnut peghead laminate
  • Recessed Tune-O-Matic
  • Three EMG shape single-coil pickup route (pickups TBD)
  • Standard Strat control layout
  • Gold hardware
  • Planet Waves tuners

Things I'm not sure about or sold on:

  • Warmoth nitro clear gloss,Warmoth nitro clear satin, or DIY pure tung oil
  • Hollow body (not sure how well it would work for my tastes, and though not critical, I'd lose the pinstripe)
  • Strat style front jack or side jack

You wish opinions, so here I go!

I don't like chambered bodies... everything that I heard with this, sounds muddy to me... But here almost everybody likes it... to me its sound like less highs and not more bass (theres a big diference...) But, I never played much guitars chambered, because I don't like the most things I have heard...

I think the clear finish is very good! The Tele body I bought from they has a beautiful paintwork!

Side jack, please!

For the bridge, visually I think the hardtail will match way better, specially because the single-coils pickups...

Are you in home with the strat control layout? I usually hit the vol knob when I'm playing all strings and I know some guys that have the same problem...
I have have mostly played Strats, so I am used to and prefer the the volume pot location.  I am a little concerned though because I am thinking about using the dome style knobs, which I think are a little taller (lack of pickguard may make up for that a little... ??)

Since you're a Tele man I'll tell you a sad tale.  Once open a time, I had a 1968 Tele. It was candy apple red, and it was in nearly prefect shape. In my ignorant youth (I was 14 maybe 15 at the time), I sold it for $600... :(
And, CB, can you give me some guidance on finish.  Since as I recall, you are knowledgeable in that area.
1.) I'm a big fan of the hollow chambered bodies, don't know about the walnut/mahogany combo; what kind of a sound are you shooting for?
2.) I think the side jack always looks better on a rear route.
3.) Finish - what are you comfortable with, might think about having the neck shot with nitro at Warmoth and doing the body yourself with tung oil?
I just edited the my first post.  I had just maple for the neck, I forgot the maple/ebony.

jackthehack, I am accustomed to gloss nitro.  I've never played on a real tung oil finish, but I have played on and do sort of like the feel of satin necks... I don't really favor the way they look though.  And, I wasn't sure how satin nitro would look on walnut.  Sound wise, I don't want to lose the nice crisp clean Strat R&B sound when I want it.  That's why I am a little skeptical about hollow.... but I've read here that neck wood seems to have the most influence, hence the maple/ebony neck.  I thought the maple/ebony neck with mahogany body would make a nice tone combo.  Appearance wise, I thought the walnut would look fantastic and somewhat unique.
jackthehack, I failed to mention that I really want the walnut body laminate and walnut peg head laminate in matching finish, so I wouldn't consider doing the body if I were not also doing the neck.
I don't really have a point of reference to exactly what you envision; I have a solid walnut Strat and various hollowed chambered bodies. From the guitars I have, you might want to consider alder rather than mahogany for the body wood.

The mahogany hollow chambers I have have Zebrawood and Rosewood tops; and one of the guitars I actually wind up playing most is flame maple on chambered alder. I think if you're looking for the crisp/R&B sound alder would be a better choice for the body wood; mahogany is going to sound warmer/more "Gibsony" if that makes any descriptive sense...

As mentioned in many previous threads, the laminate top choice is the least tonal factor in the wood(s) equation of a build; regardless of hollow chambered or not, with a maple neck go alder for the body wood for that more classic Strat tone it sounds like you're trying to go for.

As to finish/aesthetics, whatever floats your boat, my personal preference for walnut (based perhaps on a couple of vintage SGs I've owned before) is that I don't like a high gloss on walnut.

Here's another curveball for you; I just noticed you went to maple/ebony neckwise - email Warmoth and see if they have any of that canarywood left, for a bright R&B/funk sound canarywood/ebony for the neck is the shit!

Mahogany rear-routed Strat body
Figured walnut top and maple pinstripe
Warmoth Pro maple/ebony neck (maybe AA birdseye) w/ figured walnut peghead laminate
Recessed Tune-O-Matic

Phrygian said:
... Sound wise, I don't want to lose the nice crisp clean Strat R&B sound when I want it. 

All of the above you mentioned won't give you a classic strat tone, but since you are a strat player I assume you have already at least one classic strat.

