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Post subject: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:05 am
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Aspiring Musician
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...And probably the last, now I've used up most of my spare US bits! So what do we have here?...

2-piece North American alder body, full depth. Maple neck with rosewood board (22 fret / 9.5” / med jumbos). Although no-one's going to think this is a US Fender neck (a bit too orange, for a start), both pieces are decent quality for the money – presumably Asian-made. Brits might be interested at £274 total, from those nice people at Northwest Guitars. Bodies come in a variety of vintage-y colours. My Gold is thin-skin poly – is it Aztec or Shoreline? I fancy Aztec. To be fair, this finish isn't absolutely perfect, but the odd lacquer bubbles are minor and not somewhere you see them. And you have to take that price into account!

US bits: 2006 AmStd loaded pickguard & backplate, Sperzel lockers (prefer chrome, but these will have to do!), Fender jackplate & neckplate, Switchcraft jack, Callaham trem-mounting screws.

Vaguely US bits: PW-36 AmSpec trem unit.

Non-US bits: Strap buttons, trem claw, screws for the plastics, wiring.

Not trying to pass it off as a Fender, I won't be putting any badging or stickers on it. I like it as it is.

The build: Unlike craftsmen like John Sims, I only really had to screw it together, but most holes needed drilling, and putting them in the wrong place is obviously not an option! So marking and drilling for the tuners, plastics and (especially) the bridge, took me ages. Due to the body being pre-drilled for the neck, I clamped the neck on, and then drilled through the body into the neck. Not difficult. Apart from a spot of wood relief inside the trem cavity (to allow full trem travel), no real problems.

The neck has a nut pre-installed, but slots are purposely high. My luthier will attend to this final fettling, but even now it plays OK.

If, like me, you have a guitar's-worth of spare bits and pieces knocking about, this is a good way to get some use from them! Cost-wise, well, obviously I originally paid for all the bits and pieces I had 'in stock', so that £274 isn't realistic. I don't care, though - I've had fun and I've got a nice 'Strat'!

Cheers – Peter.

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Fender Play November 2019
Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:17 am
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Looks fantastic, give yourself some due credit...I think the nickel looks good and those are fine tuners.


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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 5:18 am
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Very nice , you do a good job :)

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:11 am
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Outstanding! Well done that man. If it plays even halfway as nice as it looks it will be a gem.

I'm putting money on it not being your last though. Once you get the bug it is a difficult rash not to scratch. :-)

I agree regarding Northwest Guitars, they provide great products and service. I did have a little run in with them as I didn't agree it was acceptable to send out spray cans with contaminated nozzles because they want to check the can before dispatch. My argument was that they should have their own nozzles for checking and send the product out with new clean nozzles to the customer. I think we have agreed to disagree on the matter. Dirty nozzles not withstanding they otherwise provide great components and consumables quickly and at reasonable money.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 6:22 am
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Another thing, if you haven't already is spend a happy half hour or so rolling the fretboard edges. I find gentle scraping with a sharp craft knife (scrape not pair or cut) makes a fantastic difference. Similarly, gently profiling and smoothing the fret ends with some fine safe edges files.

I was watching a great Youtube video with a guy, I forget who, from Fender Custom Shop. His Nº 1 guitar is a Squier and, in his opinion, the main way to tell/feel the difference with a Custom Shop Instrument is the attention to detail in the rolling of the neck and polishing the fret ends.

Obviously this isn't an approach exclusive to Partscasters and almost one of the best features of a "darkwood" board is you can do it without damaging any lacquer as you will on a maple board.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 7:22 am
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Thanks chaps!

Noticed that those tuners look wonky! They aren't - it's just the camera angle!

John, you might be right - I'd certainly do it again. But if I bought similar quality hardware, electrics and plastics, I think the whole thing would turn out rather expensive. I'm not thinking of resale; just the actual cost of getting all the bits together. Also, I already have the other colour bodies Northwest stocks on my US Strats - don't want two the same colour!

Yes, I recall you had a spraycan problem; didn't realise it was with Northwest. Pity - I've found them very good.

Yes, the fret ends and un-rolled edges do make it fairly obvious it's not US Fender, and I may do them (or ask my luthier to do them) as you suggest. But to be honest, they're not as bad as my newish PLEK'd Gibbo!

Cheers - Peter.


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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Wed Aug 14, 2019 12:18 pm
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Looking good! :D


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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:46 pm
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Congrats on your build.
I love my Partsocaster to pieces.
At least in part because of the love I put into its making.
I'm sure you will love yours too.
Great job.
Enjoy.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 1:26 am
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BMW-KTM wrote:
.....
I love my Partsocaster to pieces.
At least in part because of the love I put into its making.
.....


That is absolutely a thing.

But it is double edged as well because there is always the "Well I could have done...." and "Well if I just change...." and "Perhaps it would be better if...."

Before you know where you are you will have enough bits for another one. Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. :-)

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 7:38 am
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John Sims wrote:
...
But it is double edged as well because there is always the "Well I could have done...." and "Well if I just change...." and "Perhaps it would be better if...."

Before you know where you are you will have enough bits for another one. Welcome to the Rabbit Hole. :-)

That has not happened with mine.
I did happen initially because I wasn't crazy about the pickups and wiring scheme I had chosen (as an experiment) but once I replaced them with something tried and true the guitar quickly became my #1 and I don't want to change anything.
I built it 6 years ago (come November) and within 6 months it was in the configuration it is in now so a little over 5 years and I feel no itch.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:31 pm
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Nicely executed partscaster!!!!

Personally, I am okay with adding the Fender logo when it is a predominantly Fender guitar (but not with adding fake serial numbers) -- as long as there is no trying to sell it as any thing else but a Fender partscaster. I have one too with a Fender logo (no s/n), but it does not get presented as anything more than what it is.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sat Aug 17, 2019 2:44 pm
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Mine has an actual Fender neck.
2003 American Deluxe (DZ3xxxxxx)
Bought it off eBay from the Stratoshpere.
Mine is unusual enough I don't think there's any danger of someone thinking it is an attempted fake.
Nobody would never mistake it for an off-the-rack guitar.
I have more money into it than what it would have cost to buy an American Deluxe anyway so that would kind of defeat the purpose of it being a fake.

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 7:17 am
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Well done! Very nicely executed.

Enjoy!

T2

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Sun Aug 18, 2019 9:16 am
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T2Stratman wrote:
Well done! Very nicely executed.

Enjoy!

+1

A beautiful specimen indeed!

Arjay

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Post subject: Re: Proud to announce birth of first Partscaster!...
Posted: Mon Aug 19, 2019 4:56 am
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Thanks again, chaps, for the kind comments!

It's currently off at Steve the luthier's for fettling. Prefer to pay him for filing the nut rather than buy the correct files (and then $@!& the job up)! Other than a setup, he's also doing the fret ends. I wasn't over fussed, but he does good work, so why not?

I do have a few more bits and pieces, so wouldn't rule another partscaster out. Let's see how this one goes when I get it back!

Cheers - Peter.


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