Warmoth's high quality woods will give your guitar what it needs, the strong foundations. No wood is better than the other, just different. Choose wisely the woods & bridge and then go on and place the order. With the right setup, you will make a great guitar. You 'll just have to see if it suits your needs. You can always change pickups & electronics later and with single coils, you can also rout any position to a humbucker.

What I try to do with any new guitar, is to be different from the others. Different woods/pickups/radius, etc. Still there are too many options I have to try out...

Good luck.
Perhaps you can think about Black Korina instead Mahogany... I have never played with a guitar with that wood, but everybody speak good things, and at my point of vision, will bring a little more to Fender's road (understanding that you're searching for a Fender with a little bit more bottom...)

Where do you live? I think you should try to play with a hollow body... some guys like and some guys don't like, but the important thing is YOU like, and there is no other way to know it, only playing... (you know, this is a think that you cannot change... it should be a little hard work to glue all wood again :laughing7:)
Simple -

Trying to get all the "wow" features, all the "wow" woods and all the "wow" hardware etc etc into one axe.... is not simple, nor is it elegant.  Ends up like some old fart on a golf course wearing green checkered nickers with purrple socks and orange striped jacket, and one of those silly golf hats with pompom - all bright pink.  God... we've got that type all over here where I live.

Simple.  Have sometime in mind before you even begin to look at options.  One of the prettiest guitars I've ever seen was that Jazz Bass down in the bass section here.  Nice clean lines, not too busy.  Understated, but very elegant.

Elegance -

Donald J Trump, is the exact opposite of elegance.  Everything he does is in-your-face.  His WPB golf course and Mar-a-Lago are customers of mine.  Nice places.  A little tacky on some things though... Tacky is the right word.  He would have done better not having to "do it all" at those places. 

The same it is with guitars.  Think about the end result, then look for the means to get there.

Finishing -
This is a personal thing....  I really like lacquer for its ease of getting a really nice finish.  You can get a perfect factory finish from lacquer, if thats your goal.  Or you can keep it unleveled and replicate the best "feel" of a more natural finish.  You can get soft matte or high gloss... its just great to work with.  But....

Some people like oils.  I see two oils being used here - TruOil and TungOil.  Both of those are less "oil" and more varnish.  They are full of petroleum distillates - read the labels - where's the natural oil?  So, they are more "doctored" oils than anything.  And, they're harder to get a nice finish with - REALLY!  One oil that I'm very fond of is REAL tung oil.  If its 100 percent pure tung oil... oh mother.. what a treat to work with.  Not easy to mess up, you have to really try and screw it up, but its not a fast finish either.  You can have, in life, any two of three thigns:  Fast, Good, Low Cost.  Real tung oil is low cost and good.  Not fast.  What a nice glow to the finish though.  Warmoth wont "warranty" necks done in it, but.. I personally wouldn't worry too much, as real tung oil is a finish that water beads up on when you have a good six or eight coats applied.  And it just "glows".  That said, hand me the lacquer any day.  Tung oil is great for furniture... <ggg>.  But if you have to have an oil finish, thats my way to go.
Solicit and they will come!

What I envisioned is pretty much what I stated.  I currently own a well used (and much loved) alder body Strat with a maple/rosewood neck.  I didn’t think mahogany w/ maple/ebony would be too much of a tonal departure (maybe a little darker and I can deal with it), and I think it would be more pleasing aesthetically (at least with the walnut top).  The truth is that I just want to build a guitar, period (I wonder who here hasn’t had this thought).  However, I will say that one thing that bothers me about the Fenders that I love so much is the opaque colors and pick guards covering up the wood.  I want a Strat style guitar (with three single-coils) that sounds great AND looks great.  Also, I was trying to avoid the typical figured maple tops and go for something a little more unique.
I'm not specific on bodies, but for necks, I say NEVER gloss. All three of my guitars have gloss finished necks, and that (among other things) is one big thing that keeps nagging me to save up for a great playing Warmoth project. I guess satin is quite acceptable; tung is supreme. I'm not sure about it on maple; not my specialty.
I think mahogany is enough of a departure from the Fender sound; hollow might make the sound stray vigorously. Then again, maple/ebony and Strat-esque p/ups.
For me, nothing screams STRAT more than a front jack! I wish they looked great on every type of body because it really is the most ergonomic also.